Are you tired of skipping meals? Are you tired of everyone telling you to count your calories all day long? Are you bored of everyone telling you what you can and can’t, should and shouldn’t eat? What if you could have that burger? What if you could have that ice cream with those little rainbow sprinkles you loved as a kid and don’t secretly want to admit you still like? Jokes aside, you may want to look into intermittent fasting. It’s not so much a diet as it is creating new eating habits. It’s not all candy and gumdrops (because obviously, it can’t be if you want to drop those few pesky pounds), but it’s a viable option, especially if you don’t want to outright give up your favorite foods. It just requires a bit of willpower and mind-over-matter — you’re just receding your intake of those foods and snacks, which is way better.
So let’s say you decide to take the plunge and jump on the bandwagon, you’re going to try intermittent fasting. You’ve read all the articles on all the popular blogs, you’ve heard your friends and that one co-worker rave about it; it seems like every time you walk in the office kitchen to grab a cup of coffee, they’re telling someone new about how good they feel. On and on about how they’re fitting into clothes they forgot about; it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. You know all the basics about intermittent fasting.
You know that intermittent fasting is all about carving out the times to choose when to eat and when not to eat. You know all about how it can help you gain more control of your glucose levels, lower your cholesterol (like the doctor ordered), and help you eat less overall. That last bit is because when you don’t eat all the time, your stomach shrinks. The human body is amazing, right? Moving on, typically, day to day when we eat, we create insulin which uses up and stores sugar. When we fast, insulin is decreased and our bodies use those sugars for energy. That means that your body is burning sugars, and then the sugars you have stored (in fat cells) for energy. With the right meals, while fasting and adhering to the schedule, your body will burn fat. Sounds great! But some people have some trouble sticking to this new lifestyle. Don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips and tricks to help you stay on track and see the results you’re looking for.
For starters, don’t dive in head first; ease your way into it. You wouldn’t go run a marathon without at least a few sprints in the park. You can’t bench press 250 pounds first time in the gym. You get the idea; you can’t just drop every food you love immediately. Denying yourself all of those foods all at once won’t end well, just like it hasn’t for countless others before you; it almost always ends with grabbing the bag of chips you’ve been thinking about for hours. Unfortunately, Oscar Wilde was right, “the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” Don’t go zero to 60, take your time with it.
So, you started off slowly. Next up, skip breakfast and avoid snacks after dinner. You have to actually do the fasting part of intermittent fasting. When you’re up to speed, you should be fasting for 14 hours at a minimum. If you eat after dinner, you have to push back the time you eat the next day and then that throws everything off balance. Our pro tips for making it to the other side of hunger pangs is to drink plenty of water and to have black coffee in the morning. Sorry to everyone who likes cream and/or sugar in their coffee, it technically breaks the rules of the game. If you can follow those two rules, you’re doing great. As an aside: most of the time you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty; drink water.
Next up, be careful of when you are within your eating hours to not overdo it. Too many have gone on eating binges and sabotaged their goals. It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t overeat just because you have the time to do so. Keep your goals in mind; eat nutritious meals. Dodge trips to fast food chains. Even if you limit the number of hours you are eligible to eat, if you don’t choose smarter options or proper portions, you will not see results.
Our last point we’d like to make is short, but not so simple: be diligent. Keep track of what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. It’s not just so you can count calories (if you choose to do so, it does help in the process), it’s so you can adhere to your schedule and make this change a habit, not just a passing trend. We also recommend getting more exercise into your day. We don’t mean that you need to hit the gym six days a week and run 5 miles a day, but choosing smaller, more active options, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. To reinforce diligence, stick to your goal of being active. We also recommend checking out a pre-workout, or other supplements, to help get your energy levels up when you’re feeling lethargic and that you can take the easy way out. You’ve got this.
Intermittent fasting may not be for everyone, but it may be the lifestyle change you’ve been looking for. Plenty of people swear by it, so it might not hurt to give it a shot and see if the pounds fall off over time. If you’re still curious about intermittent fasting and if it’s right for you, give us a call or send us an email and we can go over it more in-depth — or consult your physician to find out if it’s the right choice for you. We’re happy to help you along the way and suggest supplements to hep you keep on track to being a healthier and happier you.