Day 3 JUMPSTART: ALL THINGS INTERMITTENT FASTING to help get you started!
Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule where you only consume food (or drinks containing calories), within certain periods of time – and the rest of the time, you fast. This means that you don’t consume anything that adds calories into your body within the fasting time-frame.
There are also different types of fasting schedules (which we’ll go into a bit later), and you have the freedom to choose the one that works best with your individual lifestyle and goals.
Even though intermittent fasting guides when you should and should not eat, there are no restrictions on what you can eat (if you are following a specific type of diet, ex: vegan, mediterranean, keto, flexible eating, macros based, that is up to you). Therefore, you can pair intermittent fasting with any type of eating plan you desire; But note that you will see the best results when paired with a clean, balanced diet and other healthy lifestyle practices.
IS INTERMITTENT FASTING DIFFICULT (AND SAFE)?
Though it may seem strange at first to go for an extended period of time without food, fasting is actually more of a natural practice, (going back to hunter-gatherer times), than it is to eat 5-6 meals per day.
In the past, food was not as readily available as it is today, so as humans, we’ve already evolved to be able to survive (and still thrive) without food for extended periods of time. It can also give the body a welcome break from the process of digestion.
Not only can intermittent fasting be completely safe, (as long as you’re a generally healthy individual and follow IF guidelines correctly), it typically can be much easier than you think. In fact, you’ve probably already done it before without realizing… for instance if you ate dinner then slept in the next day and didn’t eat until lunchtime.
While most people think they need to eat every few hours to feel good and energized, the body can typically adjust pretty well to a fasting schedule – with many people reporting that they feel less hungry, and more energetic and focused while fasting.
INTERMITTENT FASTING BENEFITS
So now that you know that you can fast, let’s talk about why you might want to do it. Based on the research, there are many potential benefits of intermittent fasting. Here are some of the major ones…
1) MAY PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS
Studies show that many people naturally lose weight when they start intermittent fasting (especially belly fat). This is most likely because it can help to reduce calorie intake, and may increase metabolic rate, helping to burn more calories.
The key here for success, however, is that within the window that you do eat, you don’t binge eat, (especially on unhealthy foods). Instead, you should focus on nutritious, clean foods in normal portions during the hours when you eat.
It’s also very important to understand what your body needs in regards to calories and macronutrients daily. I can run a personal assessment on your macro nutrition and help you understand how much and what macros (proteins, fats and carbs) that you need to be eating, so when you DO eat, you make sure you are eating enough. Far too often people are not eating enough.
You can get a personal macros assessment from Shelley here: Magical Macros Coaching
Intermittent fasting PLUS eating according to YOUR personal Macros is a power packed way to ensure balance, fat loss, getting the most out of your fitness routine, having energy and brain clarity and focus and maintaining results over time.
2) SUPPORTS HEART AND BRAIN HEALTH
Studies show that intermittent fasting may also protect your health in various ways, including two of the key areas – heart and brain health. The fasting period may help reduce bad cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and other risk factors for heart disease. In addition, it may also assist with the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, and support healthy memory as you age.
3) MAY REDUCE INFLAMMATION
According to research, following an intermittent fasting schedule may also help reduce inflammation in the body – which is one of the main culprits of many chronic diseases.
4) SUPPORTS INCREASED LONGEVITY
IF is HEALING in so many ways to our body!
Due to the fact that it can reduce inflammation and protect against disease, intermittent fasting may also potentially help you live longer. In studies, intermittent fasting increased the lifespan of rats by 36-83%. There is a ton of cellular regeneration that happens after the 14 hour mark.
5) CAN HELP SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Probably the most functional benefit of intermittent fasting from a day-to-day standpoint is that it can help simplify your life. Less meals means less meal-planning, cooking and clean-up from those meals.
I personally eat 2-3 meals and a snack.
TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING SCHEDULES
To reap the potential benefits of intermittent fasting, there are different methods you can follow, outlined below. In addition, keep reading if you’re a woman, because in the next section we’ll discuss how these methods can be slightly altered to better suit a female’s unique needs.
In addition, keep in mind that if one of these schedules doesn’t work for you, or you don’t think you’ll be able to stick to it all the time – that’s okay. Research shows that there are benefits to fasting in general, even if you don’t do it on a regular schedule. So, even if you only do it periodically when suits you, you may still reap some of the benefits.
Most days I fast 16 hours, but some days it’s 12-14 hours.
The GREAT THING about IF (Intermittent Fasting for short) is that you can START eating anytime that works FOR YOU.
If you start at 7am because you love to eat breakfast with your family, and you practice the 16:8 method, then you will start at 7am, and STOP at 3pm – that simple! Keep this simple for you.
AND, even better…..if tomorrow you need to move those hours around, yes you can! Don’t get too locked into doing this perfectly. Try your best to be consistent 2-3 and 3-4 days in a row at least.
Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods:
(MY PERSONAL FAVORITE)
16/8 Method – With this fasting schedule, you only eat within an 8 hour window each day, and fast for the other 16 hours. Typically people skip breakfast and just eat lunch and dinner, but you could do whatever works for you. An example day would be an eating window of 12pm – 8pm. In this example, your first meal of the day would take place at or after 12:00pm and your last meal would have to be completed by 8pm.
**NOTE: I find that for women over 40, IF is great, but please listen to your body and if you feel the next day you need to eat sooner, do that and be sure to start breaking your fast at any time with a protein + healthy fat + slow burn carb type of meal.
Also popular are the
14/10: No food/fast for 14 hours, eat your required daily food within 10 hours
12/12: No food/fast for 12 hours, eat your required daily food within 12 hours
Eat-Stop-Eat – This fasting method involves not eating for 24 hours (once or twice a week), and then eating normally the rest of the time. An example would be not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
It’s important for us to stop eating for an extended period of time to allow our body to digest fully all of the foods that we took in for that day, allow our body to digest it, use it for energy, then have none of the food energy available and start using our own source of fat as energy. This is when cellular cleansing takes place too, called autophagy. You CAN literally heal yourself as you body starts to clean out the bad cells and replace with new cells. It’s cellular regeneration.
Be warned though that if you are already very lean, that when the body starts going into fasting mode and if you do not have much fat on you (you may think you do, but likely you do not), then it will start taking from your muscle. This is never very good. So it is ESSENTIAL you are getting enough of the proper macronutrients when you DO EAT!!
You can get a personal macros assessment from Shelley here: Magical Macros Coaching
Now, if you’re a woman, let’s take a look at what you should specifically keep in mind if you’re thinking about following an intermittent fasting schedule…
INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR WOMEN 101
If you’re a woman, and you would like to get in on the intermittent fasting extravaganza, you likely still can – with the approval of your doctor. And studies show that you can still reap the same benefits as men; However, it’s also suggested to go at it less aggressive than men…
This is because a woman’s body is much more sensitive to calorie restriction than a man’s. Basically, if you fast for too long or too often, it could potentially mess with hormones that affect your fertility, ability to have regular periods, bone health and more.
The bottom line is everyone’s body is different, and if you’re a woman that’s interested in intermittent fasting, you should follow some recommendations outlined below, while also using your own judgement.
If you try it and feel great, (and notice no difference in your menstrual cycles), then you should be able to proceed. But if you start to have irregular periods, than you should be even less aggressive with it, or stop it completely. Above all, we recommend you check with your healthcare provider before starting any type of intermittent fasting schedule, whether you’re a man or a woman.
BEST TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING SCHEDULES FOR WOMEN:
Crescendo Method – Fast for 12-16 hours for two or three nonconsecutive days during the week). For a 12-hour fast, this would look like eating from 8am until 8pm each day than not eating until 8am the following day. (This what I personally do).
Eat-Stop-Eat (24 hour fast) – This method is the same as described in the section above for men, except it’s recommended to start with a 14-16 hour fast and gradually build up.
5:2 Diet – This is also the same as the one for men, starting with slightly more than the standard 500-600 calories, 2 days a week and working your way to the lower calorie amount.
Modified Alternate-Day Fasting – Just like the 5:2 Diet except for this one you fast every other day.
(This is my preferred) 16/8 Method: Just like the one mentioned above for men, except it’s recommended that women start with 14-hour fasts and gradually build up to 16 hours.
Ready to start intermittent fasting?! One of the best things about this eating schedule is that it can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and weight loss plan to really LEVEL UP your results!
COMMENT BELOW which method you are going to start with!
In love, light, and empowerment for living your true highest self and your best life!