March 31, 2016
After talking about Intermitting Fasting (IF) last week in our video, I just wanted to share with everyone some of the things I have learned about it and how I’m using it to get back to where I want to be, from a body image standpoint.
First off, this is not for everyone, and I would do your research to make sure this is right for you, we are not experts but just sharing with you what we have learned and what we do. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult a medical professional. With that being said, here’s what I found, I love me some research! I started reading the pros and cons of IF and the health benefits, yes I said health benefits and a lot of the information I’m going to share is from the book “The Wild Diet” by Abel James. For those that are not familiar with Abel, he was one of the trainers on the ABC show, “My Diet is Better than Yours” that aired for four weeks in January 2016. Shaun T was the host of that show, so you know we had to watch. Shaun became friends with him and thought highly of him, so we were like, “Ok if Shaun likes him, he’s probably a smart guy.”
Abel talks a lot about fasting and IF in particular, I was immediately interested in his plan because it sounded like something I could do without starving myself and you get to eat MEAT!!!!! So far from his book I have learned a lot about food and ingredients in food, which can be a later blog post, but here’s what he says about fasting. He also warns that it is not for everyone, but if you want to try it, you should. Most people are trained to eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and sometimes a bedtime snack. Abel teaches you how eating a “feast” at dinner, with dinner being your largest meal, and not eating again for 16 hours helps your body burn fat, build lean muscle and help you function better. So if you eat at 7 pm, you would not eat again until 11 am the next day, if you eat at 8 pm you would eat at 12 pm the next day, you get the point. In that 16 hours of “fasting” your body taps into growth hormones, which boost your metabolism, build muscle, and slows aging. You sleep through most of the 16 hours, so it makes it a little easier. It’s ok to have coffee in the morning but you’re supposed to watch what you put in your coffee, the added sugar and creamer are not doing you any favors. We use stevia and some research we found says you can use a little bit of creamer but not much. Abel recommends whole fat creamer or raw butter. Todd and I like the stevia or whole fat creamer (but again, not much!). Make lunch your first meal with fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and healthy fats and then have your “feast” at dinner with protein, carbs and veggies and then fruit for dessert. Basically during the 8 hour period, you’re getting your 2-3 meals in for the day.
I have been fasting for the 16 hour period and the first few days were an adjustment. You have to listen to your body if your stomach is just growling, drink some water, but if you start to feel light-headed or dizzy, and brain fog sets in, then you might want to eat a small snack like fruit or nuts until you get used to fasting. If you have a bad sugar addiction, you may want to ween yourself off the sugar some before you start, or Abel says you could have a rough adjustment.
After the 16 hours is up and I’m in my “eating window”, I’ve been using the 21 Day Fix portion containers to plan out my meals and food categories, that way everything stays simple. I am not afraid to eat my carbs (2 yellow containers for me) at my evening “feast” because I will sleep better and it will give me the fuel to make it 16 hours until my next meal. We were always told, and I repeated to a lot of you, that you shouldn’t eat carbs (or your yellow containers) at dinner, well with IF, that’s not true. You need the carbs to get you through the next 16 hours. What we’ve found in Abel’s book is that your body actually burns what you ate for dinner the night before, in the morning the next day for energy. He says people always thing Breakfast is what gets you going, but he says “not true”. According to him, whatever you eat, your body doesn’t actually use for energy for 6-8 hours. So the breakfast you are eating now, isn’t burned off until later in the afternoon or end of the workday. The 16 hour fast, causes your body to use fat and what’s in storage for energy and uses the “feast” from the night before for energy.
I have also been working out during my 16 hour fast (usually in the morning) which helps drop fat as quick as possible, boost production, gain muscle and improve recovery. So you could try working out in the morning, cutting out breakfast and start with lunch and see what happens. Abel talks about how it’s good to eat your first meal right after you workout, so on days when I’m home, I try to workout later in the 16-hour window and then eat. I think Todd and I were both nervous about working out on an empty stomach and having the energy to do it, but so far it’s been great. You are allowed to use your pre-workout, so that helps!
So far, I am down 3 pounds, but most importantly my waist is getting smaller. If you watched the video, I did where I talk about my body image issues that’s where I struggle, in my mid-section and I already see results there. Todd and I both are, the bloating is gone and gone quickly. We’re very conscious of what we eat during our 8 hours, and yes we do have dessert sometimes, in fact, we pretty much do 85/15 or 90/10 during those 8 hours, and so far the results are good.
That’s it for today; we’ll keep posting and talking about this as we learn more and see more results. I’m also going to blog about what I’ve learned from Abel about food and what we’re now buying and not buying anymore.