Intermittent Fasting – AKA “IF”

AN INTRODUCTION TO IF

As many of you already know, I am a huge fan of Intermittent Fasting (IF). I get questions about it ALL the time, so I share a lot of IF testimonials and tips on my Instagram. IF looks different for everyone; there are so many different ways to go about practicing it. This post is meant to introduce you to IF and explain why I think it’s an amazing lifestyle choice.

Disclaimer: I want to be clear in stating that I am not a doctor. What you’ll find here is simply some of what I’ve learned from doctors, specialists, and my own experience. If you have a history of eating disorders, if you have any blood sugar issues, or if you’re always really hungry for whatever reason (lots of exercise, lack of sleep, etc), then intermittent fasting probably isn’t the best for you. 🙂

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet; it’s simply an eating pattern. “Fasting” means to abstain from food. This eating pattern is all about condensing your meals for the day into a shorter time frame, usually within 8 hours. So instead of eating between 8am to 8pm, you’d would shorten that time frame to 10am to 6pm. That’s just an example, you can work with whatever 8 hour window best fits your routine. Most people fast for 16 hours of the day, some prefer to fast for 14 hours, and others for 18 hours. Some people fast every day, and others fast 3-4 days a week. Some people don’t fast at all and automatically frown on the idea of fasting for health.

I’m going to argue against the “frowning”  IF is just common sense in a lot of ways. Think about it: until very recently, grocery stores and restaurants were not available on every corner. Hunter-gatherers weren’t eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day—they were eating calorie rich meals when they could, and using that food as energy until they found more food and could eat again. Finding food wasn’t that easy! It’s weird to think that we now live in a culture who preaches the “never skip breakfast” idea, because that type of thinking is radically different than the way our ancestors thought. Our bodies are built to go for periods of time without eating. Those hours when our body isn’t digesting anything is healing and restorative to our cells! We need non-eating periods to “reset”. Check out this podcast for more info

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IF?

Something as simple as changing our eating schedule can make such an impact in our lives. Because I speak about IF + Blender Bomb smoothies so much on social media, I get testimonial DMs ALL the time about results that truly blow my mind. Here’s a sneak peak.

 

Intermittent Fasting is known to do the following:

While IF isn’t a “magic pill” that will fix all of your problems, it is a surprisingly simple step that will most likely positively impact your overall health.

HOW DO I DO IT?

Like I mentioned earlier in the post, there are tons of different ways to practice IF. Personally. I like to practice Intermittent Fasting about 4-5 days a week for around 16-18 hours.

A typical IF eating schedule for me starts with waking up, drinking water with lemon or hot tea until my first meal which is anywhere between 11:30am-1:00pm. My first meal is always a calorie dense BB smoothie. I make sure to load it up with a lot of greens, fruits, Bomb Butter, veggies and ⅓ cup of granola on top! My smoothies are usually high calorie, fiber-rich and filling.

I’ll eat a snack in between lunch and dinner to hold me over, and around 6pm-7pm I’ll eat dinner. Dinner is usually a high-carb, but plant-based meal with a lot of leafy greens. Sometimes I will have a little Hail Merry, or Hu chocolate as a healthy dessert. I won’t eat again until the next day around 11:30am-1:00pm.

Every once and awhile I’ll do a longer fast or I’ll go through a period when I don’t fast at all, but for the most part I stick to the 16-18 hour window 3-4 days a week. It’s my sweet spot and it’s what works for me and I encourage you to do what is best for you!

RESOURCES

Intermittent Fasting is pretty popular right now, so I would highly recommend doing a little research of your own to learn more about it. I highly recommend the BBC documentary Eat Fast and Live Longer  to learn more about the science and medical side of IF.

Read “Intermittent Fasting: The Definitive Guide (2019)” by Alex Reed to answer all of your IF questions.

The “Intermittent Fasting Podcast” is a great for getting more specific information about all of the different aspects of the IF lifestyle.

Longevity & Why I Now Eat One Meal A Day” on YouTube is another little gem of information when it comes to IF.

And finally, listen to this podcast for a brief and fun explanation about IF and 80X20.

COMMON FAQs 

If I have suffered from an eating disorder should I avoid implementing IF?

If you have or are currently suffering from an eating disorder Intermittent Fasting is NOT recommended. I would encourage you to consult your doctor if you have more questions!

Can IF lead to binge eating?

IF should not lead to binge eating. As long as you are eating enough during your “eating hours” you should stay full through your fasting hours. If you feel like you’re binge eating, make sure the foods you are consuming are nutritious, calorie and fiber dense, and fueling for your body. Not junk food! 

I have diabetes, should I IF?

Diabetic people have seen various results (good and bad) when they practice IF. Please consult with your doctor before implementing IF into your lifestyle if you are diabetic.

Is it bad to IF while pregnant? 

You need to consume an extra 300-500 calories while pregnant, morning sickness is REAL and it is super important to listen to your body during pregnancy. Many doctors suggest avoiding fasting during your pregnancy. Please consult with your doctor before implementing IF into your lifestyle if you are pregnant.

Is it okay to IF while breastfeeding?

Fasting can affect your milk production because it limits the amount of food and liquid for you and your baby. Please consult with your doctor before implementing IF into your lifestyle. 

I do HIIT exercising early in the morning, is it okay to not eat before hand?

It is totally okay to not eat before you do a HIIT workout! If you feel nauseous, lightheaded, or experience any other symptoms, please listen to your body and break your fast before HIIT. 

How long until I see results from IF?

Everyone is different, with different metabolisms and hormone levels. Results usually show within two weeks to three months!

How many days a week should I intermittent fast?

This is a personal preference! For me, I usually IF between 4-5 days a week. There is always a one week “transition” period to get your body in the intermittent fasting routine. Remember to always listen to your body and if IF makes you feel good, do it and if it doesn’t don’t!

What are the negative side effects from IF?

If you have any previous medical conditions, are over 65 or are prescribed medications, IF may not be for you. Please check with your doctor first if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have diabetes, are younger than 18 or are underweight. 

What other questions do you have about IF? Comment below!

Keep up the HUSTLE,

Helen

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