If you’re trying to lose weight but not seeing any results, you may have considered Intermittent Fasting (IF). If so, what’s stopping you from trying it out? Maybe you think it sounds too hard or restrictive. Or maybe you’re not sure what to eat when you’re not fasting.
You’ve probably also heard of counting your macros and had similar thoughts – wow, that sounds like a lot of work!
But don’t be intimidated by either IF or macro counting. These are science-based approaches to weight loss that really work – and they also happen to work perfectly together.
If you’re looking for real results in your mission to lose weight, then you’re in the right place. This article brings together IF and macros to give you the tools you need for success.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is IF for weight loss and is it a diet plan?
- Which IF method is best for you, and how do you use it?
- How do you calculate your macros, and what can you eat?
After reading this article, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to start a successful weight loss journey and finally see the results you’ve been chasing.
And best of all, the macro calculator I recommend is the ultimate tool to make losing weight totally within your reach.
Is Intermittent Fasting a weight loss diet?
Intermittent fasting can be used for many different reasons, from losing weight to improving your overall health. But if weight loss is your primary goal, then IF is a powerful ally in your journey.
In fact, a study from 2015 found that people lost an average of 7% of their body weight and slashed up to 12 pounds of body fat while following an intermittent fasting schedule.
Many people use IF in conjunction with diets for weight loss, such as a low carb, ketogenic, paleo, or IIFYM diet.
Not sure which diet is right for you? Here’s a quick summary of each of these weight loss diets, all of which pair perfectly with IF.
- Low Carb Diet: With this diet, you’ll avoid eating things like pasta, bread, and sugary foods. Instead, you’ll focus on proteins and healthy fats.
- Ketogenic Diet: This is a very strict, very low carb diet, and according to at least one study, it’s excellent for weight loss.
- Paleo Diet: The idea behind the paleo diet is to eat like our ancient ancestors. Stick to veggies, fruits, nuts, and meats while avoiding grains.
- If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) Diet: This is a more laidback approach to dieting. Instead of restricting certain foods, you eat whatever foods you want, as long as they equal your daily macro allowances.
What are the different types of Intermittent Fasting?
There are a variety of Intermittent Fasting methods to choose from, depending on your lifestyle, goals, and experience with fasting. Here are the most popular varieties of intermittent fasting:
16/8 Intermittent Fasting (Leangains): This method of IF is one of the most basic ways to incorporate daily fasting into your life. Each day, you’ll have both a fasting window and an eating window. The most typical approach is to fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours.
However, for beginners, you can try fasting for a slightly shorter period (14 hours) and have a 10-hour eating window.
One Meal a Day (OMAD): With this approach, you would fast for 23 hours straight and then eat one large meal in a 1-hour window. If this seems a bit too extreme for you, the eating window can be expanded to either 2 or 4 hours.
This is a great plan for someone who wants to extend all those fasting benefits but just can’t fast for a full 24 hours.
Alternate Day: Just as the name suggests, this schedule of IF involves fasting every other day for a full 24 hours. On your fasted days, you can either completely restrict all food or allow yourself 500 calories or less. This is a more intense method of IF that’s probably best-suited to experienced fasters.
5:2: This method is similar to the Alternate Day method, but instead of fasting every other day, you fast 2 days each week and eat normally the remaining 5 days. And on your fasting days, you still get to eat about 500 calories, making this method much less restrictive (and easier to stick to!) than some of the other IF protocols.
Eat-stop-eat: This approach is almost identical to the 5:2 method. However, you can fast just one day per week if you wish with this method. In addition, on your fasting days, it’s recommended to restrict all food.
Warrior Diet: This isn’t technically an intermittent fast, but it does take some of the idea behind IF and implements them in a unique way. With this method, you eat very limited amounts of raw fruits and veggies during the day and then finish out the day with one big evening meal.
This is a great method for anyone who wants to dip a toe into IF without going all in right away. And it can still be very beneficial for weight loss.
What are macros, how do i use them and what can I eat while Intermittent Fasting?
I’ve mentioned macros a couple of times in this article – and you may be wondering, “What is a macro?”
It’s time to deep dive into macros and answer that very question because, if you’re trying to lose weight, counting your macros is an essential tool to help you reach your goals.
Macros is short for macronutrients – these are the basic components that make up all the food you eat and help you create energy. There are three macros:
- Fat (9 calories per gram)
- Protein (4 calories per gram)
- Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram)
Your body uses different macros for different purposes. Protein is primarily used to build muscle, while both fat and carbs can be used as energy sources.
To start counting macros, you need to have a basic understanding of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or TDEE. This tells you the total number of calories you burn in a day, and it takes into account things like your age, gender, current weight, activity level, and exercise intensity.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to eat fewer calories than your current TDEE. For example, you may want to start with a 20% calorie deficit.
Once you calculate your TDEE, you then apply the ratios of fat, protein, and carbs you should be eating based on your goals. Typical macro recommendations (based on this study) are as follows:
- Carbs: 45-65% of total calories
- Fats: 20-35% of total calories
- Proteins: 10-35% of total calories
However, these ratios assume you’re trying to maintain your current weight. By adjusting the ratios of macros you consume, you can accelerate your weight loss and see better results (and better body composition) than if you just count calories.
Not sure how to calculate your TDEE? Keep reading for more information on Eat This Much – an easy tool that takes out all the guesswork.
What can I eat?
The macros (and thus foods) you should eat depend on your goals. There are many different ways you can tweak your macro ratios depending on what you hope to accomplish and what diet plan you’re following.
For example, if you’re following a Keto Diet, you may want to consume about 70% fat, 25% protein, and only 5% carbs.
If you’re not sure what ratio of macros is right for you, don’t worry – Eat This Much has a macro calculator that does all the work for you!
Not only will it calculate the number of daily calories you should eat to lose weight, it will generate meal plans that balance your macros and even recipes to help you stay on track. Let’s take a closer look at this top-rated tool for weight loss.
What is the Eat This Much macro calculator?
If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool to keep you on track with the right foods, calories, and macros, then Eat This Much has you covered. Thanks to this amazing calculator and all the plan’s features, losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated – it basically does all the work for you.
At Eat This Much, you’ll find the free macros calculator and autopilot for your meal plans, which means maximum weight loss results with minimal effort.
Using the macro calculator is simple. You’ll answer a series of questions to get your TDEE. Then, based on your weight loss goals and diet type, the program will calculate the optimal macro ratio for you to get amazing results.
Plus, Eat This Much has several diet options – such as Keto and Paleo – that pair perfectly with intermittent fasting for weight loss. Check out the graphic below to get started with the calculator.
Once you’ve finished entering your info, the highly-qualified experts at Eat This Much do all the planning and preparing for you.
They send you a weekly grocery list, meal plans, and cooking instructions tailored to your TDEE and macro ratio. It’s like having a personal nutritionist on call 24/7!
Thanks to the awesome folks at Eat This Much, our readers have access to a free trial by entering coupon code: EXERCISEWITHSTYLE
It’s easy to see why Eat This Much is a vital tool that’s helped hundreds of thousands of users hit their goals. It integrates macro counting without any extra effort on your part, making weight loss easier than ever.
Enjoy your free trial – and watch the weight loss magic happen for you!
Founder of EWS. Research writer and test performance hacker, avid intermittent faster, and weight loss specialist. Improve your health and torch fat by clicking here and downloading FREE Intermittent Fasting guide for weight loss. (Testing NEW I-Fasting method, eBook & formulated tracking sheet available for download coming soon!)