Because it’s fabulous. That’s my best answer. I’ve never been a breakfast person anyway so intermittent fasting relieves that guilt trap. Breakfast isn’t actually the most important meal of the day. I don’t know who thought that up. What is the most important meal is the one that gives you loads of nutrients so you can get ‘er done and let your light shine.
The FASTer Way uses a daily 16/8 fasting plan. That means you eat good, wholesome, life-giving food for 8 hours each day and let your body digest, rest, and reset the other 16 hours. It may seem crazy but generally speaking, you’re asleep for at least 1/2 that time so it’s really not all that different from many people’s normal schedule. You just have to be aware and not get snacky before or after your planned feeding window. Fasting in the morning is no big deal for me but I was surprised to realize how much I snacked at night after dinner. I definitely have a bit of a sweet tooth after the kids go to bed! So I was glad to learn that about myself and noticed a difference in my energy levels the next morning when I did not eat sweets before bed.
It’s completely normal to need to build up to fasting for 16 hours. If you’re starving, eat! This is a lifestyle choice, not a strict diet. Let me say that one more time. Intermittent fasting is NOT a diet. It’s a feeding schedule.
Benefits of Fasting
Here are some of the most exciting benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Improved hormone profile
- Increased life expectancy
- Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass
- Decreased blood glucose levels
- Decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity
- Increased lipolysis (the breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation
- Increased uncoupling protein-3 mRNA (important for the production of energy inside the cell)
- Increased norepinephrine and epinephrine levels, which increase fat breakdown
- Increased glucagon levels, which encourages the break down of fat in adipocytes
- Increased growth hormone levels, which preserves muscle mass
- Increased apoptosis and autophagy, which removes and recycles old, damaged cells that could potentially contribute to disease
So that’s a lot of science-y stuff. Translation: Fasting is good. The science is ever emerging right now, which is exciting, but you don’t have to read scientific articles and research results to try it and see how you feel. It’s amazing to me how much more energy I have when I’m really paying attention and feeding my body only during the non-fasting window.
It’s very important to note here that intermittent fasting is NOT to reduce calorie intake. You still eat as many calories as you normally would. Reduced calorie diets are not sustainable and are why so many people can’t stop dieting. Tired of dieting? We go more in-depth in my 6-week FWTFL client rounds. Have you joined yet? Why not?
Now, everyone is unique. You are the only you on planet earth. I can tell you about my experience all day long – and tell the truth – but that doesn’t mean your experience will be the same. MOST people benefit a great deal from intermittent fasting. But some really need a longer eating window and that’s totally fine! Even with a shorter fasting period, you will still get benefits especially if you’re focusing on whole food nutrition and putting quality food in your body. A major component of the FASTer Way is listening to your body. If you don’t feel good, you need to adjust something.
Here’s What I Do
I normally break my fast around 12:30 – 1:00 with a fairly good-sized meal. Depending on the day, maybe eggs and avocado toast with some raw veggies on the side or possibly a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk and a hard-boiled egg. Occasionally I just go straight for a hearty and spicy lunch. I really like buffalo chicken or tuna salad or maybe I’ll make a sandwich? It depends on my mood and the day of the week. Leftovers for lunch are also a regular around here. In fact, I generally plan my dinners based on the leftovers I want for our lunches. My husband and I both work from home so we eat almost all of our meals at home. I almost always have a second light “lunch” around 3:00 and then we eat dinner as a family at 6:00. Every now and then I’ll have a bite after dinner but that’s rare. My fast is often a little longer than 16 hours but not always. And, if I’m hungry, I eat! There are no extra points for having the longest fasting streak. Sometimes I need more food so I eat more food. Listen to your body! It has quite a lot to say…
Intermittent fasting is really fascinating. I hope you’ll consider trying it!