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Calum's Diet & Training Insights - Part 1

8th January 2019
I basically opted for an ‘Intermittent Fasting’ (IF) diet around September 2018, during which I trained 6/7 days per week but only ate Lunch and Dinner (there was no snacking at all, so super strict). A before and after pic was posted when I signed up to Alba Sports Nutrition (see previous Blog Post), this was taken around 3 months into the diet. I was overwhelmed with the widespread praise that I received online (after posting the before and after pics) and moreover, having people saying to me that I had truly inspired them and asking me what my secrets were etc made me extremely proud of my achievements. Not only have I had friends, family and work colleagues complement me regularly on my newly acquired sculpted physique, but my 3-month clean bill of health has also increased my cognitive function, helping me excel at work and in general life tasks.

The general concept behind IF is that you are in a calorie deficit because you literally skip one of your main meals (per day), whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. I opted, as mentioned above, to skip breakfast as my major cardio/lung bursting sessions were in the early evenings (of Tuesdays and Thursday when doing Muay Thai), so having lunch late in the afternoon fuelled me up well for this intense workout early evening. I opted for a 16/8 regime, i.e. I fasted 16 hours per day and ate within an 8-hour window. I did not deviate from this regime for a solid 3-months and consumed no fizzy drinks, alcohol or comfort foods/snacks during this time. With sensible training during IF you will, in general terms, release more growth hormone which, in turn, will shift your fuel metabolism from burning food TO BURNING FAT!

Depending on your end goals (as I keep saying, I went ruthless with this regime as I am an elite athlete and wanted to become a lean mean fighting machine) you can choose/attempt to eat slightly or much healthier than normal with either relaxation of the IF regime at weekends (to have a life) or NOT. Caveat, a ruthless IF regime over a 3-month period does require high levels of self-discipline, mental toughness and inner focus/determination which without doubt my 25-year competitive karate career has instilled in me, but it was still tough at times.

My point is, that this type of strict IF regime isn’t for everyone. That said, a certain degree of common sense is needed if undergoing this regime. For example, an individual undergoing the IF regime that does a lot of cardio early in the mornings should, in my opinion probably be having breakfast (for body fuel) and then lunch but skipping dinner in the evenings. In summary, a methodical approach is required to compose the IF regime bearing in mind your daily schedules/routines/workouts/ so it can be tailored around these accordingly. Furthermore, the IF ‘window’ can even be ‘tightened’ to 18/6 i.e. 18 hours of fasting and only a 6-hour window of eating (I did this the odd day here and there) or conversely ‘loosened’ to for example 14/10 i.e. 14 hours of fasting and a 10-hour window of eating. I advise trialling what works/suits you best, bearing in mind your own levels of self-discipline

In the next part I will give a general outline of my typical weekly workout during my 16/8 IF Diet Regime. This took me 3 hard weeks to adjust to then I obtained ‘tunnel vision’ and set small achievable goals which I achieved regularly, which in turn helped sustain good levels of moral during my IF journey, which can be a lonely road at times (which I touched on earlier). 

Follow both Calum and Alba Sports Nutrition on their journey by adding us on Instagram.


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