So you’ve stumbled across intermittent fasting or just fasting and you want to know what it’s all about?
“Will it work for me?”
“Will I drop weight like no tomorrow?”
“Will it make me rich and famous?”
Woah boy slow down!!!!
All those questions cross everyone’s mind once they hear about fasting…
Well maybe not the last but whatevs!
Intermittent Fasting or IF has definitely gained some traction in the online world of health and fitness in past few years.
And for a few good reasons…
In this article we’ll cover the nuts and bolts, the must knows and all the important aspects.
So, by the time you’re finished you’ll have a good grasp of fasting and how to implement it in to your life.
Plus you’ll never miss breakfast again!
“Wait, but isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day!!??”
That old saying has been around longer than anyone can remember.
It’s like a mantra that’s left every humans lips at some point or another.
I can’t blame ya as I’ve been there too…
But we all learned that through repetition from our elders, the media and weight loss industry. Unfortunately they were wrong!
The bottom line is breakfast is only the most important meal of the day for cereal companies!
This was a clever marketing slogan they came up with in the 70’s and 80’s! It’s been increasing their bottom line ever since!
Great for them, bad for us!
Let’s set the record straight…
Missing breakfast does NOT put you into starvation mode, slow your metabolism or see you store mounds of fat!
In fact quite the opposite!
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet in the conventional sense but an eating pattern that has two phases.
A fasted state and feeding state which makes it incredibly simple.
In a nutshell it normally involves skipping breakfast and eating later in the day!
In a fasted state there’s no eating if you hadn’t guessed, and in the feeding state you can get yo grub on!
It has nothing to do with food choice but instead the focus falls on timing.
When to eat and not what to eat!
Fasting has been going on since the beginning of time and has been big part of our evolution.
This at times this would of been down to the lack and unavailability of food.
And in more recent times became part of major religions.
Our caveman ancestors wouldn’t of had super-makerts, fridges or kitchens for that matter.
They ate when they got their mits on some viable food and went without in between.
If anything fasting is more natural than having 3-4 meals a day, or eating every 2-3 hours.
The food companies have done a good job making us think we constantly need food, or our bodies become weak and shut down!
If that was the case we wouldn’t have survived very long as a race.
But we did and as 99% of all species that ever lived on earth are now extinct we’re in a special group.
In theory we should be long gone with the dinosaurs and millions of other species.
Fasting has actually been a helping hand in our survival.
Humans and animals alike often fast instinctively when sick.
There is not one thing that is unnatural with fasting and something we are well equipped to do.
All sorts of positive things happen when we take a break from eating and allow us to thrive.
This is down to our genes, hormones and even the process of cellular repair taking place.
Different approaches to fasting have popped up over the years. So, how ever you feel about it there is a mode out there for you.
Who Can Do Intermittent Fasting?
I’ve been coaching for over 10 years and seen hundreds of people from all backgrounds implement fasting with nothing but positive benefits.
Young, old, male, female, diabetics, thyroid conditions, pre and post menopausal…. The list goes on!
Online you come across different advice stating women should be careful or people with thyroid issues should not fast…
In my personal coaching experience this doesn’t ring true.
I suggest you try it out for yourself because experience is always king and to take another word as gospel is never a good idea in life.
The two sub-groups who I wouldn’t advise to try fasting are..
-Women who are currently pregnant.
-People who have suffered with eating disorders.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
The benefits of fasting include weight loss, calorie control, increased insulin sensitivity to name a few.
We will get into more in just a sec…
When you stop eating for a period of time we give our body a rest from breaking down and digesting food.
A constant influx of food is stressful to the body and takes away from other important functions it has the ability to do.
In the fasted state the body can use fat as a fuel source, repair damaged cells and even boost and regulate hormone levels.
In contrast to popular belief meal timing is irrelevant and all that matters is by the end of the day how much food and therefore calories you’ve ingested.
This means it wouldn’t matter if you had 8 meals or 1 meal in a day.
All that matters is the amount you ate in regard to your goals.
This makes fasting a great and enjoyable way to eat for many while reaping tons of benefits.
Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?
If you’re looking for a FREE and simple way with tons of upside you should incorporate fasting into your life.
The physical benefits have already been touched on but there are also mental benefits that come along ta boot.
For example many people including myself experience mental clarity in a fasted state.
Once we start eating blood sugar levels rise and fall effecting our energy and mood.
When fasting your blood sugar levels are stable therefore no peaks or crashes.
This means improved focus and concentration:)
It also builds some mental fortitude!
I find many people in this day and age are weak and soft…
They are obsessed with their smartphone, always need food and don’t like hard work.
Fasting shows you that you don’t need to be eating every five mins and helps builds some grit and character.
Which is pretty scarce these days but a must for success in any area.
Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss?
This for many is the part they are really here for.
Fasting for weight loss!
Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool in many ways and aiding weight loss is no different.
But before we get into how it works you need to understand it’s not a magic bullet on it’s own!
Ya see, to lose weight and body fat means reducing your calories.
This is known as a calorie deficit and is essential to getting results!
When you combine tracking your macros in a calorie deficit with fasting it becomes a powerhouse to dropping body fat.
It also makes for much more effortless process too.
When you try to reduce calories on a standard diet and eating pattern it’s noticeable.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner feel smaller.
This normally goes hand in hand with someone jacking in the diet and getting zero results 🙁
When you you fast with a calorie deficit you push your first meal back to lunch or later.
This allows you have bigger more satisfying meals later in the day without noticing the reduction in food volume.
In fact many clients of mine who follow this method have even reported how they find it hard to actually hit their calorie and macronutrient targets for the day.
They are essentially consistently losing body fat and getting results, never feeling hungry and report they have too much food to eat at times.
A nice problem to have!
On the flip side if you fast but then over eat in your feeding window fasting ain’t helping yo ass!
Remember all that matters in the end of the day is the amount of energy (calories) you consume before the day is out.
If you over eat regardless of whether that’s in a small window you will be in a calorie surplus.
And therefore storing body fat and weight 🙁
Take away note is track your food, eat in a deficit and use fasting to make this all process a smooth and enjoyable ride:)
How To Fast?
Many ways and methods have popped up over the years on how to practice intermittent fasting but I will address the 3 most popular here.
This is the method I follow and is the daily fasting approach. It has a 16 hour fasting period and a 8 hour feeding window.
When people first hear this they freak out as 16 hours without food sounds like hell. In reality it’s a lot easier than you think!
Ya see, if you finished dinner at 8pm tonight you wouldn’t eat again till midday tomorrow.
First off you should be full and satisfied after dinner and go bed feeling good.
Secondly you’ll be sleeping for 7-8 hours. That means you’ll only be awake for 4-5 hours where you are not eating.
This is nothing and as long as you’re hydrated it should be a sinch.
At first you may feel hunger pangs in the first week or two of trying the 16/8 approach but I find this is more a mental issue.
The conditioning about breakfast we’ve had all our lives is deeply ingrained, and might take a little mental grit to over come.
After a short while this subsides.
Once you prove to yourself your body doesn’t need breakfast the magic happens, and this becomes an effortless part of your life.
Drinking lots of water is always advised when fasting and you can have any calorie free beverages you like.
I drink a litre of lemon water on rising. Then I’ll have a green tea and black coffee through out the morning 🙂
Eat Stop Eat:
This method involves one 24 hour fast a week. Again for most people this sounds like a horror show!
“No food for 24 hours!! Damn won’t I die???”
No absolutely NOT!
Again this method is simple and pretty easy to follow. For example if you finished dinner at 7 pm tonight you wouldn’t eat again till 7 pm tomorrow.
Like all fasted states you’d stay hydrated and hopefully keep busy.
By taking out a whole day of eating you reduce calories easily and also get those tag along health benefits:)
The 5:2 approach is my least favourite method but has gained a lot of attention over the past few years.
In this method you basically have 2 low calorie days of 5-600 calories.
You’d then eat normally on the other 5 days and therefore hopefully create a calorie deficit.
Personally I find this approach hit and miss with a lot of people.
They tend to over eat on the their normal eating days cancelling out the reduction in calories.
This means they still end the week at a calorie maintenance level or even a surplus. Therefore they don’t lose any weight or even gain weight and body fat. No bueno!
It’s an approach which has worked for some, but not for many!
Whatever mode you choose there are a few common threads in all.
First off you wanna be hydrated whenever fasting so make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
Kinda a clever idea for overall health anyways…
Men should be drinking 3-3.5 litres and women around 2-3 litres per day.
You also need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
I’d advise learning how to track your calories and macros which is easy as pie.
It takes a few minutes a day to do and means you can actually eat pie too 🙂
If you don’t track your food and get results that just means you luckily created a deficit, but it can be hit and miss.
Always better to know how much is going in Vs going out!
Would you not check ya bank account and just hope your budget and savings sort itself out?
Nah didn’t think so!
Your health and bod are even more important that moo-lah too. Just saying :p
Other Benefits Of Fasting?
Fasting has a ton of health benefits and more than I can write about in this article. Below are my top 3 so read on…
Insulin resistance is a big problem for the body.
This means insulin can’t do it’s job and get glucose into the cell.
It’s then left floating around the blood stream which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Glucose is a sugar and although needed by every cell in the body you don’t want high levels in your blood.
Fasting has been shown to improve the sensitivity of insulin so that it can do it’s job.
This means glucose is taken to where it needs to be used for energy.
Instead of left hanging out and causing trouble in the wrong places.
Human Growth Hormone:
When we sleep we release Human Growth Hormone to aid recovery and repair of tissues.
When we wake up and eat it blunts the HGH as our insulin spikes.
If we don’t eat till later in the day there is no insulin spike and therefore we keep HGH elevated for longer!
This hormone helps us stay looking young, burns fat and also builds muscle.
Many people with more money than sense pay thousands a month to be injected with a synthetic version.
Be clever and get the natural stuff for free by fasting.
Most nasty things that happen in the body as we age is due to the presence of inflammation.
When we fast cellular repair has been shown to happen.
This is when the body starts to break down old and dysfunctional proteins inside the cells and remove them.
Fasting has also been shown to slow and even stop cancer!
If that ain’t a good enough reason to be fasting I don’t know what is?
Intermittent Fasting is by far one of the best health discoveries I made in the last 10 years.
It’s great for your health! It helps you lose weight and calorie control with ease and even enjoyment…
Plus it’s FREE!