Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?

Have you been hearing a lot about Intermittent Fasting lately and want to know more?  Do you want to give it try and are not sure where to start?  If so then this article will help you get started and answer some those questions.  Fasting is not a new idea and many cultures have used fasting  rituals for centuries.  Many of the ideas that seem trendy or new today are actually steeped in ancient traditions.

While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans due to its simplicity.  During the periods of time  you’re eating, you still need to focus mainly on healthy fats, clean protein, and complex carbohydrates from whole food sources

The quality of the food matters.  

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

 Giving your body a break from food allows your gut time to rest and inflammation to cool down, thus producing some amazing health benefits and potentially helping you live longer.

After a short period of time you begin to notice that some of those so called hunger pangs were actually  habits you acquired. blood sugar swings, bacteria overload or dehydration.

Some of the benefits are:  Decreased inflammation, weight loss, improved focus, lower cancer risk, decreased insulin surges and improved heart health.

Before you start your IF plan, it’s important to talk with a professional to make sure it’s right for you. Women should be especially cautious as there are some mixed opinions on fasting protocols  for female hormone balance. In addition, if you have adrenal fatigue or gut health issues you’ll want to proceed with caution. If you have a history of disordered eating, you’ll probably want to avoid fasting altogether.

Once you start your IF journey, you’ll most likely find that you feel fuller longer and can keep the meals you do eat very simple. I like simple and nutritious.

There are a few different ways you can fast, so I broke up each of the different plans below into beginner and intermediate, and provided a suggested  meal plan for each day. The combination of nutrients will give you the energy you need to enhance the benefits of your fasting journey. Just make sure to take into account any individual food intolerances, and use this as a guide for your particular health case, and adjust from there.

Intermittent Fasting for Beginners.

Only eating between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

This is a great way to dip your toes in the fasting waters because it allows you to eat every meal plus some snacks but still get 14 hours of fasting within a 24-hour period.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie at 8 a.m.

After fasting, I like to ease into my day of eating with a smoothie since it is a little easier for my gut to digest. You’ll want to go for a green smoothie instead of a high-sugar fruit smoothie to avoid starting your day on a blood-sugar roller coaster. Add in lots of healthy fats to keep you going until lunch!

Suggest Ingredients:

  • an avocado
  • 1 cup coconut milk/
  • a small handful blueberries
  • 1 cup spinach, kale, or chard
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Add all ingredients into blender, blend, and enjoy!

Lunch: Grass-Fed Meat or Free Range Turkey with Greens at 12 p.m.

Grass-fed burgers or like mw choose Free Range Turkey  for lunch during the week,  both are extremely easy to prep to have throughout the entire week.  Eat one of these choices on top of a bed of dark leafy greens with a simple homemade dressing of olive oil and lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Snack: A Handful of  Nuts at 2:30 p.m.

I typically do not need a snack after my yummy lunch however if you need something to tied you over then Fat Bombs or a handful of Nuts will curb your hunger.  I prefer the Nuts for the added fiber.

Dinner: Salmon & Veggies at 5:30 p.m.

Seafood is an excellent source of omega-3 healthy fats. Salmon is one of my favorites for its taste and nutrient density, however  you can select any wild-caught seafood of your choosing. Serve alongside some of your favorite roasted vegetables for  a quick and easy superfood meal.

 A Longer Fasting Plan: The 12-6 window.

Once you feel comfortable wit the 8-6 window I suggest giving the 12-6 plan a try.

This is the same as the 8-to-6 window plan, but you are extending your fasting time an extra four hours. I personally practice this plan during the workweek. I’m not a breakfast person, so I just enjoy a cup of  bullet proof style coffee to start my day. Herbal tea is perfect for this plan. With this plan you will be eating only between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a full 18 hours of fasting within a 24-hour period.

Even though you are skipping breakfast, it’s still important to stay hydrated. Make sure to still drink enough water.  Since you’ve increased your fasting period an extra four hours, you need to make sure your first meal (at noon) has enough healthy fats. The burger or turkey  in the 8-to-6 window plan will work well, and you can add more fats in with your dressing or top with an avocado!

As we discussed earlier nuts and seeds make great snacks if you are hungry.

Eat dinner around 5:30 p.m., and just like the 8-to-6 window plan, a dinner with some sort of wild-caught fish or other clean protein source with vegetables is a great option. I also like to add avocado to my evening meal.

The times we suggested are not super strict …Because of my schedule my window is typically 1.00 – 7.00pm.   IF work for me however it might not be right for you.  Always listen to your body as what is right for one person is not always right for another.  You are unique.

I hope this article has been helpful? If you know someone who could use this information please feel free  to share it.  Also if you have questions you can respond to this email and last but not  least,  we are available for in person and virtual consults.

Have a healthy week …

Dr Pia