Intermittent fasting is gaining in popularity. Although it is not a new concept, it is a conversation that has gained some momentum in recent years. In today’s post, I want to look at what it is and how it may help people who have struggled to lose weight, tone up, or simply want to live a healthier life.
Before we get to the details, however, I just want to give a little back-story about me.
Food has almost always been an issue for me. I am not obese and have not struggled with my weight, per se. But I have struggled, rather, to have discipline when it comes to eating healthier options and controlling my portion sizes.
If food is sitting out and available to me, I eat it!
Maybe some of you can relate.
A good example of this (or maybe I should say BAD example!) was at a recent birthday party that my family and I attended for a good friend of ours. She was having a big, surprise birthday party thrown for her. Everyone was bringing a favorite dish of hers to the event. The good news-bad news: she and her family are incredible cooks and they love to eat! So you know I was excited to pig out … I mean, celebrate her birth!
Although I had been eating fairly healthy the week of the party, I got to the event and completely pigged out! Pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, warm baked beans, potato chips, and more pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. Seriously. I was a mess and loved every minute of it!
Until that evening, of course. My stomach reminded me very quickly what a fool I had been.
Which brings me back to intermittent fasting.
Let’s look at what it is, how it has helped me, and how it could possibly help you as well.
Intermittent Fasting 101
Intermittent fasting is not a diet. That’s the first thing that made me curious about it and what drew me to want to learn more. Dieting is frustrating for most of us because it can help us to reach our goals but it can’t sustain our lifestyles. So we diet, feel good, slowly revert back to our bad habits, trash the diet and then gain back all of our misery and weight.
Intermittent fasting, then, is a good alternative to this crazy cycle.
In layman’s terms, intermittent fasting is simply the conscious decision of when you’re going to eat.
For example, the pattern of eating that I am currently on is to only eat between 12:00 pm and 8:00 pm. I decided to fast and not eat my first meal of the day until noon (which for me is a premium grade supplement routine that changed my health several years ago). After that, I try to make healthy decisions with what I eat and simply choose to not eat after 8:00 pm.
For me, this routine helps me to have the one thing that I struggle with the most: control. Intermittent fasting helps me control when I eat and also helps me be more conscious of what I eat. By doing that, it puts my mind in a more controlled and determined state and has helped me tremendously when it comes to controlling the foods I choose during that 8-hour window of time.
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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
When you are trying to lose stubborn weight this pattern of eating can really help. Here’s why:
When you eat, your body is designed to start processing that food and using it to create energy to help support your bodily functions. Because you have just supplied your body with readily-available energy (food), it uses this – rather than stored energy (fat).
Herein lies the problem.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you want to lose the stored fat in your body. But when you’re eating regularly, you are using the readily-available food to energize your body rather than the energy (fat) that is stored. Here’s where the intermittent fasting comes into the picture.
When your body is fasting, it will use the stored energy to operate and function. Thus, burning off the excess fat and helping you to lose those unwanted pounds.
Putting these concepts together, you get this:
Controlled/Conscious eating = Stored Fat Used First = Lose Weight and Feel Great
There is a ton of science and heavier reading on this if you’re interested (I’ll put a few links below for you to check out). My suggestion is to simply give it a shot. If you’ve been struggling to lose stubborn weight or are like me and just need to get better control over your eating habits, then intermittent fasting may be a great option and choice for you!
Links for more study: