Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where you switch between periods of eating and fasting. You are still able to eat a normal amount of food, but in a smaller time frame, which is called your 'eating window.' It is a healthy way towards your weight loss.
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and insulin levels by 20–31%
Reduces risk of inflammation
Reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood sugar.
Increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells
How long should I fast for?
There are a few Variations on intermittent fasting which include alternative-day fasting, in which people eat normally one day and under 500 calories the next; 18:6, referring to fasting for 18 hours a day and eating within a six-hour window; or one meal a day, or OMAD for short.
Occasional longer fasts, which should be done under the supervision of a doctor if one is diabetic, for example, would see even more pronounced effects, which, in addition to weight loss, can include mental clarity and a detox process called autophagy.
Personally, I try my best ( I’m not perfect and that’s ok! ) to do a 16:8 method. I would suggest starting at 12-14 hour fast for the first week and work your way up from there. So, let's say I finish dinner at 7pm. I would then fast until 11 am the next day. (16 hours of fasting, and then you have from 11-7 to eat, 8 hours). Coffee, water, and tea are allowed, with a little bit of milk but try to avoid. (I use unsweetened almond milk). The first week might be tough to get used to skipping breakfast if you’re used to waking up and eating, but that is just adjusting your mind and tricking it to push it back an hour or two. I promise you, your body adapts pretty quickly.
When should I workout while doing Intermittent Fasting?
I try my best to workout before breaking my fast. There is lots of research on the benefits of burning more fat by depleting glycogen storages, which you can only do if you give your digestive system a break from insulin which comes from eating, and getting to fat storage ( but that’s for another day). This doesn’t mean you can’t workout after a meal, I have done that plenty of times, but please don’t be scared of working out without eating a meal beforehand. Pay attention to how you feel physically and mentally, you might even feel better!
What does a day doing Intermittent Fasting look like?
To start your day, eat a MEAL (not a snack) at 11 am that’s ideally high fat, moderate protein, low carb. When you are hungry you eat again. I tend to have another relatively smaller or lighter meal or some snacks around 2-3pm, then find myself snacking around 5:30/6. Eat dinner around 7 pm, you can even have some dark chocolate to finish (treat yo self!). All of the food is in your time of 8 hours so naturally you will probably consume less calories because you know you can only eat within that time. TRY YOUR BEST TO EAT MEALS UNTIL FULL.
What if my schedule doesn’t always allow for Intermittent Fasting?
You can definitely change up your hours depending on what works for you. That’s the greatest thing about fasting. If you NEED breakfast then eat at 8 am, and stop eating around 4 or 5 pm. (still an 8 hour window with a 15-16 hour fast). If you have a girls weekend and are going out to brunch, don’t drive yourself crazy! It’s okay to say F it and start Monday with a fast and boom! back in business! If you have a late dinner at 9 pm, no problem just push your hours back the next day. Get what I’m throwin down? You don’t have to do it everyday. Start 3-4 days a week and build up from there. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Incorporating IF with your lifestyle is really important. Make sure you don’t let it be the driven force to how you are scheduling your days or social events. Intermittent Fasting is an added tool to shed some belly fat, feel less bloated, and naturally consume less calories. Focus on eating REAL foods, nix the processed meats, the packaged goods, limit SUGAR, buy organic when you can, fill up on veggies and fruit, and don’t be scared of meat (as long as it's grass fed or organic).
Give Intermittent Fasting a go for two weeks and I promise you, you’ll start to feel better and see some results.
If you have any questions or need some more guidance leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to guide you. HAPPY FASTING!