First and foremost, I have to say that I am NOT a nutritionist or a personal trainer. I do not have a certification to give you advice. This is just my take on intermittent fasting and what has worked for me. Secondly, intermittent fasting is a mouthful so, in this post, I am going to refer to it as IF to keep this easy to read. 😊 When I first heard of IF years ago I was NOT interested at all. I thought, “there is NO WAY I am going to starve myself to lose weight. No thanks!” and I left it at that. I never even gave it a second thought. Fast forward to 4 years later…I’m driving in my car listening to a podcast by Burpees in my Thirties. Her topic that day was IF and her guest was Autumn Elle (from Autumn Elle Nutrition). I was really intrigued by all of the information and I ended up doing a lot of my own research that night. I was still hella skeptical but I decided to give IF a try for a whole month and to see what would happen. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty real quick. IF, to me, is a way of eating that causes your body to get rid of all it’s junk, so to speak. By giving your body a break for 16 hours or longer, it’s able to shed all of the trash in its cells causing you to be more clear-headed, have more energy, give your gut a rest, burn fat and ultimately, cause you to lose weight. There are many different ways to approach IF and for this blog post, I’m not going to go into all of the different ways. I’m just going to tell you what I do and give you some resources at the end to do your own research to see what is best for YOU!
When I EatI personally do the 16:8 fast. Which means I fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. This is the approach that MOST people take when trying it out for the first time. My schedule looks like this: Eat from 12 PM- 8 PM and fast from 8 PM to 12 PM the next day. Let me be crystal clear here. I did not try this to solely lose weight. I tried IF to see how it would affect me in all aspects of my wellbeing (my weight, my energy, my gut, etc). You see, I suffer from some really awesome gastrointestinal crap (pun intended) that causes me to be constipated all the time and my acid reflux to be out of control. It’s no fun and I’ve literally tried everything from cutting out gluten to eating vegetarian and everything in between. You name it, I’ve tried it. So I thought controlling WHEN I eat for a month didn’t seem like a tall order.
What I EatThere are SOME schools of thought that say you can eat whatever you want as long as it’s in the 8 hours. There are also some people who think that they can skip breakfast and just CUT calories by fasting. This isn’t how I chose to approach IF because I didn’t like the idea of an 8 hour “free for all” (think pizza, beer, and all the chips) nor did I like the idea of cutting 500 calories or more from my day. I like food way too much for all that silliness! Instead, I chose to eat 1450-1600 calories a day, which for my weight, height and physical activity level, is a healthy range. I urge you to find out what range is best for you and to try to hit that number. Here’s what a typical day looks like for me:
- 8 AM: Bullet Coffee
- 12 PM: Breakfast of some sort. Typically toast and 2 poached eggs with avocado and sriracha.
- 3 PM: Something I would normally eat for lunch. Grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and broccoli or a veggie pita with tortilla chips.
- 6 PM: Dinner at home or out to eat. I try to keep it as healthy as possible with grilled salmon, grilled chicken or sauteed ground turkey with some sort of healthy starch and a veggie. If we are out to eat, I will have a piece of bread or some of the appetizer that everyone wants to order.
- 7:45: Glass of wine or a glass of kombucha.
Working Out When FastingYou can workout when fasting. It’s actually recommended if you want to burn more fat. Also, the high energy that fasting gives you is amazing when working out fasted. I know it sounds counter-intuitive that you would have more energy when fasting but its totally true! Your gut isn’t actively trying to digest food, thus, giving you MORE energy. On days that I workout fasted, I sip on BCAAS to keep my energy up and to protect my muscles. Again, some people might disagree with this and tell you not to. This is just what I do.
ResultsI am not going to lie and say that all of my GI issues were resolved by doing this. I still have issues but not any worse than before. I did notice that I had a bit more acid reflux on days that I fasted and didn’t drink a bullet coffee. I don’t really know why…but that’s what I noticed. I ended up losing 6 lbs in the first month and I’ve lost 11 lbs overall. I feel leaner and have a lot more muscle definition than I did before. I attribute this to the fat loss from fasting and working out fasted.
ResourcesBurpees in my Thirties podcast on IF Autumn Elle’s Post on IF Bullet Coffee Recipe