I figured we’d start the New Year’s off right with a little guide to intermittent fasting. You’ll find a meal plan, some twists and turns to make it your own, and of course – the shopping list!
So, why intermittent fasting? Well there’s a number of reasons why. The first (and biggest for most) is that it can help you get over weight loss plateau’s. Down to those last couple of pounds, or been stuck at the same number for weeks? Give this a try.
It’s also shown to boost mental clarity and give more focus during the day. Doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with that, does there?
For a more in depth look at intermittent fasting, you can head over to the more scientific post I did on it over here.
Finding Your Macros
First thing’s first. We need to find our macros and see how many calories, fats, protein, and carbs we should eat per day. I have put together a “keto calculator” that makes it easy. Below is a picture tutorial to walk you through everything and explain what is going on.
First we need to put in your total weight. If you put in your weight in pounds, it will automatically calculate your weight in kilograms. If you put your weight in kilograms, it will automatically convert it to pounds. You only need to fill in 1 of the boxes here.
Once you put your weight in, you also need to put your body fat in. If you don’t know your body fat, you can visually estimate it. Do yourself a favor and don’t lie to yourself here.
I’ve seen a lot of people lie to themselves and they end up not eating enough calories. While some of us may think that’s a good thing, you can actually do more harm than good over time. Remember those diets that end up making us gain all the weight back afterwards? That’s what we don’t want!
The next set of boxes will show you your BMR and TEF. This is how many calories you burn, per day, at an absolute minimum. Just for sitting, breating, and eating. You don’t really have to pay attention to this, but some people like to know everything behind the calculations – so I included it.
Now, I will assume that most of us here are sedentary. If that’s the case, then leave the check mark on sedentary.
If that’s not the case, change your activity level to the one that sounds most like you. Again, don’t lie to yourself here. If you do, it will have negative consequences.
Exercise…the big E. I will continue to assume that most of us here are sedentary. So, you can just leave it to “No” and move on.
Now, if you do exercise, change the drop down box to a “Yes”. Another table will show up where you can input your daily activity. Try to be as accurate as possible here! If you don’t measure your caloric burning through a heart rate monitor, then you can estimate. When you estimate, though, try to make it as good a guess as possible – don’t just put numbers of what you think you did. You can normally find the “average” calories burned for a certain exercise on Google.
This is the part where we find out how many calories total, per day, we should be eating. The box at the top where you can put in a percent is the amount of calories over or under your daily caloric needs. If you want to lose weight, try 15-20%. The more overweight you are, the higher you can go with the percentages. Though, I do not advise to go over 30%. Keep the check box for “Lose Weight” checked and now you have your total calories.
If you want to gain weight, try 10%. Change the checked box from “Lose Weight” to “Gain Mass”. If you’re working out and want to gain mass, you will need to have a surplus of calories for your muscles to properly grow and repair.
Now for the fun part. Protein. If you’re sedentary like most of us, you can drop your protein intake ratio from the default 0.8 to 0.6. The box will go red, but don’t worry about it. This calculator was initially made to aid people in gaining mass.
If you’re looking to gain mass, or even if you just work out, you want to consider the ranges of 0.8 – 1.1. If you’re just doing the average amount of exercise, and no strength training, keep it at default. However, if you are doing intense workouts of weight lifting, go toward the range of 0.9 – 1.
Everything has been filled out and we’re on our way to find out exactly how much of everything we need! You should see your results displayed for you. Write these down! If you use MyFitnessPal, then write your new macros into your settings so that they get saved.
Now, keep in mind that you might need to eat a decent amount of calories here. You might need to eat 2,000 calories or even 1,800. When you start intermittent fasting, eating 1800 calories in 1 meal is pretty difficult. That’s why we start off by only skipping 1 meal a day, then progress into skipping 2 meals a day.
Food List for Grocery Store
This is 2 weeks worth of food. The ingredients listed is enough to make the full 2 weeks and some leftovers. The meal plan is listed below, but you need to be aware that depending on your needed calories, you will need to make more, or less. I give a round estimate of how much I personally make.
Most of the recipes I list are pretty savable. You can freeze leftovers and use them in the following week when we turn the fasting into a more intense approach.
- 3 lb. Ground Beef
- 5 Chorizo Sausages
- 2 Italian Sausages
- 2 Cans Pre-cooked Chicken Breast
- 4 Full Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (4 halves)
- 7 Slices Ham
- 16 Slices Bacon
- 22 Large Eggs
- 15 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 15 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Oil
- 14 Tbsp. Grass Fed Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
If you have preference to another fat, you can choose it over the ones I use.
- 4 1/2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
- 4 Cups Cheddar Cheese
- 4 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
- 10 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Oz. Bleu cheese
- 18 Tbsp. Creamed Spinach Dip
- 1 Medium Green Pepper
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1 Head Cauliflower
- 7 Cups Spinach
- 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
- 2 Small Scallions
If you’re not a fan of spinach, choose something that you’re more likely to eat. Broccoli, cauliflower, or kale are good choices.
- 2 Cups Almond Flour
- 1/2 Cup Erythritol
- 1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
- 14 Cups Coffee
- 1 Bag of Pork Rinds
- 4 Tbsp. Sugar Free Ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
- 12-15 toothpicks
Go for the pork rinds that are light and airy. We’ll be grinding these up and you want nice light consistency, not hard and dense.
Grinding your own coffee beans usually yields a better cup of coffee, so try to get some nice organic coffee in your diet.
- 2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
- 3 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 5 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp. Chili Powder
- 2 tsp. Cumin
- 1 tsp. Ginger
You’re welcome to add more spices to your food, cayenne pepper, more salt and pepper, or paprika.
I do realize that you can’t go to the store and buy only 3 tsp. of kosher salt, or only 7 cups of spinach. You have to decide what will be right for you, and maybe you’ll end up buying a bit more than you need – but don’t worry. We can use the leftovers later on!
Now, keep in mind that this is soley for the single dishes we will be having. You’ll need to make sides, such as steamed broccoli with a cheese sauce. Keep that in mind when you’re buying – but I don’t know your preferences for vegetables. Choose as you wish, and choose sauces or ingredients for sauces that you could put with the vegetables.
Ideas: creamed spinach, butter roasted asparagus, butter fried green beans, broccoli with cheese sauce, cauliflower with cheese sauce, or a light salad with heavy dressing.
Breakfast – Bulletproof Coffee
A mixture of oil, fat, and coffee to keep your fueled for the day. Here’s the recipe for Bulletproof Coffee.
So, why bulletproof coffee? It gets your metabolism to a great start, feeding it caffeine and fats that will start your day off right.
Now, keep in mind that we are loading up with fats here. We’re not taking in any protein for the day. We need to keep that in mind when we go to eat dinner, making it protein rich, as we we’ll still need to hit our macros.
Lunch – Water, Tea, & Black Coffee
Just drink your favorite thing, as long as you are drinking plenty. I aim for just over a gallon of water a day, or 4 litres to be more precise.
As your kidneys get used to processing the water, and your bladder gets used to the increase in the amount of water you’re intaking – you won’t have to go to the bathroom as much. I know it can be troublesome for the first 2 weeks to drink that much water, but it’s extremely good for you to do so.
Dinner – Follow Meal Plan Below
Add cheese/butter/dressings/oils to bulk calories. This is the tricky part. We need to get that protein that our bodies need and we haven’t had for the entire day. Think meat here. Chicken is great because it’s high in protein and not high in fat.
We can get fats from plenty of side items, sauces, dressings, and even straight from the spoon. If you need to extra fats, just add more cheese, add a knob of butter, or make a side salad and dress it with a high fat dressing and some olive oil.
Snacks? No snacks!
No snacking! Well, not really, but try to stay away from it as much as you can. You want your body to go into a fasting state, but if you’re snacking then you interrupt the process.
Snacking shows that it leads to hunger, so it’s best to not do it if possible. That being said, you can snack on some nuts if you feel like you absolutely have to. If you do end up taking a handful of nuts, make sure that it’s only once and not throughout the entire day.
So, we’re looking for a meal plan here. I’ve put together the meal plan for weeks 1 and 2. I think most people would enjoy this type of food, so that’s why I picked it. Not to mention, there’s some of my favorites here.
If you’re strapped for time, you can always make all of this food on the weekend, shove it into tuppawares, and put them in the freezer. The MOST IMPORTANT part of this is to eat your food and have variety. When you don’t have variety, you start to get bored, and your mind wonders to other…sweet sweet places. That’s what we don’t want!
This is a general meal plan, not intended for exact use. You need to do some work here (sorry!) by calculating the amount of calories you need per day, and breaking it apart into what you should be eating. Remember that every day, you should be drinking Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast, so that takes away about 500-600 calories from your daily calorie intake.
Day 3: Bacon Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu with Salad of Spinach
Day 7: Eggceptional Sausage Keto Frittata with Side of Broccoli
Week 2 we will repeat the exact same thing as we had on week 1. If you have more leftovers of 1 thing than another, feel free to sub out the food for something you actually have. We don’t want to waste food here, but I also cook for more than 1 person.
Week 3 & 4
We’re going to start being more aggressive with our fasting here. We’ll turn it into a 21/3 fasting window, or an 18/6 fasting window. What do these numbers mean? Well 21/3 means 21 hours of fasting and 3 hours of eating, and 18/6 means 18 hours of fasting and 6 hours of eating.
We’re going to stop drinking Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast, and only be eating 1 meal a day. Instead of having your normal bulletproof coffee, just settle with a black coffee (or tea) with nothing else.
Lunch is going to be the same way as before. Tea, coffee, water, or whatever zero carb/fat/protein drink you want. Stay hydrated as you have been, and continue to try to aim for 1 gallon of water a day.
Remember, no snacking! We need to get more strict here and your metabolism should have started to get used to your fasting schedule. Try to avoid your snacking at all costs, creating a more strict environment for your body.
You can also keep your meals exactly the same, but just up the portions. That way you’re getting the needed calories but not having to do extra work.
If you choose to do dinner and a dessert, keep your macros in mind. Pick sweets that are high in fats, if your dinner is high in protein. Conversely, pick sweets that are high in protein if your dinner is high in fats. Be smart about it, and always keep your macros in mind.
If you need more fats, just like before you can add oils, dressings, cheese, butter, or whatever you need to in order to get to your macros.
Desserts are finicky things, and I don’t like making choices for people because usually with sweets everyone has their own special tastes they like.
My Favorite Desserts
Chocolate Cake in a Mug - This one is super simple, fast, and absolutely delicious. Holds a lot of calories, fats, and a decent amount of protein.
Macadamia Nut Brownies - Absolute treat that is stocked full of great fats and omega 3′s. A treat in itself, and makes for a fantastic dessert.
Cinnamon Roll Waffle - Honestly, I can’t eat the whole thing when I try to eat it for dessert, but you’re welcome to try your luck! It’s delicious, and gets rid of those cinnamon roll cravings I get every once in a while.
Lemon & Rosemary Shortbread - While not learning too far on the sweet side, I absolute adore these cookies. I can shove them into my mouth so fast, and eat the entire batch, even if I’m not hungry. They’re easy to eat, but you need to watch the carb counts.
I wish you the best of luck in 2014 and hope you make your goals happen! Remember to keep in touch. As always, I’d love to hear your progress, your thoughts, or your remarks about how you’re doing, how to make things better, or just to say hi!