We previously released an article on the Kaged Muscle website discussing the use of Intermittent Fasting (IF) over the holiday period. IF principles are simple, you fast overnight and for part of the day, this provides a smaller feeding window (e.g. 8 hours instead of the typical 14 – 18). This smaller window obviously means you can consume more food and calories without gaining as much fat. Here are some simple strategies you can use depending on the event and time of day:
If the main event for the day is in the evening, say a work Christmas party you can fast in the morning. Upon waking, don’t eat anything for a couple of hours. At this point, if you are muscle conscious you can do a protein modified fast and have 1 scoop of Re-KAGED. After this, continue to fast until around 2-3pm. By now you’re probably pretty hungry so consume a high protein low-calorie meal, such as lean protein (1 chicken breast, 1 fish fillet etc) with mixed vegetables and seasoning/low-calorie sauce. This should keep your energy stable and your hunger satiated until the main event. When the main event comes around don’t worry if you’re somewhat hungry, you’ve created a ton of freedom to relax and enjoy yourself. So go ahead, you’ve probably got 2000 calories left in the bank, this allows for a three-course meal and a couple of drinks if you wish.
|Morning-2 pm||2-3 pm||Evening|
|Fast/Protein Shake||Low Cal, High Protein Meal||Feast, Relax and Enjoy Yourself.|
If you want to train during this period, I recommend training in the afternoon after the lean protein meal. Although you may be slightly hungry and fatigued, a well designed pre-workout supplement such as PRE-KAGED combined with the meal will get you through the workout. It may not be the most optimal training session, but this is a tool for reducing fat gain over the holidays and not necessarily a mass gaining protocol. Remember, it’s only a few days over the month; it won’t make any difference to your muscle gaining progress, although it will help you stay lean and more insulin sensitive!
If the event is towards lunchtime a similar approach can be applied, plus you have the flexibility to either fast in the morning or evening, depending on personal preference. If the event was starting at 1 pm, you could easily fast all the way until this point. Again, if you are scared of losing muscle (which you really wouldn’t, as we discussed in the main article) you could take a protein shake at around 10 am and then do a protein modified fast until the event. When lunchtime comes around you will likely consume most of your daily calories and be able to fit in a relaxing, three-course meal. Around 4 hours post-event, you can take a protein shake in, this will re-stimulate Muscle Protein Synthesis. After this, around another 3 – 4 hours later, you can consume a lower calorie, high protein meal.
|Morning-12 pm||12-1 pm||4 pm||Evening|
|Fast/Protein Shake||Feast, Relax and Enjoy Yourself.||Protein Shake||Low Cal, High Protein Meal|
It’s fairly easy to fit in a training session around the lunchtime feast. As the feast isn’t too far into the day, you could consume a protein shake at 10 am and then train before you feast. This is also a good idea as many metabolic markers upregulate post exercise, so a large amount of food will be digested and absorbed better, along with helping your muscles recover! If you wish to train in the afternoon, I recommend waiting around 2-3 hours post-event, taking some PRE-KAGED and then getting to work. This can be followed by RE-KAGED post workout (around 4 pm) and then another lighter meal in the evening.
If the events at breakfast, you basically do a reverse fast. Upon waking you will wait a couple of hours until the event and eat a majority of your calories here. This will likely keep you full for several hours. In the afternoon as you are becoming hungry you can top up with a protein shake, this will also re-stimulate Muscle Protein Synthesis. As you approach the evening, you can have a smaller, high protein low energy dense meal. This could be meat or fish with plenty of vegetable and some low energy dense carbohydrates. After the last meal in the early evening, you can fast for 2-4 hours before sleep, which will obviously continue the fast until the next day.
|Morning-10 am||10-11 am||3 pm||7-8 pm|
|Fast||Feast, Relax and Enjoy Yourself.||Protein Shake||Low Cal, High Protein Meal|
If you wish to train following a morning event, I recommend doing this around lunchtime. You will have plenty of energy and nutrients from the large meal; however, wait a couple of hours, as a large meal needs time to digest. If you have time, another option is to train in the morning before the event, this would also work great. Pre-workout, some BCAA and other regular pre workouts supplements can be used, like the ingredients in PRE-KAGED. Following this workout you can have the protein shake like RE-KAGED as described above, this can then be followed by another meal in the early evening.
Remember, the use of fasting and overeating in one meal is just a short-term tool, we are not recommended this long term. However, it can be applied in future, say once a week when dining out or having a cheat meal. The majority of the time, you should obviously focus on a primarily whole food based diet, eating about 3-6 normal meals per day.