Taking Steps with Intermittent Fasting

footprints

While I get the content rolling on this site, let’s first get some input from the resident experts of Intermittent Fasting….those people that have been doing it! I’m one of them, implementing more consistently in my life for probably a good 2 years. Although there probably have been plenty of times fasting took place whether being sick or just cramming for a college exam. But even those times were more unintentional, it seemed that nature had a reason for it (curing sickness, increasing mental clarity…that is what I would like to think my days in college were about!).

There are many advantages to fasting including:

  • Helping to give your digestive system a break so it can “clean up” (Imagine your gut as a house and it’s dirty from all the people coming in and out. Now no one is in the house and you get a break from the trafffic, lots more can be accomplished). This is also along the lines of the fact that all health does being in the “gut”. (I hope to have more posts on this in the near future but will leave it at that for now)
  • Allows your body to use enzymes and other energy to repair cells, boost immune function, clean up deposits, and other health improving functions.
  • Most people are suffering from some level (if not a big level) of insulin resistance which has been linked to increase risks of most all diseases including heart disease, cancers, accelerated ageing, diabetes and more. Giving our body “breaks” from the onslaught of insulin allows it to actually start to become less resistant to it. Imagine listening to loud music all day, pretty soon your hearing will get worse and worse and what is the solution? Turn off the source of the problem, the loud music. Chances are your hearing will come back, as the body can repair and heal (thank goodness cause otherwise we would have all been goners long ago)

I see the question quite often, how often do I intemittent fast? Well besides my wise ass answer of “intermittently”, I would have to say it depends on one’s goals, state of current health, activity level and overall lifestyle. Like any good program, one has to review and adjust to make sure they are not seeing decreases in performance, body composition or overall health.

So how do you start to IF? First I would say back up and learn how to eat “clean” in the first place. Intermittent Fasting on Crap (or IFOC as I will call it) will not do anyone any good. Someone who is not active, severely overweight and decides to eat in smaller windows without changing the food they eat may see an initial weight loss that can be associated with the lower calorie intake (since crappy food usually has a larger calorie total). But overall these are short term results and a person will plateau without soon needing to eat better or take up exercise to change it up. So step 1 is always going to be, make better choices in your foods first all day long. This means good quality meats and protein with every meal, vegetables, some fruit, healthy fats and other snacks like nuts. What it also means is no sugar and processed foods.

Once you can maintain a healthy food eating schedule (even if it is 85% complient…as not anyone I know is ever 100%) then I would say you are ready to add IF. Some people may only add it for a day, some 2x a week and others daily. Again is there one way to do it? No. In fact shifting protocols may have additional benefits as the body will always respond better to changes. Again all this has to be monitored to one’s goals, body composition, performance and health. If you start fasting every day, and you are seeing negative results then you have to backup and adjust. Most people can not fast every day and maintain a high performance level without taking in a large amount of food in a shorter window. Others see it as an easier lifestyle to fast every 3rd day and use that as a day of rest from activities. Too many variables and everyone’s needs and schedule for working out will be individualistic.

But hopefully on our journey we will evaluate different approaches and anyone from any lifestyle will be able to understand and implement IF to best suit them.

In the meantime I am asking the people who IF to comment, let us know what has worked for you, what you like and dislike about IF, what changes you make and so forth.

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