Intermittent fasting is something I have been personally doing since the mid 90’s after giving birth to my second child before anyone was calling it that. I
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I lost 60 Pounds in 6 Months
Everyone told me it was not healthy when they asked how I did it, but I felt better than ever. Over the years I had to hide the fact that on most days I skipped breakfast and lunch and only ate dinner for fear of being accused of unhealthy eating habits.
The “eat 5 small meals per day” was the prescription for weight loss at that time. It would speed up your metabolism and reduce your waistline. Of course, it had the complete opposite effect on me. I gained weight.
I am sure I was eating too much in my “small meals”. But eating those 5 small meals raised my metabolism. How do I know? I was starving! All the time! It felt miserable. Right or wrong I was not a happy camper. Diabetes and morbid obesity run in my family so I had to do what worked for me.
With intermittent fasting, I get the hunger pains too but a nice glass of unsweetened tea takes the edge off. It is something you can gradually get into as well. Get your body used to skipping meals.
You do not have to jump into eating once in an hour, every 24 hours. Start slow. When I have found myself starting to eat lunch every day and avoiding dinner, I know I am getting off track.
The biggest benefit of intermittent fasting is getting the physiological benefits of calorie restriction without actually starving yourself.
Tips and Tricks
Here are my suggestions, and because everyone is different, do not be afraid to experiment. Break it up! I do not do this 7 days a week. Just Monday through Friday and I go to lunch one day a week. Saturday, I tend to graze. I allow myself more freedom on the weekends. Meals are social for us on weekends as we spend time with friends and family.
If weekends are easier for you then do weekends. You can even try every other day. What works for one may not work for another.
Mix It Up
Eat breakfast, skip lunch, eat dinner for a few days or even a week. If you are getting headaches, have a couple of whole grain, gluten free, crackers with butter and a tea for lunch until your body adjusts. Do this all within an 8 hour period. Breakfast at 10 AM and dinner before 6 PM.
The next week or two eliminate breakfast. When things get a little tough, usually around 1 or 2 PM, eat a gluten-free cracker or two with some butter. Eventually, in a few days, phase out the crackers.
Avoid processed and sugary foods. Focus on low carb, whole foods that are more difficult for your body to digest and leave you feeling satisfied longer.
For me, I can be hungry all day long but going to bed I need to be satisfied. So I choose to rarely skip dinner unless I am doing a full 24 hour fast.
With the holidays I definitely got off track. So this week I decided to go straight Keto. I started Monday and did the following diet for three days.
Here Is My Schedule
Day one – Two organic eggs over easy at 11 AM cooked in organic butter. Dill Chicken (organic) salad at 2 PM. Top Sirloin steak with Hollandaise before 7 PM. I ate freely without paying attention to serving size.
Day two – Same exact thing but I added an avocado at 3 PM.
Day three – I skipped the eggs. I had an avocado and chicken salad at 3 PM. For dinner a rib eye and broccoli with butter. Low carb brownie at 8 PM.
Day four – 2 small bites of chicken salad at 2 PM. Low carb meatloaf with broccoli for dinner.
Day five – Lamb chops, risotto and asparagus for dinner.
There are many types of ways to do IF
Eat every other day.
Only take in food for a set amount of hours per day. Anywhere from 8 hours to one hour for eating, then the other 16-23 hours you are fasting.
Skip one meal a day.
The 5:2 Diet. You will eat normally for 5 days and then for two days you will limit your calorie intake to 500 per day.
I know it seems hard but your body will adjust and get used to it. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. But if you struggle with weight then and weight-related health issues this could be a tool.
Below is an article I received that is written by a doctor on the matter with some interesting studies that will give you the pros and cons.
‘IF’ OR NOT TO ‘IF’
The Dish on Intermittent Fasting
By Dr. Eddie Fat-Off (Eddie Fatakhov M.D.),
author of “Dr.
Fat-Off Simple Life-Long Weight-Loss Solutions.”
Thanks to celebrity endorsements and media exposure, Intermittent Fasting (IF) has grown in popularity in recent years. However, before you take fasting on as a weight loss solution or a way to cure diseases such as diabetes, it is important to understand why and how IF can affect your body – both positively and negatively.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
mistake IF with starvation. Starvation occurs due to extreme hunger or lack of
food. IF is a controlled cycling between periods of eating and not eating while
food is readily available.
How do you Intermittently Fast?
Because IF is a practice unique to each individual there is no set duration or set of rules to follow. For instance, some might fast between breakfast and dinner for a predetermined amount of time. This is why many think of fasting as a way of life.
Why would you Intermittently Fast?
A good amount of research has been done to determine what the benefits of IF are. While there are varying opinions where IF is concerned these are the main benefits most can agree on:
1.) Weight Loss
IF is believed to cause weight loss because periods of not eating lowers insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that allows our bodies cells to take in the glucose created by the break down of any carbohydrates we eat. This causes weight gain when that glucose is converted to fat and put into storage for future use.
During IF cells release the stored glucose to create the energy the body needs. This plus the overall lowering of calories eaten can result in weight loss.
2.) Possible Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
As previously discussed IF is believed to cause weight loss while lowering insulin levels. These two affects are key when it comes to type 2 diabetes since being obese or overweight with increasingly high insulin levels greatly increases the risk of developing this disease.
Unfortunately, this is where research is split. Some research has found evidence that IF could be beneficial for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes while other research has found that IF can actually increase the risks through an increase in abdominal fat, bodily misuse of insulin, and muscle depletion (major risk factors for type 2 diabetes).
3.) A Healthier Heart
This report found that IF could reduce heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides (a fat linked the heart disease).
4.) A Healthier Brain
While studies on the affect IF has on humans are still needed IF seems to have promising benefits in the animal world. Studies have found IF can reduce the occurrence of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and even stroke.
5.) Reduced Cancer Risks
Animal studies are finding that IF can actually affect the rate of onset for tumors (human studies are needed).
The question becomes: To IF or not to IF?
For those thinking about IF but aren’t sure if they can do it, understand that you already experience a period of fasting every 24 hours when you sleep. As for incorporating IF into your daytime life I have one very important piece of advice for my readers.
Consult a physician before making big changes in your diet and routine. This conversation is very important when considering IF as a preventative measure or to encourage weight loss. With your doctor you can make a plan that would work best for you and your physical needs.
Fatakhov, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Fat-off, is a Board-Certified Physician,
Nutritionist, and Best-Selling Author of “The Doctors’ Clinic-30 Program.
His latest book is “Dr. Fat-Off Simple Life-Long Weight-Loss Solutions.”