I’ve had a lot of questions lately about Intermittent Fasting, so this week’s post is all about that!!
I’ve been practicing this form of eating for almost two years now, and it’s a lifestyle to me. I love it. I truly believe it has a HUGE part in my ability to remain lean all year round. Plus my energy levels are almost always super high.
Intermittent fasting has been very popular for many years and several different methods have been used.
All of them involve splitting the day or week into “eating periods” and “fasting periods.” During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.
These are the most popular methods:
•The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
•Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
•The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. Eat normally the other 5 days.
I’ve personally found the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It is also the most popular. I eat between 11am and 7pm because it works best with my lifestyle and work schedule!
When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.
According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3-8% over 3-24 weeks. This is a huge amount.
The people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference, which indicates that they lost lots of belly fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease. (Site)
Because intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories, while boosting metabolism slightly, it is an extremely effective tool to lose weight and belly fat!
And if THAT’S not enough, studies have also shown that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. This should have benefits against aging and development of numerous diseases, such as a potential to prevent cancer and/or type 2 diabetes as well as inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
See the diagram below for 10 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
But Will it Help Me Finally See My Abs?!
Contrary to popular belief, abs are not made in the kitchen. Abs are revealed when you shed the layer of fat hiding them. Fat is shed when you stop eating all the time (i.e. when you fast). When you fast, your body can finally enter into fat oxidation mode.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet.
You still eat your normal amount of food, you just eat it in a smaller time frame, referred to as your eating window. It is simply a plan telling you when you can eat and when you cannot eat. Since you spend more time fasting than you do eating, it gives your body a chance to tap into its stored fat for fuel.
Many people fail miserably following a “6 small meals-a-day every 2-3 hours” meal plan.
Not only are they unable to achieve satiety with these tiny meals, but many are also unable to lose fat without drastically dropping their calories to dangerously low levels.
And really, who has time to factor frequent feedings into their always busy schedule?
That’s why my favorite way of eating is intermittent fasting… I have been able to maintain a trim lean figure all year round even when my workouts weren’t as consistent as I would’ve liked them to be.
Here’s what Mimi says about her intermittent fasting journey :
“Update! Today is March 25, 2016 and it’s been about a year and a half since I began my journey with daily intermittent fasting. As of today, I’ve lost 73 lbs – down from 237 lbs to 164 lbs today. Although I haven’t measured inches consistently, I know I’ve lost several as I’ve gone from a size 18 to a size 10.
After hitting the 50-lb weight-loss mark in June of 2015, I plateaued for over four months until I began incorporating the Five Bite Diet along with Fast-5. Within that week, I broke my plateau and over the course of a few months lost 24 lbs. Unfortunately, I gained some of that weight back after returning to Fast-5 alone; however, it did help me break a plateau and eventually I began losing again. I’ll be sticking to Fast-5 alone for the remainder of my journey to my goal weight of 135 lbs and a healthy BMI of 22.5. I recently began incorporating a plant-based diet into my fasting regimen and so far I feel great!
At this point, fasting has become a solid habit for me and I’m very comfortable with sticking to my 5-hr window. I’m excited to think that is the year I achieve my goal and begin maintenance.”
Remember the things we think about and focus on is what we get in our life so if you’re focusing on the inability to lose weight or get healthy you’re going to continue to get more of those results.
For me intermittent fasting gives me such confidence in my body because I always feel lean and light and my mind is clear and my body is functioning at its highest level so that really affects my thoughts and my results!
Want to give IF a try? What do you have to lose?!