Because I am getting so many questions from our weight loss patients about intermittent fasting, today’s article is going to be about simplifying the whole approach to intermittent fasting. So many people coming into the office for help with weight loss are already practicing some type of intermittent fasting but they are making it very complicated. Intermittent fasting is actually very simple. The easiest form of intermittent fasting is to eat when you are hungry. You do not have to follow any type of timetable and eat 5 or 6 times a day, you just eat when your body tells you to eat. Please make sure that you discuss any type of dietary changes with your family doctor or visit us. To schedule your free weight loss consultation call us at 215-821-7336.
So let’s first start with defining what intermittent fasting is. Intermittent fasting is not really a diet, it does not tell you specifically what type of foods that you should be eating. Intermittent fasting is simply periods of eating and fasting. Basically it’s a time table or pattern of eating.
When I consult with weight loss patients and they are interested in doing some type of intermittent fasting program what I usually do is have them start out with eating 3 meals a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner people can snack on vegetables. Some of the questions I get from people about intermittent fasting is if they can take their vitamins and supplements while practicing intermittent fasting. In my personal experience taking your supplements and vitamins is fine while practicing intermittent fasting. As far as beverages go, I usually recommend that people stick to water.
With intermittent fasting there are two very important things that you need to remember. The first is that this is a fasting protocol. It is a series of short fasts followed by eating. The second important thing is that you have to be mindful of the type of food that you are eating.
So many people coming into the office now are practicing some type of intermittent fasting. But the problem is that they are eating tons of starchy carbohydrates like pizza, rice and potatoes. This totally defeats the purpose of intermittent fasting. Because it will force your body to produce a tremendous amount of insulin and this is commonly called insulin spikes.
The purpose of intermittent fasting is to limit the number of insulin spikes our body experiences during the day. Please remember that even though you have reduced the number of times you are eating during the day you still cannot eat whatever you want. Personally, my meals are usually made up of a large amount of vegetables, a modest amount of protein and good healthy fats like olive oil, avocados and ghee.
I do not consider my personal diet a low carb diet because I eat at least 5 to 7 cups of vegetable a day. And vegetables can be considered a carbohydrate. Vegetables are good carbohydrates as compared to starchy carbohydrates like pizza, pasta, rice and potatoes. Our bodies require the nutrients In vegetables to maintain normal function of all the systems in our body. So regardless of any timetable or schedule that you may set for yourself; please remember that your meals have to consist of a healthy balance of vegetables, healthy protein and good healthy fats. Also please keep in mind that there are many eating timetables and protocols for intermittent fasting. So you have to find the one that is best for you. Just because your best friend might be following a particular intermittent fasting pattern does not mean that it’s going to be good for you.
There are several different models of intermittent fasting. The most popular type is simply choosing 8 hours during the day in which you will be eating all or most of your food. There are also models in which you choose a 6 hour window and even a 4 hour window to eat most of your meals. I find that starting out with eating breakfast, lunch and dinner is the easiest and most successful model to follow when beginning intermittent fasting. After following the 3 meals a day model people usually try the 8 hour model that is so popular.
When a person first comes to our practice and is interested in intermittent fasting we will usually have them start with eating 3 meals a day. We see how they do with that eating schedule and then we can tweak the diet as time goes on. If you are attempting to practice intermittent fasting on your own please do not be overly aggressive, start slowly. Do not go from eating five or six times a day down to just one meal a day or even worse… going days without eating. You should really be working with a health and nutrition coach and that’s why we are here for you. If you, a friend or loved one need help with improving overall health and wellness and losing weight I invite you all to call and schedule a free consultation with us. Call 215-821-7336 and schedule your free weight loss consultation.