INTERMITTENT FASTING: PART II
If you didn’t know, I’ve been Intermittent Fasting (IF) for a little over 2 years now. I no longer view it as a diet but a lifestyle. I even got my husband into it and he fasts with me everyday! Today I’m sharing all about my IF journey including what led me to choose this lifestyle, my weekly and daily fasting routine, how my body reacts, the benefits/results I’ve experienced, and my overall view! If you missed my first blog post on this topic, check it out here!
HOW/WHY I BEGAN INTERMITTENT FASTING
Let’s start by discussing what led me to choose the IF lifestyle. Initially, I was looking for a way to lose some extra weight and jump start my body to getting on a healthy track. When I started, I never thought it would turn into my lifestyle and once I was consistent with it for about a month, I began to experience benefits I never expected. Namely, help with my digestion. I have always struggled with stomach and digestive issues. I am a pretty picky eater and my stomach is pretty sensitive so when I began to feel better about how my body was digesting food, I realized I may have stumbled upon something I didn’t even know I needed.
There are a number of other benefits I’ve experienced through the IF lifestyle including help with my daily energy, a faster metabolism, better gut health, and the initial weight-loss.
MY FASTING ROUTINE
I try to fast 7 days a week but some weeks I’ll only do 5 days, taking Saturday and Sunday off. Keep in mind if I’m on vacation, I’m not usually fasting but I do like to do a few days to keep me somewhat on track. On days I am fasting, I practice the 16:8 method which is 16 hours of fasting, and 8 hours of eating (or consuming calories). I eat between 2pm and 10pm everyday but many people opt for 12pm to 8pm as it works better for their schedule. We stay up later and get up later so 2pm-10pm works perfectly for us. It also allows me to have wine or cocktails on the weekends until 10pm without throwing off my schedule.
Some days, I don’t break my fast until 3pm or 4pm for one reason or another (usually I’m busy/on a deadline) and those days, I end up fasting for closer to 18 hours and my eating window is reduced to 6 hours. Because I’ve been doing IF for so long, this isn’t a big deal for me but if you’re a beginner, I would recommend starting with 16:8 or even 14:10. Easing yourself in and finding what works best for you is necessary for success with IF — it’s not one size fits all.
The reason I try to fast 7 days a week is because my body is used to it and frankly, craves it. I truly do not want food before 2pm. My body is so conditioned to it now, my stomach actually starts rumbling right at 2pm because it knows it's time to eat! So the days I don’t fast (eating breakfast or having a latte with milk etc.), I tend to get tired and my digestion might be off for a day. It’s not a huge deal because I usually get right back on track in the next day or two.
WHAT DO I EAT WHILE I’M NOT FASTING?
This changes week to week but for the most part, I eat a variation of the following:
+ AM coffee, usually pour-over with a tiny splash of heavy cream or black (some studies show that heavy cream breaks your fast, some show it doesn’t. I only use a tiny amount so I’m going with the notion that it doesn’t).
+ at 2pm I break my fast with Ethan’s Daily Detox
HOW you break your fast is the most important part of IF in my opinion. If you end up eating something unhealthy or start eating without a plan, it’s really easy to binge, which can be counter-productive. That’s why I love to start with an Ethan’s shot, usually a Daily Detox, but it really depends on what I feel like my body needs that day. Once I started taking Ethan’s in combination with IF, it really took my health game to the next level. One note, I don’t only take Ethan’s to break my fast, I love the Immune Boost (especially for this time of year ) any time of day and the Fast Fuel if I’m doing an afternoon workout.
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+ I follow my shot with a smoothie which usually is — spinach, frozen berries, almond milk, almond butter, half a banana, and protein powder
+ around 3 or 4pm I have a snack, something like flavored almonds and an apple, or pita chips and cottage cheese (always thinking about how I can get more protein and fat in my diet)
+ for dinner we do either chicken/potatoes/veggie, tacos, burgers, pizza, etc.
+ if I have dessert, it’s usually some kind of chocolate treat
+ I’m always sipping on water, I drink 1 gallon of water per day
WHY DO I FAST?
In addition to the benefits I listed above, I really just love being on a routine. I thrive on it and have found this is the most consistent health plan I’ve ever been on. Before IF, I was trying every different workout/meal prep plan at the beginning of every week (a “my diet starts on Monday” mentality) but nothing stuck. IF did, and it’s because for me, it’s maintainable, non-restrictive, easy over time, and it makes me feel BETTER.
Let me know if you have any questions about IF, feel free to DM me or leave them in the comments! xx