A few weeks ago, I announced my partnership with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® and quickly touched on some of the strategies we use within the program, including intermittent fasting, and I promised to come back at you guys with more details on what that actually entailed.
So, that’s what we’re talking about today! What is intermittent fasting? Why is it an effective tool in losing and maintaining a healthy weight? And how can you start implementing the strategy in your own wellness journey?
What is intermittent fasting?
Let’s get really clear from the get go, intermittent fasting is NOT a diet, it’s an eating schedule, and it’s one of the primary strategies we use in the program the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. Our bodies are constantly cycling through two states, we’re either fed, or we’re fasted. When we’re fed, our insulin levels are high, our body is using the food we’ve consumed as it’s energy source, therefore burning “fat” is a challenge in a fed state. On the flip side of that, your body enters into a fasted state 8-12 hours after your body has digested its last meal, and in a fasted state your insulin levels are lower which encourages your body to reach into fat stores for energy—you’re burning fat for fuel.
The concept of fasting is especially counter intuitive for our culture because we put major emphasis on breakfast being the most important meal of the day. But have you ever stopped to think about the actual word breakfast? It literally says “Break Fast” You’re breaking your fast.
Sometimes I feel like the American culture treats food a tad like Tolkin’s Hobbits—breakfast, then second breakfast, then elevenses, then lunch. We’ve been trained to eat almost constantly throughout the day and we’ve been told that when we eat several small meals throughout the day we will maintain a healthy weight.
I know plenty of people who spend hours food prepping their little tiny meals. And most of them see results initially. This is because they’re restricting their caloric intake and any time you restrict calories, you’re going to lose weight. But then people plateau and it’s because you reset your metabolic rate and in order to continue getting the same results, you have to keep cutting calories. Which then leads to this vicious cycle where your body thinks it’s starving (you kind of are starving it) and when this state sets in, the body starts using it’s least desired fuel source, protein from your muscles, then you lose muscle mass and further lower your metabolic rate making it even harder to burn fat. It’s no good, folks!
Why is Intermittent Fasting Effective?
You eat a normal and healthy allotment of calories in a shorter eating window. Then you stop eating at night, allow your “fast” to begin, give your body a full 8-12 hours AFTER it’s done digesting to tap into those fat stores, and then get back to eating. It’s simply a cycle. Fed and fasted. And here’s the other thing. Hunger is a bad word in our society. And know that food insecure hunger is a totally different thing and is NOT what we’re talking about here! But when was the last time that you really felt hungry before you decided to eat? Do you ever allow yourself to feel hungry?
The “hungry” feeling is actually your body literally gearing, and juicing, up for digesting a meal and doing it’s job more effectively. All of those juices help your body break down a meal and benefit from the nutrients you consume. So feeling hungry before you eat is actually very beneficial to digestion.
But I think the thing that I love most about intermittent fasting is that it has allowed me a better opportunity to listen to my body and encourage it to work most optimally. I have noticed less bloating and tummy troubles after I eat meals. And then by pairing it with varied and strategic workouts, I am benefiting from a reduction in my fat stores on my bum and my thighs.
How do you Start Implementing Intermittent Fasting?
Well there is this really great free guide you can download if you’re interested in toying with this or trying it out on your own. But if you’re brand new this is the short and sweet:
- Stop eating at about 8:00pm, and try to wait until 8:00am the next day to eat again.
- See how you feel
- Try and increase the fasting window to 16 hours
Now it’s really important here for me to mention that staying to a healthy caloric intake is really important if you’re going to embark on this journey. You need to pay really close attention to your macro nutrients and you need to make sure you’re NOT under eating, because this is where you will again, be starving your yourself and resetting your metabolic rate for the worse, not for the better. So if you’re not sure how to do these things, keep reading!
So if you feel like this is what you’ve been missing, and want to fully understand this process, you’re gonna need someone to walk alongside you! And that someone is ME! I’ll be launching my first round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® on Monday, July 23rd and you can click here to register. The focus will be on healthily mastering this new eating cycle and pairing it with strategic exercise to turn your body into a fat burning machine.
If you have any questions that pop up or anything you’d like for me to clarify, leave them in the comments. I think intermittent fasting is an absolute game changer and I’m so proud to be partnered with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® as the premier intermittent fasting program on the market.