The Basics of Intermittent Fasting

Happy Thursday Squadies! Today I am going to give you my advice on the basics of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a SUPER simple method anyone can use to help leanify their lives. Although it is quite simple to do, before getting started, you should have a basic understanding of what it is, how it works, its benefits, and how you can implement it into YOUR lifestyle!

Before we get started, make sure you check out my brand new upcoming Lean Challenge! Starting this MONDAY, myself and 100's of Squadies will be transforming from home, all together!


What is Intermittent Fasting?

We have all heard the term fasting before, but what does it MEAN? Fasting basically means not consuming any calories for a certain period of time. What about intermittent? Intermittent means not continuous or steady, rather periodically or in intervals. Put these 2 terms together and you get Intermittent Fasting. It is a pattern of eating in which you cycle between periods of fasting and periods of eating. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change WHAT you eat, it changes WHEN you eat.

The 16/8 method is a common fasting protocol, where you choose to only eat for an 8-hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. This may seem daunting at first, but if you think about it, we already fast without noticing it! We are fasting while we are asleep, which is usually around 8 hours, which already puts you halfway to 16 hours!

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to lose unwanted fat. To understand how this works, we first need to understand our body’s response when being fed vs fasted at the physiological level.

As we start eating food, our body begins the digestion process by breaking down the food we eat, which lasts several hours. During this process, our bodies have trouble burning fat because of its increased insulin levels and glycogen stores. Instead of using fat for energy, our bodies are using glycogen, which comes from food.

We start to enter a fasted state once we have stopped eating and have allowed our bodies to absorb the food. In this state, our glycogen stores are depleted and insulin levels are dropping. Since the body has no more glycogen to use for energy, it starts to utilize our fat stores instead. This is when we turn into FAT BURNING MACHINES! 

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting and fasted workouts leads to greater fat loss

As described above, intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way of losing fat. This is especially true if you workout within your fasting window! Think about it, a workout requires a lot of energy within a short period of time, meanwhile your body is primarily using fat for this energy while in this fasted state. Take advantage of this and LEANIFY your body like never before! My challenges are the perfect place to start! Sign up today!

Intermittent fasting reduces our chances of disease

Constant feeding to our bodies around the clock can cause oxidative stress and inflammation, which are contributing factors towards aging and many chronic diseases. Giving our bodies time to rest from continual digestion can prove beneficial against aging and diseases.

Intermittent fasting leads to positive physiological changes

When our bodies haven’t eaten for a while and are not having to focus energy on digestion, attention can be directed towards natural physiological changes that keep our bodies healthy. Insulin levels are able to drop and human growth hormones can increase, which can lead to fat burning and muscle gain. Squadies, this can help you feel less bloated and more in control of your food consumption!

How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting

So you're wondering how to get started with intermittent fasting. As previously mentioned, the most common fasting to eating ratio is a 16 hour fast and an 8 hour eating period. Although you will see results quicker by fasting daily, when starting off, you can either fast for shorter periods of time within the day OR you can choose certain days in a week to fast. 

Be flexible, you don’t have to be super strict with yourself right away. This can help you ease into the idea of fasting, and give your body a chance to get used to it. You can start off with a 12 hour fast and work your way up to 16 hours when you are ready. 

An easy schedule to start off with is only eating between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM. If you want to start off with a shorter fasting window or these hours don’t work, feel free to adjust this range accordingly. The best way is whatever works best for you and your schedule!

During your eating window, make sure you are eating the proper foods, and are getting all your nutrients in. This will help you to stay satisfied for longer throughout your fast, and it will prevent any negative side effects such as fatigue or hunger. Try this Baked Feta Pasta or Low Carb Shepherd's Pie! Remember to always listen to your body, follow whichever hour ratio works best for your body and lifestyle! As long as you are fasting for at least 12 hours, you are getting the benefits of intermittent fasting!