About 6 months ago I started Intermittent Fasting. I naturally wasn’t eating breakfast anyway with the busy mornings we have, so when I discovered more about the science behind “feeding and fasting” periods for the body. I thought I would be more intentional with the way I approached my daily eating window. I am passionate about healthy eating and exercise. I really like to feel good and have energy, plus I am slightly competitive, so Cross Fit has been something I have loved for many years. I have written more about my exercise routine here and what I eat here.
I thought I would share some brief facts about intermittent fasting and why I have fallen in love with it as one of the ways I take care of my body. Because I have gotten so many questions on this subject after briefly mentioning it! I have noticed I have been able to stay at the weight I want to with intermittent fasting and also I like how my body looks, which is not something you always have heard from me. I avoid negative self talk, but couldn’t always confidently say I like my body until the combo of intermittent fasting, working out and supporting my hormones and endocrine system with natural choices (read more about that HERE).
Also it is really nice to not have to worry about what I am going to eat for one meal!! I can get more done and noticed I am more focused on what I want to accomplish rather than always thinking of food.
A lot of this information was taken from this TedX talk from Cynthia Thurlow. Cynthia is a nurse practitioner and a functional nutritionist.
She says that is it MORE important WHEN you eat, than WHAT you eat (of course, I believe that what you eat matters A LOT too). But she says the that the old paradigm of “exercise more, eat less is outdated… [because] the concept of calories in, calories out alone, is just not effective.”
There is a connection between our lifestyle choices and how that impacts our weight gain and longevity. We have been told to have mini meals or all day snacking is a way to keep your metabolism going, but this type of eating does not give your body a chance to rest and digest.
Some alarming facts:
- 2/3 of women 40-50 years of age are overweight and more than 1/2 are obese.
- Women in their 50s and 60s on average gain 1.5 pounds per year.
Enter Intermittent Fasting-
FREE FLEXIBLE SIMPLE
Intermittent Fasting is a term you may have heard thrown around but it is essentially defined as: The absence of food during a prescribed time period. Cynthia says that she recommends a 16 hours fasting period followed by an 8 hour eating window.
When we eat food, insulin is secreted to move sugar into the cells. When there is too much sugar, or when we exceed the storage sites, we store it at fat. When we fast, we can tap into our fat stores for energy. Simply put, when our bodies are in a fasting state, we are able to better use what we have eaten.
The benefits go beyond fueling fat loss, though. Did you know that it can also:
- Improve mental Clarity
- Spike Human Growth Hormone.
- Lower insulin levels, blood pressure
- Improve cholesterol
- Protect your brain from Alzheimer’s (which she calls type 3 diabetes)
How do get started:
Cynthia recommends starting with 12-15 hours of fasting per day, and slowly increasing by an hour a day until youve reached a 16 hour daily fast.
Keep yourself well-hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of filtered water (plain coffee and tea can also be consumed in a fasting state).
When you are eating, make sure to eat whole foods to properly fuel your body.
**Give it a solid 30 days before deciding whether it works for you (Can take 6-8 weeks before you see results).
This is not for you if:
- Low BMI
- Brittle Diabetic (or difficult to control)
- Child, adolescent, age greater than 70
- chronic heart issues
- kidney or adrenal issues
- Pregnant, Nursing
- History of eating Disorders
- Recently been in the hospital or you are frail
My typical day with Intermittent Fasting- (yes, I do it everyday)
- Wake up around 7 am and drink a large glass of water (about 16 oz) then drink an 8 oz glass of lemon water
- Get kids breakfast, do dishes, start some laundry, etc….start that “to-do list”!
- Kids get off to school or an activity
- Drink more water
- Workout 9:30-10:30
- Shower and start working or activity with kids. Being active in this time really helps me stick to fasting. If I sit down to my computer to work, it is super hard for me to focus if my tummy is growling. So we go on a bike ride or do something busy. Maybe doing your housecleaning in this time or go for a walk, run errands etc….just stay out of the kitchen! 😂😂😂😂
- Drink more water and I will have my Amino’s (I like Young Living AMINOWISE, great flavor without all the junk). I also like Kevita, it is low carbs and a probiotic, helps satisfy my hunger. (Many today consider regularly taking a high-quality probiotic to be one of the core pieces to a healthy gut which in turn is a key to brain, immune, skin health and overall support of a healthy immune system. Do your research and see if probiotics are right for you! Read more on that HERE)
- Feed kids lunch at noon and then I have my first meal of the day- it changes all the time. I do leftovers, a salad, or a smoothie etc.
- Work or play….whatever we have going that day
- Have a Ningxia mixed with sparkling water and if I am really hungry I have a hard boiled egg, veggies or banana chips. (We were headed to the beach one day and Kevin made me a drink to-go for the beach of Ningxia and sparkling water (I get Ningxia from Young Living).
- Dinner typically around 6:00, which varies but is normally a protein with a lot of veggies and sometimes if I am lucky, sweet potatoes in any form!
- More water!!!!
- I naturally stop eating around 9:00 pm, if I am staying up late to work (I really should just go to bed, but typically I have work to do, so I stay up and grab an egg or part of a Perfect Bar if I didn’t have one yet. Or a little Honey Mint from Trader Joe’s this the spot!). So some days my fasting window is 14 hours instead of 16 hours.
Hope that helps! If you want to see more of what I eat in a day and what my mother-in-law eats at her age to stay in shape go HERE.
You can see what my workouts look like HERE.