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Weight Loss Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Many diets focus on what to eat.  Keto, Paleo, Low Carb, and countless more.  I have tried many of these as well as several shakes, teas and magic pills only to gain the weight right back plus some. With intermittent fasting it is all about WHEN you eat and isn’t a diet at all.  It’s more of a lifestyle.  With intermittent fasting you only eat during specific times.  It’s very simple and besides burning calories, scientific evidence points to some other health benefits as well.

Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson, Ph.D., has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years.  He says our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer.  In prehistoric times, before we learned to farm, people had to go long periods of time without food to survive.  They were hunters and gathers and that took time and energy to gather all those nuts and berries…think modern day Naked and Afraid.  I would be skinny for sure!!!

In today’s society, with everything at our fingertips we can be on social media, binge watch our favorite shows (I just finished Virgin River last night) and have access to whatever we wish 24/7 which creates the perfect environment of eating or grazing all day and late into the night on our favorite snacks.  Extra caloric intake and less exercise leads to weight gain and health problems.

There are several different fasting models for example one model requires you to pick two days a week and fast those two days and eat regularly the other five days.  Most people find that very difficult to follow, myself included.  In fact, I want to eat my arm off and the person’s arm next to me if I don’t eat so that doesn’t fair well with my work family.  They all know I get hangry!!  We are going to focus on the 16:8 method due to it’s the most popular and easiest to maintain.  The concept is simple, you eat during any consecutive 8-hour period and fast for the other 16 hours.  You get to decide when your 8 hours begins.  I like to begin my fast at 11 am. And end my fast at 7pm.  Am I absolutely perfect each day? Not even close.  I just start over the next day.

What should you eat during your 8 hours of fasting? During your 8 hours of eating, you should try and eat whole foods.  Eat as few processed foods as possible.  Eating proteins, leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy fats. Do not go crazy during your 8 hours loading up on carbs and sugar, don’t super-size when you go through drive-thru, make good choices when eating out. I can guarantee you will not lose any weight fasting if you eat like crap during your 8 hours.   During your 16 hours you may drink all the water, zero-calorie drinks, unsweet tea and black coffee you wish.  Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn fat without fad yo-yo dieting.

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