Intermittent Fasting. It’s TIME To Make A Change
There are thousands of differing opinions out there on diet and nutrition. It is so challenging to sift through them all and try to figure out which one will actually work for you. While what you put into your body is EXTREMLY important, it is also very important to consider when you are putting it in. Some suggest eating within 30 minutes of waking up while others say it doesn’t matter. I am always looking for commonalities between people who I look to for #Fitspiration and this is one thing I have seen time and time again.
You know I am totally against fad diets offering rapid results, but this is different. I’m not going to tell you to ditch carbs or do some extreme calorie cutting. It’s not like that. Simply tightening up our eating schedule can make a world of difference. I’m talking about Fasting. Okay, don’t jump ship yet…If you are a food lover like me, the thought of fasting might be a little scary, but it’s something we already do… It’s just usually called SLEEPING.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Intermittent Fasting is basically the idea that you eat within an 8 (men)- 10 (women) hour window in order to give your body longer periods of “fasting” time. I’m sure you have heard that you shouldn’t eat past 7pm or to stop eating 2 hours prior to bed time and while there is definitely some truth to that, focusing less on what specific times you eat and more on when you don’t eat is the key. The science here is that when your body isn’t working to digest food (during the fasting period) it is actually able to burn stored fat as fuel. An article in Men’s Health adds that it “works on a cellular level and triggers the energy centers of the body’s cells (mitochondria) to selectively burn fat for energy. This method is also said to reduce the amount of cancer-causing cell damage that is often caused by a crappy diet. Double bonus! So think about it… If you are working out, eating right and on a better eating schedule, you’re going to be a lean mean fit machine!
Here’s the deal. It can take 6+ hours for your body to really digest food and during this time it is difficult for your body to burn into fat storage as it tends to instead burn the readily available sugar. It isn’t until about 8-12hrs after eating that your body goes into a “fasting” stage where it can really utilize the fat. So…giving yourself a 14-16 hr window of not eating will give you time to actually benefit from it.
Like all things you have to learn what works for you. I am a true believer in self-experimentation. Does it make sense for you? What do you need to adjust. Start eating later? Finish Earlier? Can you make it a lifestyle? You won’t know unless you try, but it just might be what you need to change your life.
Simple Steps To Intermittent Fasting:
- Look at your schedule.
- Give yourself an 8-10hr window of time to eat within
- Eat the same normal, healthy amount you do now. Fasting does NOT mean you can eat whatever you want during that time. You still should be eating the same meals you would throughout the day.
- Know it might take some getting used to. If you currently eat sporadically between 6am and 8pm your body is probably going to wonder what is going on. Drink water or tea during the times you feel like you want something outside of your hours especially as you retrain your bodies internal food clock
My Tips For Success:
During my weight loss journey I tried so many tricks, but for me, intermittent fasting has been the most beneficial and practical for my schedule. Here are a few things to consider if you give it a try.
- Don’t Get Crazy! You don’t have to be on the exact schedule every day: For example, if I know I have a late dinner I will adjust my start time to later in the day to make it work.
- Listen to your body! Of course the first week your head is going to be saying “feed me it’s 7am” and you will have to ignore it, but once you are into your groove, really pay attention. You might have a day where your body is telling you you need to eat and that’s ok. Just do it. One wonderful part of this style of fasting is that it really teaches you to learn the difference between when you want food and when you’re actually need food to fuel your body.
- It’s NOT a Means to an End! This isn’t a quick fix diet or a way for you to lose those 10lbs and then stop. It really is a way of life. I’m not saying it is right for everyones lifestyle, but it might just be what you are missing in yours. You will still have plenty of energy for workouts and should make sure what you are putting into your body is going to nourish and fuel you properly.
Let me know in the comments if you are going to be giving this a try! Again, not everything will work for everybody, but I am confidently say it has helped me and others I respect in the fitness community. There is a TON of information out there that goes into more detail about all of the random health benefits of fasting. It’s pretty fascinating how a simple change in your schedule can completely change how your body functions. Just remember, like everything we do consistency is key!