What is Intermittent Fasting?
“I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency”
If you do not eat anything after a 6 or 7 pm dinner until the next morning, you are doing a short-term fast of about 8-12 hours depending on what time you have breakfast. If you do short-term fasts regularly or daily then it is considered intermittent fasting. With intermittent fasting, you set certain cycles to ensure you fast regularly. For example, the two most common intermittent fasting cycles I teach are based on a 1 meal per day and 2 meal per day schedule. The 1 meal per day cycle is straightforward. You pick the most convenient time in the day for you to eat and you enjoy your only meal of the day (about a 24-hour fast).
The 2 meals per day intermittent fast is a little more complex. Here I recommend you choose an eating window of 4-6 hours. For example, having your first meal of the day at 12:00 pm and your second (final) meal at 6:00 pm is a 6-hour eating window. In other words, you can eat from 12pm-6pm but not outside of those hours or window (18-hour fast). If your first meal is at 2:00 pm and your last is at 6:00 pm then you are using a 4-hour eating window (20-hour fast).
In the beginning, I would start with the 2 meal per day schedule with a 6-hour eating window until you get used to the feeling of living and functioning in a fasted state. I remember when I started intermittent fasting several years ago. It was definitely an adjustment and it wasn’t just a physical one. The hunger pans went away quite quickly for me, lasting only a few minutes in the first couple of days. More than anything, it was challenging mentally. This was not because of mental fatigue, fogginess or function but more from a test of self-belief and will power and habit deconstruction.
Actually, my mental clarity and function rose significantly. I had more energy than I ever had before on a consistent basis. I could work a full day and then workout intensely in a fasted state and still feel energetic afterwards. My body obviously loved and thrived from intermittent fasting. I quickly realized that the challenge was all in the mind. We set up these mental barriers to change which sound like; “There’s no way I can go that long without food. I would die!” “I have no will power so it won’t work for someone like me.” Of course, this is nonsense.
Once you get going, your will power and relationship with food changes. You become less of a slave to food. You will adopt more of an ‘eat to live’ mentality instead of a ‘live to eat’ one. It may be difficult for you to visualize yourself having that kind of control right now, but I assure you, you can and will. I have seen the most “out-of-control” overeaters completely change their ways within days of implementing intermittent fasting. Your body and mind completely change state. Think of it as a total paradigm shift.
Intermittent fasting has a host of other benefits as well including fat loss. If fat loss is your goal then combining intermittent fasting with lowering your carbohydrate intake, especially to the point of ketosis (25 grams or less), will boost your initiative. When I get a client, who is super motivated and their compliance is high, I put them on a well-formulated, intermittent fasting ketogenic diet (IFKD) and the fat loss results are always incredible. This is because IFKD promotes fat-adaptation for energy. You literally become a fat burning machine (instead of a glucose one). Once you reach your goal, you can start reintroducing some more carbohydrates and determine what your “Carb Tolerance” or intake threshold is roughly. This way you can create a more practical maintenance diet to enjoy more delicious foods and still not gain any of the fat you lost back.
Your V10 Health Coach,
P.S. If you are interested, I also make a coaching video for each of these posts on YouTube. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss out on any of the valuable content I share. Here is the link for this post: https://youtu.be/vnFYMBtoiVU