INTERMITTENT FASTING: What Sam Wood wants you to know
IT'S the hottest trend at the moment, and the benefits of intermittent fasting have proven to go beyond just your average weight loss. So who better to ask about the hottest trend than Aussie's hottest new-dad on the block?
According to the man who swept us all away back in '15 with his cheerful grin, compassionate character, and toned bod, intermittent fasting is THE key to helping you break all your bad eating habits.
"I think we tend to eat too late at night so intermittent fasting can be a really fast way to stop midnight snacking," Sam Wood tells myBody+Soul.
But never fear, he's not talking about fasting for days without food, or even the celeb-fave 5:2 diet where you fast for two days of the week and eat like nobody's business the other five. Instead, he's referring to simply eating a little earlier at night and holding off from scoffing down brekkie the second your alarm goes off in the morning.
"A lot of us could benefit without needing to turn our lives upside down from that kind of 16:8 or even 14:10 philosophy where you eat dinner a little but earlier, you don't snack on any sweet foods after dinner and then depending on logistics and lifestyle, you don't have to have breakfast immediately after waking up.
"It's pretty realistic for most people to have dinner at 6 o'clock and not have breakfast until 8 o'clock."
Sounds pretty simple to us, too.
Why intermittent fasting gets "a big tick" from Sam is not only because it stops him from "going to the fridge and getting that chocolate after dinner", but because unlike other fad diets, you don't actually have to starve yourself during the day, which according to Sam, is one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to intermittent fasting.
"The biggest mistake people make is when they intermittent fast, they actually skip meals, but the whole point of intermittent fasting is that you still have three quality nutrient dense meals - you just have those three quality dense meals within a smaller window."
Let us repeat that: quality nutrient dense meals, which unfortunately is not code word for 'stuff your face with endless amounts of pizza and cheese before 6pm hoping that it'll keep you satisfied till breakfast.'
What Sam does advise is that you ditch everything you know about extreme dieting (because let's face it, it's never going to last), and instead, focus on sustainability, and making sure to move most days, which is also key to helping shred those extra kilos.
"You have to acknowledge it's a combination of food and exercise. A lot of people are focusing only on one and neglecting the other, which is the reason why people aren't succeeding when it comes to weight loss. They tend to be really good in one department and not in the other and get frustrated that they're going around in circles."
Sam also warns that another red flag that often leads to diet blowouts is disregarding balance.
"Consistency is far more important than volume when it comes to training, so you don't need to spend an hour and a half in the gym but you do need to move most days.
"Seven 30-minute workouts is not the same as one three and a half workout and then six days off - you need to get that minute-for-minute thing out of your head and just be more consistent."
Hmmm consistency is a big Struggle Street now that winter is here. However, the fitness influencer has three big tips that he guarantees will help you get through the next few chilly months without finding yourself hitting the snooze button every morning and giving into the world of carb-loaded comfort foods.
Sam's top tips for keeping the winter weight off
1. Forget the term 'winter weight'
"The best tip is to keep moving and not hibernate. The biggest mistake people make is that people write winter off - it becomes a bit of an attitudinal thing where we decide that over winter we'll put a few kilos on, but you're always better off trying to manage it through winter and not put it on in the first place."
2. Consider different workout options
"Make sure you're committing to things that you know you're going to do rather than what you're not going to do. If you hate the outdoors and hate the cold then you're probably not going to change yourself, and maybe indoor workouts or something different is a better option for you.
"If you do train outside, layering is really important."
3. Healthy foods are still available in winter, you know
"We tend to eat bigger portions and tend to eat heavier calorie dense foods because it's cold and miserable and that's all we want to do, but portions size becomes really important.
"You can still have delicious health winter salads and soups. Just because it's winter, it doesn't mean you can't have a healthy smoothie or salad. Your diet should fluctuate according to what foods are in season but you shouldn't completely throw your healthy eating philosophy out of the window just because it's winter."