HOW INTERMITTENT FASTING CAN FAST TRACK YOUR WEIGHTLOSS
I'm always looking out for ways to achieve optimal health and, if you've read my About Me page you will know that I haven't always been as healthy or feeling as good as I do right now.
I'm a big believer that different things work for different people, and trial and error (or hiring a health coach!) is really the best way to figure out what works best for you and your body.
In saying that I need to emphasise how vital it is to really stick to the plan. There's no point trying something for a few days and then giving up because 'it didn't work for you' sometime you have to push through regardless [unless you are having an serious adverse effects of course].
Anyway back to the topic. At the beginning of 2017 I had reached a bit of a weightloss plateau. I was doing all the 'right' things but those stubborn last few kilos were proving hard to budge. I began looking for healthy (meaning no quick-fix, calorie cutting diets) ways to break through the plateau and I came across 16:8 Intermittent Fasting. I had heard of fasting before, but only really in the sense of not eating for a day or so - which did not appeal to me AT ALL. Anyone who loves food as much as I do turns into a hanrgy monster if I do not get adequate portions a few times a day!
Intermittent Fasting in simple terms is a pattern of eating and not eating, and 16:8 Intermittent Fasting (IF) refers to a 16 hour 'fasting' period, followed by an 8 hour 'eating window'.
What you eat during that time is up to you - it doesn't matter if you are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, sugar free etc - but of course if you are not eating a healthy diet it is not a magic 'diet' where you can be eating buckets of KFC [or vegan donuts] during those 8 hours and expect to lose weight - if only! When you fast your blood levels of insulin drop significantly which helps facilitate fat burning, it repairs on a cellular level which also helps remove waste from your cells and blood levels of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) increase dramatically which assists in muscle gains and fat burning.
Aside from the weight loss benefits [and for the record I lost those pesky 4kg in one month by introducing 16:8] there are so many incredible ways that Intermittent Fasting can amplify your health and well-being. For me personally I have found I have so much more energy, I can work out more intensely [which is kind of crazy because I always believed my body needed food to 'fuel' me through hard workouts], I sleep better, my 'brain-fog' has gone and I make much better food choices throughout the day - I put this one down to having more time not preparing food and also looking forward to my break-fast meal!
So how do the timings of 16:8 Intermittent Fasting work exactly?
Well for me I have found an eating window of 11am - 7pm works perfectly, but for some people who like to have a later dinner they may prefer to start their eating window at 12pm or 1pm and finish at 8pm or 9pm. Or if you prefer to eat any earlier dinner you can break your fast earlier. The key is to stick to an 8 hour eating window and 16 hours of fasting - simple as that!
DISCLAIMER: While I LOVE the benefits of IF and I have found it really works for me, my body and my lifestyle - if I have a social event where dinner is going to be later when my 'window' should have finished or say I want to go out for breakfast on the weekend, I go with it! One day here and there of eating outside of the 16:8 timings isn't going to undo all of the benefits. I have also heard of some people following 16:8 Monday to Friday but not on the weekends. Do what works [and feels] best for you!
I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions about IF - leave a comment below or head to the Get in Touch page and send me an email. If you try Intermittent Fasting I would love to hear from you, your thoughts on it and your successes!