First thing first, intermittent fasting isn’t a diet, it’s more like a tool that can be used during your fatloss journey or simply for health purpose. Little disclaimer here; this isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing – aka it might not fit you. Even if a lot of athletes in the fitness industry only swear by I.F (Intermittent Fasting) it doesn’t mean it will fit you.
How does it work
I.F doesn’t tell you to cut calories, it doesn’t tell you to cut carbs or to avoid certain foods – it is a pattern of eating and it’s telling you when you eat and when you don’t eat. So, the first thing you wanna do when you start implementing I.F in your life is to start by choosing your ”feeding window”. Your feeding window is the part of your day where you allow yourself to eat. My personal feeding window varies a little bit depending on how I feel during the day. It usually start around 1P.M and last between 5-8 hours (8 hours is the longest feeding window you can allow yourself to have when doing I.F – otherwise it is not I.F). Basically, during that time, you can eat & when you’re not in your feeding hours, you’re fasting. The longer you fast, the better it is. That simple. It seems pretty easy and pretty dumb, right? Well, personally it is easy (in my opinion) and THERE’S IS SO MANY BENEFITS, you won’t believe me.
But before jumping to the benefits, I just wanna state a few things about I.F;
- You cannot consumer calories during your fasting period – AT ALL. It’s normal to get grouchy and hungry when starting I.F cause your system isn’t used to it; if you get dizzy, suffer from headache at first, start slowly and give yourself time to adapt and let your body fall to the ”fat burning mode”. That being said; only water, coffee and tea are aloud while you fast. Some athletes that I follow on Instagram will also have some 0 calorie drink like Zevia, Coke Zero or some 0 calorie flavoured water but I believe that when you drink those things your body is still, in some way, trying to digest something so I personally don’t drink those and I wouldn’t recommend either BUT if you’re almost dying and this is the only option for you, why not. So if you ask me ” If I but a bit of almond milk in my coffee in the morning, does it break my fast?” or ” If I squeeze a lemon in my water, does it break my fast?”, the answer is yes. There is calories in almond milk, there is calories in lemon. It does break your fast. You’re FASTING remember?
- Where you place your feeding window during your day doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t last longer than 8 hours. I find it easier FOR ME to start eating around 1P.M but for a mother that wakes up super early in the morning, 1P.M might not fit her and she might wanna start her feeding window at 10A.M and end it at 6P.M – it’s perfectly fine. We all have different schedules and it’s ok to arrange our feeding window around it.
- I.F isn’t a magical tool – you can’t stuff your face in tons of sweets and garbage and think your body will magically make you lose fat because you’re doing I.F. It’s not a diet, it’s a tool with plenty of benefits but you still need to ”check” what you eat. I personally don’t believe nor do diets anymore, I’ve done it long enough and after stopping dieting I realized that it does more harm than good to my body after all so now I am eating according to my intuition which is life saving and a lot less stressful than any other kind of diet out there.
- It’s not easy to start I.F. Your body WILL need time to adapt, so please don’t abandon as soon as it gets a bit difficult. Give your body time to adapt. I would day that personally after a week my body was really adapting and I was already feeling SO MUCH BETTAH.
- When first starting, push your meals gradually. So if you usually eat first thing in the morning at 6-7A.M, well try to push your first meal to 10-11A.M & move gradually to starting your fast later.
- Don’t obsessed over the clock. If you usually start your first meal at 2P.M and that at 1:30P.M your freaking hungry, it’s ok to eat at 1:30P.M lol. Listen to your body after all.
- If you’re working out AND also doing I.F, workout when it feels right. There is no good or bad timing to when you should workout. If your legs feel heavy and you feel like you have no energy between two of your meals but that in the morning you’re full of energy – well maybe it’s better for you to workout in the morning. Listen to your body and its signals.
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
The biggest benefit of I.F isn’t fatloss
The biggest benefit has to do with AUTOPHAGY. You might not be familiar with this concept cause it’s pretty new, but it’s amazing. Autophagy is the condition restate where by the cells are recycling damaged cell parts. So basically, it recycles ad takes out the trash around your cells. It’s also getting rid of pathogenic microbes – any mold, fungus, bacteria, virus sitting in the cell. Autophagy was discovered in 2016 by a Japanese scientist. Basically getting ride of all this is really helpful for cognitive factors (your brain), it’s anti-aging (since your getting rid of shit in your cells) and it also gives you a better immune system. Back then, they used to prescribe weeks and weeks of fasting to patients with cancer or any other big disease so all their body was doing is clearing out the trash out of their body instead of focusing on digesting. Cause, let’s face it, most humans eat so much during a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack and another snack. Feels like all our body is doing is digest food. When you’re practicing I.F, your body has time to attack other stuff than just the food you just ate.
– It is one of the best – if not THE best tool – to use for fatloss.
When you practice I.F, it actually triggers 2 main hormones in your body – the 2 most powerful ones. It triggers the growth hormone which is anti-aging and the most powerful fat burning hormone (there is 6 fat burning hormones and the ”growth hormone” is the most powerful and effective one). It also influences insulin which is a very powerful hormone that can block the power of your growth hormone if you have too much if it. I’m not gonna get too much in details but basically what you need to know/understand is that I.F will help you regulate those two hormones and actually ”make it easier” to lose fat in general. – Checkout this video to understand more the power of I.F in fat loss.
– Helps a lot with digestion
That was one of my biggest ”WOAH” when I started I.F. I’ve always had a lot of problems with my digestion before and implementing I.F changed that completely. Since you’re not always eating, your body has less small meals to digest and it has more time to digest too – it feels fantastic. I digest so much faster and so much more easily.
– Regulates blood sugar levels
– Diminish metabolic diseases
– Prevent diabetes
If this is something that interests you, I will link HERE a video about it. I am not touched in any way by diabetes so this is not something I like to focus on, but I understand that it might be something you might be interested in.
-Protect against cancer
I won’t say that it CURES cancer cause you would have to add more diet changes to I.F like maybe juicing, going plant based etc, but it definitely helps with cancer – CLICK HERE for more info on that.
So now, should you do I.F or not? That’s YOUR choice. As I said, it’s not for everyone but honestly with all those fucking amazing benefits, I think it’s worth the try, no?
Not only I.F is a great tool for any fitness goals you might have, it is also doing a lot more for your body than just helping you drop fat. Remember to start gradually, to be gentle with yourself and to listen to your body in the process!