diets


Intermittent Fasting: What Every Beginner Needs to Know

The Diet Industry is a billion dollar business for a reason. It doesn’t just promise to help us shed weight, it also taps into our psyche about how we can be better and more happy humans…if we can just drop a size in our waistbands.

dietcycle

I don’t diet.

But I do practice a pattern of eating referred to as intermittent fasting for about 14-16 hours per day (including sleep time).  Two weeks ago I wrote about a New York Times article regarding a study where lab mice were forced to go on mini-fasts of at least 12 hours. I have become that mouse. Before trying intermittent fasting (IF), I was always hungry about 90 minutes after breakfast, no matter what I ate. My eating schedule was breakfast, then “second breakfast”, lunch, snack, and then dinner. It was a lot of food! Since cutting out breakfast first thing in the morning, I am not hungry until lunch time.  I actually feel less preoccupied by food when I skip breakfast, and, after a bit of practice, I can easily go at least 14-16 hours between my last meal and my first.

Why and How

So why is fasting now being associated with healthy living? Well, there is a lot of hoopla on the internet about getting into your “fat loss” mode after 12 hours, and how this method will burn off more abdominal fat than any other. There’s also the supposed anti-aging benefits of the mini-fast. But for me, it’s even more simple. This strategy is an easy and effective way to eat less food, while not feeling hungry! If you’ve been thinking of trying intermittent fasting, keep reading for some tips and tricks to having a successful fast.

Intermittent Fasting is Not For Everyone

Do not try IF if you are hypoglycemic, diabetic, pregnant, or breastfeeding. This is also not a good idea if you’ve ever had an eating disorder or feel like you may be susceptible to one.  Please, if food has ever been an issue for you, do not try intermittent fasting.

Fasting Tips

  • If you are trying IF, please understand that you still must eat a healthy, balanced diet. Any claim that you can “eat whatever you want” is false. Conversely, you may also see a bunch of blogs from people who claim to only eat one meal every day. That’s not for me, and most likely not the best eating plan for most people. Do what feels right, and try to track your calorie intake for a few days, to make sure you are eating enough/not eating too much.
  • Coffee with a little cream during the fast is actually ok. I take mine black, but a splash of half and half in your coffee (as long as it’s only up to two tablespoons) should not break your fast. You can also drink tea, chew gum, and of course, water is fine. Stay away from sugar until after your fast.
  • Start slowly with this new pattern of eating. On the first day, start with 12 hours, on day two fast for 13 hours, and so on. At the end of week one, you can try for a 16 hour fast and see how you feel.
  • One blogger’s advice is NOT gospel -except this one, of course 😉 When I was first researching intermittent fasting, every site claimed that at least a 16 hour fast was necessary. This approach is not for everyone! Because of differences in our hormones, some women can’t comfortably fast longer than 14 hours, and that’s fine. Martin Berkhan’s site leangains.com has been writing about IF for years and addresses both women and men on his site.
  • Should you work out fasted? A lot of IF sites tout the benefits of a fasted workout, but there is no actual evidence that this is the best approach. I like to take a small amino acid shake with me and drink it either before or during my workout.
  • Finally, don’t allow any IF to interfere with your life. Want to grab breakfast with a friend? Go for a long run or bike ride in the morning? By all means, eat! There are plenty of times I break my own rules of eating all the time to fit my needs and schedule.

Just remember that the best diet is the one that you can stick to. Intermittent fasting has worked for me, but in the beginning, I gave myself time to adjust to the eating schedule. I eat a balanced diet, and most importantly, I don’t allow it to stress me out.  If you decide to try it and have any questions, please hit me up on Facebook or email me at amy.blitz@gmail.com.

Finally, according to the Weatherman, Thursday, March 5th was our LAST SNOW DAY!

Did anyone else enjoy our "last snow of the year"?

Catching major air on the slopes

Diary of a Trainer: What’s Trending this October!

Trends are fun. I usually don’t take them seriously, but I find that educating myself on the latest health trends are a good to shake things up a little. New diets, sports drinks, workouts, and healthy snacks… if it’s fitness related and “trending,” I’m going to at least read about it, and most likely give it a try. Remember when I tried three major lifestyle diets?  I’m glad that that’s over, but happy to have at least experimented a bit.

Here a couple of things I am into at this moment:

Intermittent Fasting

I’ve been skipping breakfast on and off for over a year, and it’s my go-to way to slim down after a period of eating with reckless abandon. I go on a 14-16 hour fast (yes, sleep is included), eat throughout the day, then cut myself off from food at 8:30 pm. You may read that a strict 8 hour window of “eating whatever you want” will work. I find that those articles are written for men, with no research done on women. Ladies, I recommend you eat a healthy diet, filled with fruits and veggies, to get the best results. However, intermittent fasting does allow for indulgences, so you don’t have to feel guilty after that Sunday brunch (whoop whoop!)

There are a few different ways to fast. There’s 20-24 hour twice weekly fasts and also a once a week 36 hour fast – no thank you! I prefer the mini-fasts that I do about five days a week. Last thing to note: I start every day by drinking two glasses of water and a coffee with half a TB of coconut oil every morning. This does not seem to disrupt the fast, as I still get results, plus it makes the process that much easier. Then I drink water or tea until breakfast.

There are some fasting articles online, but if you want your specific questions about the topic answered, just ask me here or on FB.com/blitzyourbody. I’m happy to offer my personal experience.

FYI, Hugh Jackman famously got in Wolverine shape with intermittent fasting.

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Glorious.

Flavored Coconut Butter

I wouldn’t know this existed if it wasn’t for Instagram, and now I can’t get enough of this stuff. Well played, Internet, well played. If eating almond butter out of the jar is your thing, then drop everything and get yourself a jar of Nikki’s Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Coconut Butter STAT. There are other brands out there or you can make your own like this lady  from my Whole Food Life.

I will probably never make my own, but I will keep this stuff on hand despite it’s $13 a jar price tag. It’s just ground up coconut meat, ground nuts, cocao, and honey or dates to add a little sweetness. Just be careful with this stuff. Two tablespoons are about 220 calories and 20 grams of fat! Yes, that is a lot of fat, but the fact that is’s a plant-based saturated fat, as opposed to an animal sat. fat, means it won’t clog your arteries.

Note the photo bomb by my Kabucha squash.

Note the photo bomb by my Kabucha squash.

My Favorite Recipe Utilizing Coconut Butter

1 tsp all natural almond or peanut butter

1 tsp chocolate hazelnut brownie coconut butter

1 spoon

Scoop a little of your chosen nut butter on a spoon. Place a little chocolate coconut butter on the same spoon. Put in your mouth. Die of  happiness.

photo (47)

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