Intermittent Fasting Part 1 - What is it? Should you try it?

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First of all, we all know I’m not a “fad diet” gal. I don’t like them, you don’t need them, and they should stay far far away! I’m also all about balance, finding what works for you so that you can find your most confident weight, and stay there!

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Let’s consider IF another tool in your toolbox.

First of all, what is it?

IF is a “style” of eating in which you eat your meals for a specific period of time, and you fast for the remaining time. The word fast rubs me the wrong way. But, if you think about it, we all fast for a period of time already. From the time you eat your last meal until you eat breakfast you are fasting.

|What can it do for you?

IF is becoming a popular topic for its potential positive benefits.

These include:

  • Reduction of body fat

    • The eating windows help to improve insulin response levels, which allows for the breakdown of body fat to be used for energy.

  • Increased Energy and Mental Clarity

    • A professor at Johns Hopkins University performed a study and found growth and development of new brain cells which lead to better mood, focus, memory, and simply brain power. This is commonly found after having tried IF consistently for 2-4 weeks.

  • Increased cell function

    • Why the heck do you care about this? Well, during the fasting period cells go through and get rid of broken and dysfunction proteins that build up within our cells. This has been show to prevent against diseases such as Alzheimer's. It’s a fancy way of saying it is great for our anti-aging.

  • Less Snackin’

    • I don’t know about you, but I’m a snacker. Often times in the afternoon I find my mind wanting a snack even though my body doesn’t need it. Since the eating window is smaller, you’re less likely to have these sorts of cravings since your meals would be a bit closer together

How do you do it?

IF can be a very balanced approach if it works for you and your schedule. However, if it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay! It doesn't have to. You’re not a failure. Remember, finding your balance means finding what works for you and your lifestyle. As you can see, IF has nothing to do with the foods you eat (although of course they should still be mostly healthy and nutritious!) so I find it very easy to remain balanced.

IF can be performed in a 16:8, 14:10, or 12:12. The most common eating window is 16:8 meaning you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. This could look like breakfast at 9am and dinner at 5pm. This could also be “breaking your fast” at 11am and dinner at 7pm.

Fore women, 14:10 is found to be very beneficial as well.

The key is don’t get hung up on diving right in. If you don’t already have a 12:12 window (breakfast at 8am and dinner by 8pm) then begin with that. Slowly move until you find 16:8 if that’s what you would like to try. Experiment to see if you prefer waiting until lunch time to break your fast or if it fits better in your schedule to fast later in the evening.

I love a healthier dessert, so I choose either 11am-7pm or 12pm-8pm. My first meal is always much larger than a normal first meal, adding extra protein and fat.

I am currently trying this just to experiment with myself. If it doesn’t work, that’s okay and I know I can still be just as healthy, fit, and confident if I don’t do it.

What not to do:

Don’t take this as an excuse for an all out binge or filling your plate with less than nutritious foods. It doesn’t work like that, your body still needs and operates best on whole nutritious foods.

Does this sound like it'd fit into your lifestyle seamlessly? Give it a whirl! Looking for a different way to find consistency and sustainability? I dive into numerous tools and how-to's to guide you toward YOUR healthiest lifestyle and most confident body in the 6 week e-course Thrive: Food, Fitness, & Life. Click here to learn more and enroll!

Hope this is helpful!

XO Diana