Intermittent Fasting - A Lifestyle Change
When I first heard about intermittent fasting I thought it sounded miserable. Not eating for hours at a time? Those people must have no energy & be super grumpy! What I learned (& experienced) was fascinating and ultimately a game changer for me.
What is intermittent fasting?
Essentially, IF is not changing what you eat but when you eat. If you read on it enough you’ll see “Delay don’t Deny” referred to often referencing an IF book by Gin Stephens. There isn’t calorie counting, you don’t isolate food groups, and you don’t have to cut out alcohol. It is basically time restricted eating where you cycle through periods of eating and fasting. There is an amazing podcast, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, co-hosted by Gin Stephens and Melanie Avalon. The podcast is crazy informational and quite funny, too. If you are interested in IF at all - I highly recommend listening.
How does IF work?
When your body goes 12 hours without food it starts making changes. When you are eating your body gets energy from the food you eat. When you are fasting your body gets energy from it’s last reserve - fat. Therefore, the longer you fast the more fat your body burns. When you fast you deplete your body of glycogen stores. Once glycogen stores are gone, fat stores are released into your bloodstream to be converted into energy molecules in the liver. These are called “ketones”. Ketones suppress our hunger hormones and thats why you have energy highs when you normally would not.
What I do
There are many ways to practice IF and the best part is it can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle! You can open your “window” for eating whenever you choose. I typically fast on a 16:8 schedule - this is also a great one for beginners. I normally open my window at noon and close my window at 8:00 pm. Therefore, I fast for 16 hours and have an eating window for 8 hours. However, I live a highly active lifestyle and this window still yields results for me. If you do not live an active lifestyle and sit majority of your day you may see results more quickly by only eating for a 4-6 hour window. You can try and see what works for you! I do not typically fast on Saturdays and Sundays - it’s the freakin’ weekend! However, if you are wanting to see fat loss quickly you may choose to fast every day of the week. As we creep closer to warmer weather (& bikini season) I will likely shorten my window for eating to see a more dramatic result.
There are so many ways to incorporate IF into your lifestyle - no matter what type of schedule, career, or social life you lead. You can make it work somehow - check out a friend of mine & her results with IF here. If you are interested in hearing all the IF schedules people practice I suggest taking a look here . This article does a great job of outlining the different practices of IF. Try one for a week or so and see what works best for you! Let me know if you have questions or comments about IF.
I am not a medical professional and these comments are based on my experience and the experience of others who practice intermittent fasting. Please consult a physician if you have questions about whether intermittent fasting is safe for you