Have you ever wondered if Intermittent Fasting (IF) is the right strategy for you to lose weight, reset your hormones, and feel better in your body?
Written by Guest Contributor, L. Peterson in coordination with Kristy Jo
In Episode #183 of the Body Buddies Podcast, Kristy Jo talks about who is a good match for fasting, how to do it, and the ways it can be beneficial. Intermittent fasting is absolutely one of the helpful tools in the #PFL, but it is not for everyone.
As you learn more about this strategy of nutrition, consider if it is a fit for you in your life at this time. You might even learn how you can utilize this strategy once, twice, or even three times per week to see results.
To start off, who is Intermittent Fasting best for?
Kristy Jo says that Intermittent Fasting is fantastic for people who don’t have an over-attachment to food on a psychological level, and for people who often find themselves too busy to have the recommended six meals per day.
(If you’re curious about why Kristy Jo recommends eating 6 meals a day, she explains it in her book). You will also more likely be successful in your fasting if you have been in the Power Foods Lifestyle for a while.
If you are new to Body Buddies, Kristy Jo recommends fully committing to the #PFL 2-3 weeks before engaging in IF. If you are prone to emotional eating, bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, and other similar tendencies, Kristy Jo says that fasting probably isn’t the best strategy for you, but also that she could be wrong.
“You can always put it to the test. Whenever we test a new approach, we want to give it at least 21 days and to do it fully, with absolute integrity and accountability to yourself or with me on a coaching level.”
Keep in mind that all of this is a process.
“Your body did not come “pre-manufactured on proper settings. We have to train your body how to function optimally, get your metabolic flexibility up, get all of the genomes functioning properly, and build up your microbiome (your blood brain barrier).”
These are all things that take time and effort, but with consistency and proper training it is possible.
You can work toward an IF lifestyle and test it out, or find other flexible options of application that work better for you. Everyone has different approaches that are the most effective for them. At the minimum, engage in IF once per month to help cleanse your system. You can do this easily when you do the 10-Day Power Foods Detox once per month (a great idea for EVERYONE).
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
There are many studies showing possible advantages of Intermittent Fasting.
A few of these are controlled insulin levels, higher level of human growth hormone, improved cellular repair, weight loss, and increased metabolic rates.
Now we’ll go into each one of these more specifically.
Controlled Insulin Levels
In the #PFL, you are recommended to eat 6 meals a day. This keeps the insulin levels from spiking too much at one time, helps you stay ahead of hunger, and does not exacerbate I.B.S. symptoms.
But the truth is that your insulin will always release when you eat as blood sugar levels rise. You have to keep your eating on a consistent schedule to keep your insulin levels steady.
If you are not able to do that in your lifestyle, IF could be a good option for you.
If you are eating less throughout the day, it makes sense that your insulin levels will drop significantly, which will also facilitate fat burn.
Human Growth Hormone
When fasting, the blood levels of the human growth hormone may increase as much as 5 fold. Higher levels of this hormone has many benefits including fat burn and muscle gain.
Weight Loss / Increased Metabolic Rate
Many people believe that fasting will increase your metabolic rate, but short term fasting actually increases this by 3.6% – 14%, helping you to burn calories and lose weight.
How Do I Implement Intermittent Fasting?
First off, don’t eat lots of carbs before beginning your Fast. This will cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop dramatically during your fast, making fasting much harder on you and your body.
Next, Kristy Jo explained the traditional 16:8 approach to IF.
In this approach, you begin your fast in the evening after dinner, and the next day you will not have your first meal until somewhere between 11a.m. and 1p.m. You can have your second meal of the day around 3 and your third meal around 7. After dinner, you are done eating for the day.
How much should you be eating during my eight hour eating period?
Kristy Jo explains that even though you are eating all of your meals in a smaller amount of time, you still need to be getting the same number of calories. She recommends around 1,500 for the average semi-active female around 5’5″ who is looking to lose weight slowly and strategically for no hormone disturbing.
To do this, you will still plan PVF meals, but double or triple the portion sizes of each. An example of this would be having 8 oz of your protein, two scoops of your fat, and double the veggies as your lunch.
Kristy Jo says that her biggest concern with this strategy is that people will reduce their vegetable intake with each meal.
“This is easy to do since you are eating less, but this is detrimental to your health. You need those veggies so they bond to amino acids and make proper neurotransmitters, which is especially needed in those with poor mental health. You should be getting six servings of vegetables per day.”
Once you have this down, you can begin to figure out the timing intervals that work best for you! That could mean fasting 2 days a week, fasting one day every other week, etc.
Map it out and plan it out. This is personal to you and your health and will be different for everyone.
Success in Intermittent Fasting comes down to two simple things:
You have to plan out when you are going to break your fast. If you don’t, you will end up breaking it whenever your psychology or social cues tell you it’s time to eat because that’s what your body has been trained to expect.
You have to override the eating habits that you are used to and train your brain to say “No, I don’t need food right now; my eating window isn’t here yet.”
Kristy Jo powerfully explains by saying:
“Life has so much more to offer than the traditional mindset and the day you realize that is the day you become the master of your body.”
Track your eating, be consistent with this strategy for at least 21 days, and give your body time to adjust. Remember that this is all very complex as our bodies are complex.
What works for one person may not work for you and that is okay. There are so many different strategies and options, it’s all about finding the one that makes you happy and healthy.
Work with Kristy Jo one-on-one (online coaching only via Facebook messenger video or Skype).