Intermittent fasting, also referred to as IF, is by no means a new concept, although it is becoming more widely known and practiced. By definition, intermittent fasting simply means eating within a certain time frame. This is, of course, quite different from the practice of eating six small meals throughout the day.
Many people who do IF choose to begin their fast after their last meal of the day and extend it until lunchtime. This may be anywhere from a 15 to 18 hour fasting period, wherein meals are consumed between 12pm and 5 or 8pm. Other people choose one or two days of solid fasting per week, either with water only, juicing or just liquids (coffee, water and raw juicing). For example: fast from Tuesday dinnertime until Thursday breakfast. This would be about a 36 hour fast. However it is done, the key is to keep the body in a fasted state (under 500 calories).
You may be asking yourself a few questions at this point, the first being Why? Followed by But isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?!
For the “Why,” I want to provide you with a list from the Bulletproof Diet:
- Boosts weight loss
- Increases energy
- Promotes cellular repair and autophagy (when your body consumes defective tissue in order to produce new parts)
- Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Promotes longevity
- Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Improves memory and boosts brain function
- Makes cells more resilient
As for the notion that we must eat breakfast daily, consider the following:
When our bodies are not overwhelmed with producing different enzymes to break down food, digesting and eliminating those foods, it turns inward and uses that time to heal itself. As a side note, this is why a good night’s rest is so crucial to our physical, emotional and mental health: we need that time of rest so that our bodies can heal and regenerate. Our bodies are amazing, and when properly taken care of, we will push limits and boundaries we did not know were possible. We will feel better, look better, ad function at our best.
When I do intermittent fasting, I like to begin after my last meal of the day, then wake up early (5am), make myself a bulletproof coffee, and remain in a fasting state until lunch. Sometimes I continue fasting until later in the afternoon and break my fast with a handful of pistachios or something similar (the fat and salt is very satisfying), then eat a normal meal for dinner. I do not feel weak or grouchy at all when I follow this way of eating. And yes, I can still get out with the double jogging stroller and power walk for an hour! In fact, I feel energetic and not weighed down with a full, bloated belly. I look forward to my meal and enjoy the flavor of the foods so much more.
If you want to follow something similar but are not sure you can do it, first of all: Yes, you can! Secondly, start out with just a few days a week. Follow a plan like below (taken from the Bulletproof Diet):
Step 1: Finish dinner by 8pm
Step 2: Drink Bulletproof Coffee in the morning. You can have another cup before 2pm if you get hungry.
Step 2.5: Work out (optional)
This isn’t necessary for weight loss or intermittent fasting. But if you’re going to work out, exercise just before breaking your fast.
Step 3: Eat a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb lunch at 2pm.
Step 4: Don’t worry about counting calories, but try not to snack between meals. Save your carbs for dinner, and finish eating by 8pm.
A bulletproof coffee is simply coffee with a tablespoon of healthy fat, either coconut oil, MCT oil or grass-fed butter. Blend until creamy and enjoy! The healthy fats provide energy for your body and brain.
Here are some great products for you to try to kick start your day (click on the picture for purchasing info):