What is Intermittent Fasting and the Benefits?

What is INTERMITTENT FASTING?  If you follow me on FaceBook, you may have seen me post about this new talked about health trend, Intermittent Fasting.

To be honest, I have been asked about this and why am I doing it since I clearly don’t need to loose any weight?  So I wanted to clear up any confusion and share a bit more about what I have experienced.

First of all, for those of you who are knew to this idea of intermittent fasting let’s chat more….

What is it?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is essentially shortening the window of eating during the day.  For example, if you finish dinner around 6 pm on Friday evening, you stop eating anything from this period forward until about noon or so the next day.  So essentially you are fasting for about 18 hours.

Most often we eat a bit later (7 to 8 pm) so I don’t normally break my fast till about 3 pm the next day. Therefore you have about a 6 to 8 hour eating window once you break your fast. You can still eat the same amount of calories (although most often you won’t) just in a shortened time frame. Make sense?

During the fasting time, water, coffee, and or tea are normally consumed.  I tend to have water with lemon and apple cider vinegar first thing when I wake up and than a cup of bullet proof coffee about an hour or two later.  Around noon or so I will have a cup of my favorite energizing green matcha tea. That’s all I consume besides water, up until I break the fast that is.

Seriously if you haven’t tried MCT oil…it ROCKS😋.  It gives me a ton of energy!

How often do I do IF and why?

To be honest, I go at least 12 to 16 hours almost every day without eating and I’ve been doing this for years even before I knew what Intermittent Fasting was.  It wasn’t a widely publicized practice, or at least I wasn’t aware of it up until about a year ago when my friend Ellie suggested I try extending my fast once or twice a week.  She mentioned this would teach my body to use more fat for fuel when I am out running for an extended period of time.

For me it was an easy transition because I love to run and work out in a fasted state (an empty stomach).  By the time I get done running and working out at the gym, it’s often at least 9 or 10 am before I even think about making my protein smoothie, (almost 16 hours of fasting).

Sometimes I break my fast earlier, before noon, but a couple days a week I go much longer.  Once you get used to increasing your fasting window, 16 hours is quite easy.

Truthfully I feel great doing this and it’s a good way to give your digestive system a break, instead of eating throughout the day.  For some people, Intermittent Fasting may not be the right thing, but I have discovered amazing benefits.  First off, more energy and stamina even when I am approaching 18 hours, and I also find I have good cognition.

The main reason for extending my fast however, is to improve my use of body fat for fuel.  I hear all the time “But Karen you don’t have any fat”…but even lean runners have some fat.

Just a few strides before a race

SO why do I do IF since I clearly don’t need to loose weight?

As I mentioned above, I exercise better on an empty stomach. My body has gotten so used to running early in the morning and since I always eat a good dinner with lots of veggies and a clean protein, I find I am not at all hungry.  If you add an extra starch the night before, most everyone, including me, can go for a run the next morning without fuel and the longer you run, the more likely you’ll start to use fat for fuel.

I usually do longer intermittent fasts, 18 to 24 hours, on my lighter exercise days such as a rest day or cross training day.

Yoga in the Park

It also simplifies my life a lot! As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, I also look forward to not thinking about what I am going to have for breakfast, lunch or snacks on my longer intermittent fasting days.  Can anyone else relate to this?  So freeing!

IF has truly been a wonderful experience but I also realize not everyone will agree.  I am still trying to convince my husband to try it😉.

If you’re at all interested, start slowly.  Stop eating at dinner and than wait to break your fast the next morning a bit longer each day.  The key is to listen to your body for hunger cues…and don’t eat by the clock.

What do you eat?

I usually break my fast with a handful of crispy nuts or my new favorite nut butter called Nutzo.

Perfect treat after an intermittent fasting day!

I than make a super food smoothie such as this one or this one.  This Blueberry Lemon one is super delicious too!  This will hold me all the way to dinner…which again is usually just a few hours away or less. I never restrict myself after I break my fast, or any other day for that matter.  I try to eat as clean as possible living an 80/20 lifestyle.

Question: I hope this has cleared up any questions and if you have a comment or another question, I’d love to hear from you. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I love everything about Life in general which is why staying healthy is important to me. Its fun to spread the word that you can have vibrant health by having a positive attitude, eating well, exercising and taking Shaklee food supplements. I truly believe this lifestyle has allowed me to continue to run marathons and I look forward to many more.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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