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ShFit Talk #31 - Intermittent Fasting

Good by 2020 and Hello 2021 and with that I think we are also seeing Intermittent Fasting Step up to the “Trending” throne on ways to lose weight.

There are so many different diets out there today, You have everything from

  • Keto - Low Carb Diet

  • Intermittent Fasting

  • Calorie Counting (weight watchers)

  • Mediterranean

  • DASH

  • Plant-Based Diets

  • And So much more

Hell I am sure we have all tried one if not more of these over the years. And after a few months of progress ended up giving up, plateauing and just ending up back to where we started. Today we are going to take a closer look at Intermittent Fasting. What is it? How does it work? What are the benefits? And can it really help with weight loss LONG TERM! Well to keep it simple Intermittent Fasting is restricting the time you’re allowed to eat which will simply reduce the amount of calories you eat and lead to weight loss for a period of time. In some studies intermittent fasting has been shown to cause a 3-8% weight loss over a 1 -6 month time frame (3 - 24 week) as well as reduce the waist circumference by 4-7%. Waist circumference can be used as a screening tool, not a diagnostic of the body fatness and/or risks health of an individual. For example, If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you're at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

And one of the coolest things about intermittent fasting is that it can BURN FAT while preserving muscle mass and that can help your improve overall metabolism! Who doesn’t want to boost their metabolism. Plus intermittent fasting has been linked to anti-aging effects, increased insulin sensitivity, improved brain health, reduced inflammation, and many other benefits.

One of the most common failings of this is the overcompensating and eating as much food as possible during the time frame that you are allowed food. So it does require self control which for some people can be difficult There are a number of ways to do Intermittent fasting. It is not a 1 size fits all type. It provides a bit of flexibility so you are more likely to find a variation that works for you. For example, I personally do a 24 hour fast from my last meal on Sunday until dinner on Monday and then do a Fasted workout every day of the week. But again, that is just me and that is something that I find works for my body

The 6 popular types of Intermittent Fasting are:

  • 16/8 Method: This is Fasting for 14-16 hours a day and only eating for 8-10 hours a day. Say For example only eating between 12 - 8 pm (This is the method I use daily and find it easy to get 2 if not 3 meals that time frame no problem)

  • 5:2 Method: I had an aunt try this method and she did quite well on it. You eat normally for 5 days and on 2 days you restrict your diet to 500-600 calories. It was called the Fast Diet and popularized by a British Journalist so I’m pretty sure that is how she heard about it :-) It is important to remember on your “Normal Days” you are still staying within your recommended caloric intake. Not adding/sneaking in extra calories.

  • Eat/Stop/Eat Method: Popularized by a fitness expert Brad Pilon this method involves a FULL 24 hour complete fast once or twice a week. You can still do water, coffee, tea, zero cal beverages but NO SOLID FOOD. And once you break your 24 hour fast it is EXTREMELY important that you have a well balanced healthy normal meal. Don’t just go ham on a bag of cheetos. I guess you could say I also do this as I do not eat Sun after Dinner around 5 pm until Monday 5 pm. Sometimes this 24 hour period can get rough, depending on so many things. What my meal was Sunday, Stress, Menstrual Cycle, Weather, Mental Mind Set, Exercise Routine, Anxiety Level, And sometimes around hour 18/20 I sometimes just start thinking about what delicious dish I am going to cook for dinner, but for the most part, I am good. That only happens every few months.

  • Alternate Day Fasting: Every other day you either do a 24 hour fast or eat under 500 calories. And these days you are not fasting, you enjoy your 3 meals without your recommended calorie amount. This method can be a bit extreme, so I wouldn’t suggest jumping into this one if you are looking to start fasting and I don’t suggest this being your final Intermittent fasting gold choice standard because it can be hard to sustain long term. Heck what if your birthday or wedding or a friend's party falls on what your fasting days? I don’t know about you I like a little flexibility in your life.

  • The Warrior Diet: I had a co-worker who lived, breathed and died by this bad boy. He would nibble on fruit and veg all morning like a rabbit and have a smashing earliesh dinner around 3 and that was it for the day, Nothing else. Not sure what dinners with his family were like, wondering if he just sat with them drinking a glass of water or something. IDK. But man was he super fit and very active, a runner, I would always see him at the company gym, spotted him at a few of the spartan races. It worked for him for sure. He was on it for the 5 years I worked with him.

  • Spontaneous Meal Skipping: I think this one is just called life. Sometimes we don’t have time and damn we missed a meal. LOL

So common we hear it is all about calories. Even as a personal trainer you almost get in the habit of telling clients eat, less, exercise more. But that becomes almost like a broken record right. Sure calorie reduction lasts for about 6 months, plateaus and then it comes back. The problem is that advice is just nonsense. When we eat food. (Healthy Diet here, not just grabbing fast food) → the insulin in our body goes up → Store sugar in liver Produce Fat in LIver Insulin just does it’s job; most of the foods have a mix of the Fat, Protein & Carbs. The carbs get turned into (glycogen) sugar. And when you have too much of that the liver turns it into glucose and stores it as body fat for later use. Good Job Insulin you did what you were supposed to do so we have energy stores ready to go. But the problem is getting the insulin to let the glucose back out.


Cus now to get the energy, our body has to pull that sugar and fat out of storage and use it up. You are probably sitting on at least 24-36 hours of sugar energy stored away before even touching your fat storage right now. And yes I heard myths when I started going into fitness. If you don’t eat, your will burn muscles. Well guess what. They must have missed that day in class because, NOT PROTEIN - PROTEIN IS NOT A STORAGE FORM OF ENERGY!!!

Starvation Mode is a Myth - Again, Um NO. You have so much stored up inside you. Did you know in 1971 a 27 year old man, named Dennis Galer Goodwin who survived on fasting for 382 Days and went from 456lbs to 180lbs - It is the world record. Instead of “Starvation mode” Your body will actually give you the amount of the energy you need by boosting your metabolism so you can go find food to keep you from starving. Your body will give you more tools to find food to survive. Because that is human nature. We have been doing it since before their were McD’s on ever corner, we have been doing it since we were cavemen had we had to hunt for our food.

So why try Intermittent Fasting cuz well….

  1. It’s Simple (no meal planning)

  2. It’s Free (no buying groceries)

  3. It’s Convenient (no cooking, no clean up, there is nothing)

  4. You can Literally Add to Any Diet

  5. You Have Unlimited Power (It’s flexible and freeing - yet if you do it, don't’ eat - you will lose weight)

Please remember while you are fasting that does not mean you consume nothing! You can drink water, coffee, tea, and other zero-calorie beverages during the fast, which can help reduce feelings of hunger just no sugary drinks etc.

And as always, although Intermittent fasting sounds like the be all of healthy lifestyles “can’t really call it a diet can we”, it is still not safe for everyone and you should talk to your GP before deciding to try it. Those with sensitive to drops in their blood sugar levels, such as some people with diabetes, low weight (BMI <18.5), or an eating disorder, as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women, should talk to a health professional before starting intermittent fasting and children under 18 because you are still growing young ones get a Docs sign off first.



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