Thursday, August 27, 2015

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting -- it’s one of those things that I was forced to do while in Catholic school before church, or on Good Friday.  A period of torment where all I could think about was food because I wasn’t “allowed” to eat.  When I started reading little snippets about something called “Intermittent Fasting”, I was skeptical to say the least.  Questions like, “won’t I be destroying my metabolism?” and “how will I not be starving all day?” entered my mind.  I saw posts by girls on instagram doing something called “fasted cardio” and looking kind of miserable about it.  However, being extremely interested in all things nutrition, especially the science behind such things, I started doing some research and found a lot of great information that I’d just love to pass on to my readers.  Let me start by saying that intermittent fasting is not for everyone.   There are some days that I just literally cannot slug through it and just absolutely must pop a grape in my mouth.  I sometimes struggle with low blood sugar that seems to come out of no where (hence my Hangry-ness) and when this happens, I know I just have to eat.  I’m sure it has a lot to do with what I’ve eaten the night and the day before but as I said, I’m still learning and figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t.  

Ok, so let’s get into it, shall we?  

There are many different methods of intermittent fasting, some cause more torture than others.  There is a method that I know that I could never bear:  the 24 hour fast...  once or twice per week.  No.  Thank.  You.  Although the science behind it makes sense, I just can’t wrap my brain around not eating anything all day.  So I’m not even going to go there.  

Other methods include normal eating mixed in with severely reduced-calorie days (like 600 calories -- isn’t that breakfast?).  Again, not interested in total starvation and a blood sugar of 42.




My preferred method of fasting:  Women fast for 14 hours a day, men fast for 16 hours a day and we all eat for the remaining hours.  This is totally do-able considering the fact that the time you are sleeping counts towards your fast.  So, I finish my last meal at 8pm, unwind, go to bed, wake up at 6:30, have some black coffee (calorie-free drinks are allowed during fasting), get ready for work, arrive at 8am ... I’m already fasted for 12 hours!  Certainly I can wait until 10am to have breakfast.  I’ve found that I easily can last until 10am, so I try to push it to noon as often as I can.  From there, my diet doesn’t change, I simply meet my macro goals and find that I am really never hungry for the rest of the day. 

My days off work get a little tricky as I have begun to dip my toe in the “fasted cardio” pool.   This is where my blood sugar crash can come in.  I usually wake up at the normal time of 6:30, but I don’t have work to distract me.  I do, however, have my husband eating waffles to distract me.  So I get out of the house and go on a run...  and come home pouring sweat and sometimes inches from unconsciousness.  Fasted cardio at it’s finest.  

Now, there are a lot of people out there that will tell you that doing cardio on an empty stomach isn’t any different than after having a meal.  Others say that your body will utilize stored fat as fuel if you are fasted; if you’ve eaten a meal your body will use the calories you ingested as fuel.  I can see the science behind both sides, but speaking from my personal experience, I’ve never seen a trace of abdominals until I started using intermittent fasting and fasted cardio. 

My goal here isn’t to talk anyone into intermittent fasting, just merely to open your eyes to another way to live and possibly get results.  I find this way of eating to be simple, satisfying and my body is changing for the better.  Do some research and find the best method for you.  

Here are some great links to get some more information:

http://dailyburn.com/life/health/intermittent-fasting-methods/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/intermittent-fasting-science-and-supplementation.html


No comments :

Post a Comment