Are you someone who engages in physically demanding work and has been told that intermittent fasting is not an option for you? Time to bust that myth!
Intermittent fasting can actually be a great strategy for improving your health and achieving your weight loss goals, even with a physically exhausting job.
In this blog post, we’ll show you why and provide you with the best tips to combine your work routine with your fasting lifestyle.
Why people with physically demanding jobs should practice intermittent fasting
The believe that intermittent fasting is not suitable for people doing manual labour is quite ironic – because it’s actually one of the most flexible eating styles!
It can be customized to fit pretty much any job and work routine and while it may require some adjustments, it is possible to practice it in a way you still have enough energy to perform a physically strenuous job.
Here are 3 important things to keep in mind if you want to practice intermittent fasting while doing a physically demanding job:
- It’s important to know that intermittent fasting doesn’t have to involve a calorie deficit. Rather, it’s about planning your meals in a way that allows you to stick to your fasting and eating periods. That means even when you’re fasting, you can use your eating window to meet your calorie needs. This will leave you with enough energy to get your job done.
- Timing is everything. If you feel like you can’t manage your working hours without eating, you don’t have to. You can align your eating window with your work schedule, for example, by starting your eating period before or during your shift.
- There are different fasting schedules to choose from, and you can experiment with different plans to find one that works for you. Some people may find that a shorter fasting period, such as a 14-10 schedule, works best for their needs, while others may prefer a longer fasting period, such as a 16-8 or 18-6. Generally speaking, longer fasting periods are not necessarily better and more effective. Shorter periods are also beneficial for your health and progress.
The best fasting tips for people with physically demanding jobs
If you have a job that involves a lot of physical activity, it’s important to make sure that you’re still getting enough calories and nutrients to support your energy levels and overall health.
Here are some effective tips to build your fasting routine:
1. Choose an appropriate fasting schedule
There are several fasting schedules you can choose from, such as 16-8, where you fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8-hour window. Depending on your work schedule and activity level, you can adjust the schedule by shifting periods, for example. 14-10 or 12-12 are also good options because they leave enough time to meet your calorie needs.
In the BodyFast app, you can choose from over 50 fasting plans and adapt them to your daily routine at any time. That way, you stay super flexible.
Important: lf intermittent fasting is new to you, take it slowly so that your body can get used to the change. It will soon feel natural to you to eat less often.
2. Time your meals wisely
Another effective tip is to time your meals to ensure that you are getting enough calories and nutrients to support your physical activity. For example, you might want to eat your largest meal shortly before your shift or during your break so that you have enough energy to get through your workday.
3. Prep your meals
When it comes to eating it’s not only about the “when” but also about the “what”. Planning your meals ahead of time can help ensure that you have nutrient rich and energizing options available and don’t resort to grabbing foods that can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes when you’re short on time. Lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs are all great choices. Consider meal prepping on your days off so you can pack your meals for work.
You can find suitable meal prep ideas in the BodyFast app.
4. Stay hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during your work shift. Let the BodyFast app calculate the perfect water amount for you and use the app’s tracking option to hit your water goal.
5. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is not only important for your performance at work, it’s also an important factor for your fasting success. Make sure to prioritize sleep and aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Also shifting a large part of your fasting period to your bedtime is a good tactic to combine IF with your busy work schedule.
We have summarized the best sleeping tips for you here.
6. Listen to your body
Finally, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your fasting schedule or eating habits as needed. If you find that you are feeling fatigued or have low energy levels, you may need to adjust your schedule or make changes to your diet to ensure that you are getting enough calories and nutrients.
Also, don’t hesitate to break your fasting period early if you ever don’t feel well while fasting at work.
Why you should start intermittent fasting if you do manual labour
As you can see, you can still absolutely enjoy the benefits of fasting even if your job is physically demanding as long as you time your fasting periods wisely and make sure to eat enough and the right things in your eating period.
The best strategy is to make some of your eating happen either right before, or during your work day to keep your energy levels high and prevent you from “hitting the wall” and feeling sluggish.
And look at it from that side: Fasting itself can actually feel easier at work, because you’re busy and distracted. There’s no time to think about hunger 😉
Ready to find the fasting routine that fits your work schedule? Get your personalized plan, delicious recipes tailored to your fasting lifestyle, supportive weekly tasks, daily motivational Coachings, and more in the BodyFast app.
2 thoughts on “How to Fast with a Physically Demanding Job”
I am a stress eater at work. I am a RN with a very stressful job. I hardly eat at all when I am at home. Any words of wisdom?
Hi Tracy, we wrote a blog article about how to stop emotional eating with intermittent fasting. If you want, you can check it out here: https://www.bodyfast.app/en/stop-emotional-eating/. It may contain some valuable tips for you. If you need any more help or have any questions, feel free to write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy BodyFasting! 😊