From Ami Chokshi, the Center’s certified Health Coach.
The New Year is here, and the resolutions to eat well and lose weight have begun. While we can find success stories in each of the many diets out there, most of us eventually get derailed by life. One approach, something that has literally been around forever, incorporates periods of fasting with periods of feasting. It’s called Intermittent Fasting or IF.
Intermittent Fasting works to reduce the amount of time in a day that our body is secreting insulin, the main driver of weight gain.* IF gives your system time to rest, digest and begin to use your body fat for fuel.
IF doesn’t restrict what you eat, it simply shifts when you eat. You can still eat the foods you enjoy and not restrict calories. While you should ideally focus on reducing your sugar intake and processed foods, intermittent fasting doesn’t limit you from eating your favorite foods.
There are many ways people are practicing IF, from having a daily eating window, to mixing days of eating with not eating. Here’s one example of how intermittent fasting may look:
· Choose your daily fasting window based on your lifestyle. Many people start with 16 hours of fasting; for example, 8 pm – 12 noon.
· Upon awakening, fast until your window opens at noon. Drink only water, black coffee, and black/green tea during the morning. All of these should include no add-ins, like sweetener, natural flavors, sugar, or creamer – basically anything that may have a sweet taste that can trigger an insulin response (including gum and mints).
· Open your eating window and enjoy your food.
· Close your eating window at 8pm.
· Start your fast.
The benefits are amazing. They include fat loss and muscle gain, decreased inflammation, decreased insulin resistance, mental clarity, and anti aging. You save time in the morning, you save money on food, and you can get so much done during your fasted state with the extra energy and mental focus that you gain.
While most people can intermittent fast, it’s always important to consult with your doctor first. This is not intended for women who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding or anyone who is under weight (BMI<18.5).
If getting healthy and losing weight is a goal for 2018, why not consider something new this year?
*The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung