Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Intermittent fasting is the real deal friends! I'll share how I do this every day, starting about 6 months ago, with intention.
When I wake up early to exercise, I have a big glass of water with the juice of a lemon and a cup of black coffee (tip: add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor and cut the bitterness).
Then I work out and continue drinking water through the next several hours until 1-2 PM.
I eat a healthy lunch at about 1-2 pm, have a nutritious snack before dinner with a glass of wine, and then eat dinner around 6-7 pm.
I make sure to consume my macros (macronutrients—carbs, fats & proteins) during my eating window between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
After 8 PM I don't consume calories.
The fast is 16-17 hours—and I repeat the cycle every day!
The results. Since I began fasting, I’ve lost the extra weight around my waistline, and am leaner overall. Because of being leaner, I see muscle tone better than ever before. I have found this to be sustainable because it's simple to have a planned eating window and a non-eating period of time. I don't think of it as starving myself.
Fasting allows the body to burn off excess body fat. Body fat is simply food energy that has been stored away. When food is not being consumed, then you have your fat stores to keep your body going. This is how humans survived when food sources were scarce.
Carbs, insulin, and weight loss: What REALLY matters for getting the results you want? The link here goes deep, so you may want to grab coffee. However, simply put, between meals, as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down.
The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat. So, if you have not eaten for 12–16 hours after your last meal, your insulin levels are lower overall, and the body is able to use the fat on your body as the energy source. Hello, weight loss!
A nice benefit is that daily fasting can keep weight from creeping-up during the holidays, vacations and fun occasions in life when we tend to indulge more.
Important to understand that this is not about restricting calories. Intermittent fasting actually increases the metabolism because we are not restricting caloric intake, we are just restricting when those calories are consumed, therefore preserving lean muscle mass and a healthy metabolism. When you consume calories, make sure it's nutrient-dense food.
Be healthy and eat all your macros within a 6–8 hour window. AGAIN, the goal is to fast for at least 12 hours every day and better to fast as often as possible for 16–18 hours.
Read the list of benefits:
Weight loss because of improved fat burning
Lower blood cholesterol
Improved mental clarity and concentration
Lower blood insulin and sugar levels
Potential to reverse Type 2 diabetes
Reduction of inflammation
Increased growth hormone
Studies have found prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
Increased life expectancy
Activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy (2016 Nobel Prize in medicine)
You actually give your body a break from processing food, which is healthy.
“Anytime you fast, you’re giving your body a break from trying to metabolize what you just ate,” Zarabi said. “By fasting, we let the gut microbiome refresh, which in turn improves our overall digestive pathway.”
Intermittent fasting is the ancient secret of health. Fasting has been used therapeutically since at least the 5th century BCE. It’s only a secret because this powerful habit has been forgotten. An understanding of the physiological effects of fasting began to evolve in the latter part of the 19th century when some of the first organized studies of fasting were carried out in animals and humans. In the 20th century, as more became known about nutrition and the nutritional requirements of the human body, methods of fasting became increasingly sophisticated, and a wide array of approaches emerged.
QUESTIONS. Let me know if you have any questions and if I can assist you in getting this started. -Best, Kellie
Disclaimer: While intermittent fasting has many proven benefits, it may be controversial and a potential danger in regards to taking medications. Discuss any changes in medication and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor.
The thoughts and ideas expressed are written for adults without health issues. People who should NOT fast include those who are underweight or have eating disorders like anorexia, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people under the age of 18.