There are several different ways to practice intermittent fasting, and you have two options to consider: whole day fasting or time restricted fasting. Before I break those two factors down, I think I should say as a reminder that you should listen to your body when practicing any form of fasting and consider your social calendar into the equation too. Basically set yourself up for success. No one is forcing you to fast at Suzy’s wedding or a LSU tailgate. If anything plan your fasting around those events, so when you slip into your favorite outfit you look and feel great. Weight loss is an obvious benefit of fasting, but studies also show more balance with hormone and insulin levels too. Personally time restricted fasting has shown so much success for me that I do it constantly, not just when dieting. I practice this probably 3-4 days a week. Which may seem a bit extreme, but it works for me and I am on month 5 of it. Think back to the Paleolithic age, they did not eat three meals a day. They maybe had one a day if they were lucky. So this type of dieting is no new concept.
WHOLE DAY FASTING is exactly what it sounds like, you would fast for an entire day from all foods and only consumer water. Drinking tea and coffee are allowed if needed, but with no additives (sugars, cream, soy, milk, etc). A popular practice of this is to choose a consistent day or two each week to fast, so a 5:2 method. Five days you eat regularly and two of those days you fast completely. This practice is
NOT juicing. Most juices have tons of sugars due to the fruit in them. And we want to avoid those sugars while fasting. Whole day fasting is putting the pause on consuming any macro and micro nutrients: fats, proteins, sugars and carbohydrates. By the end of the day your gas tank is typically on empty and you are ready for a more restful REM sleep cycle.
TIME RESTRICTED FASTING is only eating one meal a day, so anywhere from 8-16 hours with no food. The most commonly chosen meal to eat is dinner, but this is your choice to make. Again listen to your body and think of your lifestyle. Again, water and teas are allowed with no additives. Time restricted fasting is commonly confused with timed nutrition. Timed nutrition is completely different, you are allowed several meals throughout the day that are to be eaten at specific times of the day. So again, this is not that, you are only eating one meal a day. Personally this is my favorite form of fasting. Not only have I seen the number on the scale go down, but I have also lost inches and feel way more lean and less bloated.
EXERCISE: As far as exercise, if you already work out regularly then you should continue unless your body is telling you differently. Understand that you body is undergoing and transitioning the way it is going to process and burn fat while fasting. It may seem difficult at first, but the more you do it the easier it gets. To optimize your caloric burn, wear a heart monitor and try to keep your average heart rate in the 150-180 bpm. But remember, no protein shake afterwards.
Some people can jump right in and start fasting with no problem, but some of us cannot. No shame in that. If you want to give fasting a try, but are a little hesitant then you should put yourself to the test and use these tips. One of the best practicing for getting started is to only eat breakfast and dinner. Then cut your breakfast in half and keep dinner the same. Then maybe try eliminating breakfast all together. And if you are trying to get to whole day fasting, eliminating dinner is next! And if you are not interested in stretching this out over the course of several weeks then you can absolutely do it in one week. Monday, only have breakfast and dinner. Tuesday, 1/2 your normal breakfast and regular dinner. Wednesday and Thursday, just dinner. And Friday, just dinner! Again if you are trying to achieve whole day fasting status then that would be Saturday.
For more information on fasting go to causeymedaesthetic.com or if you are local to Baton Rouge, stop by our clinic on Highland Road.