The 2 Meal Day: No Calorie Restriction, Eating Real Food
Unfortunately, people think that intermittent fasting is a magic pill that will solve all their problems. Yes, it is an incredibly effective tool to take control of your health but it won’t cancel out eating a diet full of processed foods and sugar. When following The 2 Meal Day it is even more important to nourish your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods. When you are in the fasted state, your body starts to break down damaged components and then uses them for energy, this process cleans and heals the body. It also means your body becomes more sensitive to the food you eat, this is great if it’s full of nutrients to nourish the body, but not good if you are eating crap.
Eat Real Food
My food philosophy is simple: eat locally sourced, seasonal foods full of nutrients. In other words, eat real food. The body is not designed to constantly digest food and once you start eating foods that nourish your body you quickly realise that you don’t need to eat every three to four hours. You begin to recognise what real hunger feels like, empowering yourself with the ability to become self-sufficient. You will never be a slave to mealtimes again!
Our bodies are naturally fat-burning machines, but because of clever marketing and an abundance of food-like products, we have become dependent on sugar to supply us with energy. Eating ‘little and often’ or ‘grazing’ has become the social norm feeding the myth that it keeps the metabolism firing. Unfortunately, we are encouraged to snack in between meals by companies creating products which are cheap, nutrient sparse and highly processed.
Real food is a simple concept; essentially, it’s what nature has given us: plants, fruits, roots, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, milk and its by-products such as cheese and yogurt. Real food is kept as close to its natural state as possible. It comes from animals that have led healthy, happy lives and that haven’t been pumped full of hormones, steroids and antibiotics which are all transferred into the food chain. It should be minimally processed, not man-made and it certainly shouldn’t have a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Put simply, if we weren’t eating it 200 years ago, it probably doesn’t qualify as real food.
READ – Why Fast? What’s it all about?
A big factor in the current obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemic is that many of us are not eating real food anymore. Instead, we are eating food-like products that may have started out as real food, but for the purposes of shelf life and/or profit have gone through processes that destroy the little nutritional value they may have once had. These include things like cereal, cereal bars, crisps, biscuits, fizzy drinks, chocolate bars to name a few. We haven’t evolved to digest these food-like products and they are causing us to become fat, sick and addicted to sugar.
Eating real food is fundamental to the 2 Meal Day philosophy. Other intermittent fasting methods do not put this emphasis on the quality of food, and this is exactly why I created my own method.
Start looking at food in terms of its nutritional content rather than calorific value (often the healthiest real foods contain the most calories). Since you will be eating two meals rather than three, it is crucial that the foods you eat are packed full of nutrients
It is NOT Calorie Restriction
An issue can sometimes arise when people confuse T2MD with calorie restriction. Let me say now, T2MD has NOTHING to do with calorie restriction or starvation. By eating two larger meals and one optional snack you are aiming to eat the same amount of food (or more), just in a smaller time period. The idea is to teach yourself to listen to your body and understand your feelings of hunger and satiety.
I am now training six times per week following an Olympic Lifting program, my hunger levels have definitely increased, so I am eating more at meal times. I eat anywhere between 2200-3500 calories per day, whilst maintaining at least a 16 hour fast every day.
This is the beauty of IF and why it ends up become a sustainable way of life for so many people. You eat two big satisfying meals full of delicious food and can still end up losing weight and boosting energy levels.
All the amazing benefits from T2MD are from extending your nightly fast by a few extra hours, that’s it! By doing this you are essentially hitting a lot of “reset” buttons in the body – your hunger hormones normalise, you start to use body fat as a form of energy and you can switch on your bodies innate cleansing and healing properties as well as decrease the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, metabolic disease and obesity.