Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Many studies have proven that periods of fasting can result in weight loss, improved metabolic health, and might even help you live longer. Some research also suggests that it can help protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Humans are well adapted to fasting periods and the practice is often used in religious practices so it’s been around for centuries. Fasting allows your body additional time to recover and rest from processing foods and liquids, especially when your fasting period is attached to your sleep schedule, which is the most convenient and preferred method. On a more practical level, intermittent fasting can save you prep and clean up time in the kitchen and keep dollars in your bank account.
The most common intermittent fasting method is the 16:8, which means you fast for 16 hours and then eat within the remaining 8-hour window for the day. For example, a 16:8 fast could start at 8 PM and end at 12 PM the next day and your window for eating would be from 12 PM to 8 PM. Essentially, you are adding 8 hours onto the 8 hours you would normally be asleep. The word ‘breakfast’ literally comes from ‘breaking the fast’ after sleeping.
There are no restrictions on what foods you can eat during your eating cycle except to stick to your ketogenic way of eating. Ideally, you would choose unprocessed foods that provide maximum nutrition in order to ease your body back into digesting and processing. This is no time for processed fast foods. During your fasting period, you can have clear liquid beverages like coffee, tea, water, or even broth but be sure to keep it under 50 calories if you are hoping to use intermittent fasting as a kick-start into a state of ketosis.
Additionally, intermittent fasting doesn’t have to be done every single day, but if you are just starting out, I recommend choosing a day that you will be very busy so you can’t obsess about not eating. Rarely do people actually FEEL hungry and intermittent fasting is a great tool for learning to really listen to your body. Many people with issues surrounding food have found that practicing intermittent fasting on a regular basis not only improves their physical health but teaches them to be aware when they are truly hungry and empowers them to manage their impulses.
If you take medication or supplements, continue to do so while practicing intermittent fasting as long as the supplements are non-caloric. If you already exercise, continue to do so, but be aware of dehydration. Do not begin an intense exercise program until you have a solid intermittent fasting routine, but feel free to engage in light exercise like walking, swimming, qi gong, tai chi or gentle yoga. This is a time for you to give your body a break for all the hard work it does, so try some new activities like meditation, or journaling or something artistic and engage your mind, body, and spirit.
Intermittent Fasting is a pretty effective ‘life hack’ that improves your health, saves you time and money and can be enormously helpful if you want to learn to control your impulse/emotional eating.
The KETOSMASH recommendation is to attach 8 hours to your sleep schedule for ease and convenience. Be sure to stay hydrated and make sure your meals during your eating cycle are fresh, whole, and natural foods that you truly enjoy preparing and eating! KETOSMASH your way to success!