Hello, Darlings! Today I am going to talk about Intermittent Fasting For Quicker Weight Loss. January is all about getting back on track for dieting and exercise. I will be honest, I have been struggling, mostly because of the cold weather. But, Spring Break and great weather will be here before you know it. I need to pull out another weapon in my diet arsenal, Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting For Quicker Weight Loss
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between eating and fasting. Fasting is defined as calorie restriction (no food) but you still can consume liquids for little to no calories such as tea, water, coffee. The goal is to lengthen the time your body goes without food so it will use stored energy sources such as fat.
Think Of Intermittent Fasting As Time Windows
Fasting makes you think of starving, and that is further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the last thing we want to do is to put our bodies in starvation mode. What we want, is our bodies to be in super fat-burning mode. So we need to prime our engines.
16:8 Intermittent Fasting Window
The 16:8 Fasting Window is the easiest because it essentially is skipping one meal. You want to NOT EAT for 16 hours and ONLY EAT during 8 hours. Most of the 16 hours of fasting will be during your sleep time. Remember, your eating window starts when you put into your mouth something with calories. Start with skipping your breakfast. Your morning coffee will need to be black or drink tea/water. You can drink water with electrolytes only if it does not have any sugar.
Lunch will start your 8 hours eating window. You can eat whatever every you want… BUT… no sugar, very low carbs. Fuel your body with good fats, low-carb vegetables, healthy proteins. Eating lots of good fat will give you the energy you need and will help to turn off the “FEED ME” signals your body gives.
Try to eat dinner early, before 7 pm. So that means eating lunch at 11 and dinner at 6 pm. Your dinner could be a nice protein, such as chicken or steak with low-carb vegetables or salad. Cook your protein with olive oil and enjoy butter on your cooked vegetables. Watch commercial salad dressing for sugar/carbs, instead make your own.
20:4 Intermittent Fasting Window
Before you move on to a new fasting window, you MUST successfully, without mistakes, complete 2 weeks of 16:8. Why? Because you need your body in fat-burning mode for success. 16:8 will become almost a lifestyle program if you do it correctly. You will not even think about it.
20:4 means that you will NOT EAT for 20 hours and ONLY EAT for 4 hours. This is closing the “eating window” to only 4 hours. Eating lunch laters, closer to 1 pm, and eating dinner earlier, by 5 pm. During the waking hours, make sure you are hydrated and drink plenty of water.
Start the 20:4 Intermittent Fasting by doing it one day a week, and building up. I usually have my 20:4 Fasting on a Sunday. You can gradually introduce more days of the week if you chose.
48 Hour Intermittent Fasting
16:8 with a couple of 20:4 Fasting Days is a great lifestyle. If you want to get more fat burning, you can try a 48 Hour Intermittent Fasting Window. You will NOT EAT for 48 hours. This is a great way to stress your body and challenge your eating habits. Keep busy, and DO NOT exercise. Make sure you drink your electrolytes and keep hydrated.
After a 48 Hour Fast, do NOT gorge yourself. Instead, go back to the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Window. If you overeat after the 48-hour fasting, you will make yourself sick. 48 Hour Fasting is a great tool to use if you have overeaten for a holiday and need to detox. You can do this once a month. We do not want to send our bodies into starvation mode, then we will not lose any weight.
Hard Core Fasting- 72 Hours
72 Hours Intermittent Fasting, means basically you are not going to eat for 3 days. This is done regularly in many cultures as part of religious practice/holiday celebrations. You will feel weak because you are really stressing out the body. During a 72 hour fasting, you want to drink water with electrolytes, protein broth such as chicken bone broth, and teas. You MUST keep hydrated or you will pass out.
STOP- Before You Start Intermittent Fasting
January was “Dry January” with no alcohol, in an attempt to get control of drinking. February is “Fasting February” to do the same with eating. The goal is to stop the “FEED ME” signals your body gives out which make us eat too much, too many times a day, and snack. The ultimate goal is weight loss in time for summer swimsuit season. Tape a sign inside your fridge that says “YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY- DRINK WATER”. Before you start, there are some steps you need to consider.
Now is a great time to break bad habits such as eating out of boredom or eating just because it is time to eat. Most of the time when you “think” you are hungry, you are actually dehydrated.
Step One- Eliminate All Sugars
If you have not already, it is time to detox your body of those sugars. I know Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, so if you have to wait until afterward to start, it is best. Your body will not burn fats if it has a nice supply of sugar. Sugar is the easiest fuel source and it will burn that first. Plus, when you eat sugars your body sends out the “FEED ME MORE” signals every couple of hours. It is very hard to fast when your body is working against you. It takes at least 2 weeks of no sugar to stop the sugar cravings.
Step Two- Go Low Carb
Carbohydrates turn into sugars in our bodies- EEK!!! So if we have eliminated sugars but are still eating lots of carbs, it means nothing. Our bodies are still sending out the “FEED ME MORE” signals every couple of hours. The easiest thing to do is eliminate the bread, pasta, rice, and chip carbs and only eat “good carbs” that are found in vegetables.
Step Three- Start Eating GOOD FATS
Wait.. I thought we are working on burning fats, now you are telling me to eat good fats? YES! You are “priming the pump”. If you have been eating the SAD Diet (Standard American Diet) your body doesn’t even know how to turn on its fat-burning engine. It is so used to burning sugars/carbs for energy. So we have to make it turn on the fat-burning engine and turn off the sugar/carb engine.
This is where the KETO DIET has been successful. The Keto Diet is 70% Fat, 20% Protein, and 10% Carbohydrates. If you haven’t eaten this much fat before, it is going to take some getting used to. Heavy Cream in your coffee, cooking with butter, eating avocadoes, nuts, olives, the cheese will all seem very wrong. But, when you start Intermittent Fasting, you will still eat these things, but start to eliminate the amount because you are limiting the amount of time you can eat.
Step Four- Take Weight And Measurements
YUCK! I know, I know… but you will thank me later. I want you to weigh daily as a motivator to keep on track. Once a month, take measurements again. This was such a great tool for me. On weeks where I did not lose weight and even gained a pound, although I was doing everything right, I saw HUGE losses in inches. Inches take some time, but the transformation can be life-changing. So you will want to be able to say how many inches you lost.
Remember, the starting weight and inches measurements are the worst, the highest you will have. Everything from here out will be down, down, down.
Let’s get started! It is very important that you eat enough good fats that you are not hungry outside your fasting window. Intermittent Fasting is very flexible. Let’s say you have a family dinner event, you can just adjust your window for that day.
Keep A Journal
Keep a journal of what you eat and when you eat it. It can be very helpful to count macros- fats, proteins, carbs. There is a phone app you can use to keep track, Carb Manager. This way you can see if you are eating too many carbs and not enough fats. The fats will give you energy for the fasting, fats are your friends, at least the good ones.
Fasting And Prayer
Many churches are using Fasting February as a time for a renewed emphasis on prayer. There are so many great prayers and devotional guides out there to choose from.
The biggest mistake people make during Intermittent Fasting is NOT eating enough fats. You need those “good fats” for energy or your body will send FEED ME signals and you will fail. I keep a small supply of nuts in my purse for an energy boost. That way I will not be tempted to grab a quick sugar fix.
Have A Food Meal Plan
Make sure you plan your “eating window” foods. Not having a plan or food supplies ready will cause you to reach for the nearest food source, fast food. You can find some “okay” options, but most fast food is filled with carbs and unhealthy fats. Choose wisely or you will not lose weight.
I can not stress enough the importance of drinking water with electrolytes. This will help prevent headaches and feeling dizzy. When your body is burning carbs/and sugars it will release a lot of water. You will go to the bathroom…. a lot. That is why on most diets you will lose 5 lbs almost immediately, water weight. This is because when you eat high carbs/sugars, your body stores water with it. If you eat good fats, it does not.
You will get dehydrated if you don’t replace it. Dehydration signals are the same as sugar/carb- FEED ME. To prevent these cravings, drink water with electrolytes that have NO SUGAR. My favorite electrolyte is Dr. Berg’s Raspberry And Lemon. It is made with stevia which your body does not react to the same as sugar. It does not take a lot, I use a teaspoon for my large Yeti cup, fill it with water and ice, and stir.
Benefits Of Fasting
Although we are using Intermitted Fasting as a tool for faster weight loss, fasting has many benefits. Fasting can help break bad eating habits like snacking and eating multiple times a day which caused insulin resistance in many people. Insulin Resistance is a leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes which is a huge problem in our country.
During the fasting window, your body has time to repair and heal. Longer the window, the more opportunity for new cell generation and healing. Many people are able to get off of long-term medicines, especially anxiety, blood pressure, and Type 2 Diabetes meds after making fasting a lifestyle choice.
One of the biggest wins with Intermittent Fasting is an overall feeling over well-being. Brain fog clears, skin looks better, you have more energy, and the benefits of weight loss such as lower BMI. One of my favorite benefits is a better quality of sleep.
Watch Video For More On Intermittent Fasting
Exercise And Intermittent Fasting
You can still exercise and do Intermittent Fasting at the same time. 16:8 Intermittent Fasting is a great lifestyle. So that you do not get weak, start off slowly, building in more exercise as your body gets used to the fasting window. Do not exercise on the 48 or 72-hour windows. For me, I am really concentrating on the Intermittent Fasting part and will add more exercise in my routine in March.
I am a walking success story of how you can combine the Keto Diet with Intermittent Fasting and lose weight. Last year I lost over 40 lbs, unfortunately, I put back on 10 lbs because I went back to my old habits during the holidays. But now I am ready and motivated to get back on track.