It’s a cold, sunny day here on Long Island, and I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend (if you’re stateside). If you’re not from the US, I still hope you enjoyed your weekend! :-)
My weekend was pretty good — I hung out with some friends Friday night, and played in a pickup softball game on Sunday. While I hit very well this past fall season, there’s always room for improvement, and I’m using the remaining weeks (hopefully months) of pickup games before winter fully hits to continue to work on improving my swing, as well as on how I can better drive the ball via the use of my legs. I know, I know — You’re riveted :-p
Anyhow, I wrote about this topic not too long ago, but it’s come up far too much in recent weeks to not bring it up again: Intermittent Fasting, or ‘IF,’ as I’ll refer to it throughout the rest of this message. What is IF, and can it help you lose weight?
As you may remember from a while back, I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting sporadically over the past couple of years, and I have to say, I’ve been mighty pleased with the results. Before I get into both the benefits and my opinion on whether it’s conducive to weight loss or not (my opinion has swayed a bit since my last message about this topic), let’s take a brief course in what it is.
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating in which you fast for 16 hours, and eat all of your meals and snacks for the day within an eight hour window. To keep things simple, you could eat from, say, 12–8 PM, and then you wouldn’t eat again until noon the next day.
The health benefits for IF are GREAT! For instance, IF increases the production of the SIRT3 protein, which has been linked to both increased longevity and decreased insulin levels, which reduces your risk of acquiring a prevalent chronic condition like obesity or Type-2 Diabetes, or a more dangerous one like heart disease. and even various forms of cancer!
There are many studies that cite that IF does NOT benefit weight loss any better than other traditional means, such as calorie restriction and common methods of dieting. While I’m not a scientist, and while it’s often hard to deny the science, I can now (after consistently practicing IF over the past few months) say that I call BS on the naysayers!
When coupled with the lipolytic (AKA fat-burning) diet I put both my clients and my group members on, IF works wonders!! How so? I’ll give you an example: While I was out with a couple of buddies Friday night, one of them (who I hadn’t seen in a while) told me that it looked like I’d leaned up and was looking good! This compliment was completely unsolicited — I wasn’t wearing anything to showboat my physique, but he still noticed.
He’s not the only one: I’ve noticed! I’m looking leaner, and I feel GREAT!!
Aches and pains that I normally get in this cold weather are virtually non-existent, my body’s not in constant need of skeletal adjustments like it used to be, I have more energy, and I think more clearly. Moreover, it’s EASIER to plan my meals and snacks, and to stay on track with my nutrition when I only have to worry about eating within an eight hour window!
It’s also more affordable to buy groceries, since you can only eat so much food inside of eight hours. Two meals and a snack versus three meals and two snacks, or whatever the hell most people do? Yeah, that money you’re saving will add up real quick ;-)
Because my math skills are beyond terrible, I just keep things simple: I keep my ‘feeding’ window from 12–8 PM every single day. It doesn’t matter how early or how late my day starts. It doesn’t matter if it’s the work week or a holiday weekend. It doesn’t matter if I’m working out or playing softball early in the morning. I will not consume ANYTHING that resembles or contains traces of food unless it’s between the hours of 12 and 8 PM.
The ONLY things that I’ll ingest aside from water are coffee or tea. Personally, I like the caffeine jolt that coffee gives me over tea, so I usually go with that. While there have been arguments in the scientific community that drinking coffee will take you out of a fat-burning state due to a potential increase in your body’s inflammation and its insulin levels upon ingestion, I’ve also seen arguments that state that if you regulate your coffee intake (i.e., you’re not shaky and overly amped up from too much caffeine), you eat a healthy diet, and you exercise regularly, you’ll be fine!
Point being: This is a topic that’s still up for debate, and until I see some concrete evidence to the contrary, I’ll be having my morning joe while practicing IF, thank you very much ;-)
I’m so sold on both the science and my personal experience surrounding IF, that this is a dietary strategy I’m going to begin recommending to many of my clients and group members in conjunction with the nutritional parameters I’ve already established with them! In fact, this week’s group call with my NEW Weight Loss Accountability Group (to join the group, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/group) is going to review IF. We’re going to not only explore what it is in further detail, but we’re also going to see how each member can implement it into their current schedules.
Hope you found this helpful! Do me a favor, and let me know if you decide to give IF a try? Provided you continue to eat a high quality diet, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to take advantage of it ;-)
If you’re interested in downloading my FREE report that details the five strategies I personally used to lose 100 lbs and keep them off, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/5strategies.