Everyone is talking about intermittent fasting. Many of my clients have gotten huge success with this eating pattern. It seems to take the weight off fast. although it can be difficult and is an acquired lifestyle, my clients are happy.
What is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It's about when you eat and does not necessarily focus on what you eat but more of an eating pattern. Many have gotten really good results and quickly when combined with a healthy eating regiment. Throughout history humans fast regularly. It was said to have incredible health benefits. Prehistoric man ate a paleo/ keto type diet and the chemicals and hormones were non-existent.
With today's technology, and better hygienic practices, its easier then ever to nourish the body.
There are a few ways to do intermittent fasting. You can choose to eat during a giving period of time or choose not to eat in a given period of time. The most popular cycles are,
Eat within 8 hours of the day/not eat 16 hours of the day
Eat within 6 hours of the day/not eat 18 hours of the day
Eat within 4 hours of the day/not eat 20 hours of the day
Eat within 2 hours of the day/not eat 22 hours of the day
Although a bit extreme, it has wonderful health benefits. It is also important to eat to nourish your body not just for hunger. I have done 8 hours window of eating and 16 hours not eating and I lost so much weight without trying. When done with the keto diet it has amazing results and excellent health benefits. While on the fast (during your non eating hours) you cannot eat but you are allowed to drink from a limited beverage list. Obviously water is beverage of choice, Coffee, zero calorie beverages (no diet soda, the chemicals will take you out of the fast) and electrolyte beverages with zero carbs are your choices. I sometime add kombucha but with very low to no sugar. If you are properly getting your nutrients, the fast will be more tolerable. If there are any nutritional deficiencies your body will go through withdrawals from sugar and complex carbohydrates. Some of the common withdrawals are feeling weak, mood swings, feeling hotter than normal, irritable, and headaches. It is very important to consult with your doctor to make sure this is right for you and also to monitor your progress.
Not so popular intermittent fasting methods includes,
Not eating for one or two days out of the week.
Consuming 500 to 600 calories on two consecutive days of the week and then eat normal on the others.
I instruct my clients to do whats best for them, what fits in their lifestyle. It can be difficult to pull any of these methods off especially if you have a busy lifestyle. It all requires planning and developing a mindset to stay on track. I currently have a few clients that are fasting and I visit their homes and make healthy meals to be stored in the refrigerator. They always have a well balanced and nutritional meal to eat with whatever plan they are doing. I am a big advocate of meal prep. It saves time and it keeps you on track. After a long exhausting day the last thing anyone needs is to scramble to make or find food. Important note , eating a portioned controlled meal is ideal. Some people eat 2 meals during their 8 hour eating period. If working out and or even doing keto I recommend eating 3 portion controlled meals in the 8 hours eating period. Your body usually adjust and tells you what it needs.
Why is fasting so good?
Your body goes under adjustments or repair mode
Human Growth Hormone is increased
Improves insulin sensitivity
Reduction in inflammation
The general consensuses is during the non eating periods, the body has time to repair its' self. If you are getting the right vitamins and minerals, preferably from food, it's a win win. The gut is where the immune system is and a lot goes on in there. Fasting, eating raw and fermented vegetables is the best thing you can do for your system. Like anything, each person as to gravitate to what works for them.
After writing this article, I am realizing that it is time for me to get back on the intermittent fasting cycle. 2020 was interesting and I was not as efficient with eating like I usually am. I also found it difficult to source the foods I was accustomed to. I am happy that that's behind us and it time to make it happen. Yes it is a large adjustment, so if you choose to do it take it slowly. I am quite experienced with the fasting so I can jump right into it. Again if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Also check in with your doctor to make sure this is something you can do. Thanks for reading.