I am a 20 year-old muscular female, 5'3" at about 125 pounds. I am hoping to decrease my body fat % by a few points to lean out my look.
I'm thinking of starting an IF program, 16/8 while of course continuing my Paleo lifestyle. My training includes: 5 days/wk dancing of low-medium intensity for about 4hrs/day, 3hrs/wk of brisk walking, and 2days/wk of self-resistance training.
My worries are that I will find it hard to eat my largest meal at the start of the 8hrs because that's mid-day for me and dancing on a full stomach is difficult and uncomfortable. But, if that's the best timing for eating, etc. I will just deal with the full feeling.
Do you think an IF plan will yield my desired results? Any tips or advice to go about this? And any changes or tweaks to make to my training/eating to help me be successful?
asked byDancer (187)
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on March 19, 2012
at 11:34 AM
You aren't specifically required to eat the largest meal of the day as your first meal during an IF protocol. In fact, generally it is recommended to get the largest meal of the day post-workout. I'd save the largest meal of the day for after your dancing, training, and walking.
If you read the leangains guide Martin Berkhan says that he recommends to eat the largest meal as the first meal on rest days.
On rest days, meal one should ideally be the largest meal, as opposed to training days where the post-workout meal is the largest meal. A good rule of thumb is to make meal one on rest days at least 35-40% of your daily calorie intake. This meal should be very high in protein; some of my clients consume more than 100 g of protein in this meal.
He has stated in another post that if you prefer your largest meal as dinner on rest days that is still fine.
tl;dr; You don't have to, and probably shouldn't, eat your biggest meal of the day before your dancing.
on March 19, 2012
at 12:25 PM
I personally dance around three times a week and IF so I can comment with some level of knowledge although I only dance in the evenings, but lets see...
Are you dancing through a block of four hours at midday? If that is the case I think it may be too much for you to fast from bedtime through the morning and then those four hours. That would then only be eating around 15:00/16:00 after class right? I don't think this would be optimal.
I am lead to believe (after reading a number of articles), that eating after muscle activity is going to be most beneficial for growth, nutritional uptake and fat burning. So in my mind I think what would work for you is to eat a well nutritionally planned breakfast giving yourself enough time before you dance, then dance fasted and then eat another well planned meal (your largest nutritionally) afterwards and shift your fast to begin before bedtime and through the night ending at breakfast again. Depending on what time you workout (I guess you do in the same day as dancing), aim to eat again afterwards within an hour of the training, but hopefully early enough to keep a longer window of fasting from bedtime until breakfast.
In my mind this seems to be the best method of keeping a large window, but also not messing up with the dancing or with energy levels.
One other thing, I really dance so much better when I get enough protein in the day/week. The recommended that is quoted is: 0.5g to 0.7g of protein per pound (1.0g to 1.5g of protein per kg) of body weight. 1 standard can of tuna-fish is 25g of protein, which gives you a quick ingredient.
Ideally a longer period of IF is apparently most beneficial. If you were to get 16 hours in as prescribed by Martin Berkhan you would eat your last meal around 21:00 and the break the fast at 13:00 the next day. Since you are dancing from 09:00 - 13:00 I am not sure this would be most optimal and possibly put you under more stress than is beneficial.
If you really want to fast on your dance days then you could possibly try this which gives you a rough eleven hours fasted window, (if we assume the body is still fed two hours after the eating window cut-off at 19:00):
07:30 - 08:30: Eating window (Medium) 09:00 - 13:00: Dance 13:00 - 14:00: Eating window (Small) 14:00 - 17:00: Dance 17:00 - 19:00: Eating window (Largest)
So basically aim to have the majority of your day's nutrition after your last dance session, and try not to eat after 19:00. But make your goal being a stronger fitter dancer, not weight loss. The last thing you want is to slip into eating below your nutritional needs by skipping meals and not eating enough when you do eat.
Have a play with something like http://cronometer.com/ once or twice with a few of your normal meal choices, just so you can see if you are getting enough nutrition, and adjust accordingly. Then don't stress about weighing and measuring, just keep in mind the kind of things you need to include in your day.
Worth reading: Paleo Diet for Athletes (Cliff Notes). Cordain an Friel talk about ratios of:
Protein: 20% Fat....: 30% Carb...: 50%
So as a very rough guide if you were to have the standard recommended calories of 2000kcal per day:
Protein: 100g (about 300g steak). Fat....: 110g (about 5 tablespoons of butter). Carb...: 150g (about 3.5 cups of sweet potato).
But the main thing is that you need to play around and find out what works best for you. It does not need to be an exact science and the examples I give above are just rough values.
Try a couple of days at this ratio (20:30:50), and possibly shift things around depending on how you feel and perform.
All the best!