Intermittent Fasting Lowdown
My Full Disclosure Policy
Intermittent fasting has been pivotal in my weight loss.
I have a confession I haven’t been 100% forthright in my weight loss journey. For about ten months, I have been intermittent fasting. When people ask me how I lost 70 lbs, I always say it was through Pray, Eat Well and Exercise. It never occurred to me that Intermittent fasting had something to do with it, but looking back, it probably has helped me tremendously. It wasn’t until I talked to someone about how I intermittent fast, and she said, “Well, De, that sounds like your secret formula.” I never thought of it like that because, at this point, it’s second nature. I have been doing it for almost a year now.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates through fasting and feasting periods. Fasting has been practiced since Biblical days, and now modern-day science can give you a definition of the benefits of this longtime practice. It is also prevalent in the Fitness and Health Industry, and now there is a resurgence of people fasting other than for Biblical purposes.
According to the National Institute of Health, there are so many benefits to fasting:
- Reduces inflammation. Inflammation can have some adverse effects on the body. It’s the way your body responds to outside threats like stress, infection, or toxic chemicals. An overreaction can cause your body to “fight” itself, leading to chronic diseases, among other things. Fasting has been
- Optimize energy metabolism- your body uses what it has more efficiently during fasting.
- Bolster brain function. According to a National Institute of Health Study, “The behavioral responses to Intermittent Fasting are associated with increased synaptic plasticity and increased the production of new neurons from neural stem cells” (Lee et al., 2002). Meaning your brain sends signal better and creates new signals more often.
- Protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease. There have been studies that intermittent fasting during chemotherapy has helped reduce cancer patients’ toxicity levels and improve their health during treatment. (Lee et al., 2012).
- Protects against neurodegeneration (such as Alzheimer’s). When fasting, your body will utilize fatty acids for energy; meanwhile, your brain uses ketone, amino acids, and other free fatty acids. Studies show that “a human can survive for 30 or more days in the absence of food.” It has also been hypothesized that the process of Ketolysis that happens during prolonged fasting has improved the aging process and positively affected mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reduces obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fasting has the potential to delay aging
How do I do it?
You’re going to find a lot of different methods. Everyone has the secret sauce, but you can fast too if you follow common sense. Three intermittent fasting methods can be found with lots of different names and variations, but I will give you the fundamentals.
The controversial 5:2 Method: You eat your calorie regimen for five days, but you eat 500-600 calories for two days consecutively.
There is the 16/8 Method: This method was popularized by Leangains and has been called “Leangains protocol”; You do a 16 hour fast and then an 8-hour feast or eating period.
The Eat-Stop-Eat Method: When you feast, you fast for 24 hours 1-2 times per week. It’s usually dinner to dinner, so you have overnight, but it’s still hard to withstand food for 24 hours.
I do a combination of the 12/16/8 method and Eat Stop Eat Method. It doesn’t sound evident but like anything, once you’ve been doing it for so long becomes second nature. I do a 12 hour fast daily; the kitchen curfew is 8:30 pm (which is late), and then I don’t resume eating till after 8:30 am. On arm days, I typically do a 16 hour fast. I will do kitchen curfew at 8:30 pm and then eat the next day at 12:30p. On Sundays, I usually do a stop by to eat. From Saturday dinner time to Sunday dinner time, I fast. I’m not going to lie; first, it was crazy hard, but now I don’t have an appetite until dinner Sunday. I don’t usually do anything other than Church and nap. It’s a beautiful day to relax, fast, and worship.
Why do I do it?
When I fast, I feel better, and I have more energy. I am not snacking all day, and it’s easier to hit my macros in my 8-12 hour feasting span. I plan fewer meals, and they are more massive and more nutrient-dense to get all that I need. Having lots of small meals has me in the mindset of continually nibbling, and I need to sit and eat meals. If not, I end up biting more than I intended. It helps boost my metabolism while I am eating for my goals. I have found it very useful in my weight loss journey and contributed it to my belly fat loss.
Should you do it?
If you are currently underweight or have a history of eating disorders, I would not recommend fasting. If you want to try another approach to your nutrition and how you eat, I would try it for a week and see if it makes a difference. Try it longer to have a lasting effect. It’s really up to you, but I would inform myself before “joining a challenge.” The most adverse side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. Other than that, it is beneficial unless you have a preexisting condition that prolonged fasting would affect, such as diabetes. With any nutrition program, you should consult your doctor first. Also, intermittent fasting will not replace getting prayer, rest, exercise, and eating nutrient-dense food. This is in addition to your existing exercise routine.
Where do you begin?
Begin with a 12 hour fast for at least three days a week and graduate as it gets easier. Nothing crazy stop eating at a specific time every night and don’t begin again until 12 hours later. I would also encourage you to drink up your water during this time. It will help you with cravings and meet your hydration needs. It’s that simple. The more complicated it, the less efficiently it is adapted. You’ll know when you’re ready to try other methods of intermittent fasting.
Some basic considerations:
- While fasting, it is okay to drink water, coffee, tea, and no sugar beverages. I like to start my days off with BulletProof coffee, Organic Coffee, 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, 1 Scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen, and a little Cinnamon or Chai Spice Mix I don’t do Protein Shakes, Meal Supplements, or Dairy Products while fasting.
- I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and it should not be skipped. Breakfast is essential, but the positive effects of fasting on your body supersede the impact of well-balanced lunch.
- Should I take supplements or medications while fasting? Most supplements and medications recommend consuming a meal because they are fat-soluble. Of course, consult a physician, but you should probably wait until you resume eating to take your supplements and medications.
- Suppose you work out early in the morning and are concerned about the fasted workouts found. There has been lots of research on the benefits of fasted exercise. I also recommend Branch Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs to drink before or during your workout. Use code FAITHFUELED to get 20% off.
- I don’t want to lose my muscle gains. Muscle gains are from proper protein intake. During your feasting time, you should ensure you are getting the appropriate amount of protein to nurture muscle growth and prevent loss. Studies show that intermittent fasting will result in less muscle loss than if you restrict your caloric intake.
- I don’t want to get Metabolic Damage from fasting and slow down my metabolism. GRR! Another lack of research is going around. I’m not sure if it’s to scare women or people don’t check their facts but short-term quick boost metabolism. It’s fasting for long periods of over three days that can cause damage and a suppressed metabolism.
Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts of fasting!
Have you ever intermittent fasting?