If you’re looking for the new trend in weight loss that actually has real science behind it, this is it. This will jump-start your metabolism and break that weight-loss plateau! Do you want to see how I plan out my eating schedule years after meeting my goal weight? This is it. We’re talking about intermittent fasting and it is going to change your life.
I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve already cut out my bread, sugar, pasta, and beer, and now you want me to starve myself.” Absolutely not. I mean, we’re not throwing our new meal plans out with the bath water, we’re just re-figuring the time frame that we eat it. In fact — you eat the same amount of food every day — you just eat it in a smaller amount of time.
Intermittent fasting involves fasting for a 16-20 hour window and FEASTING (yes, feasting) within a 4-8 hour window. (A 20-window is a bit extreme; you can schedule an 8-hour window and still see plenty of progress.) Now, be prepared to be blown away by the miracle of intermittent fasting and my insane mind-reading skills.
Your Body is Built For Intermittent Fasting
Our bodies are simply not designed to have food in our stomachs every hour of every day; the reality is that our bodies thrive when they aren’t constantly stuffed with food. We are going to rewind back to where it all began with the hunters and gatherers. When our ancient ancestors were waking up every morning, do you think they were pouring themselves a bowl of cereal, getting together for a mid-day meal, and devouring a hefty dinner of meat and potatoes? Yea right, think again! They were waking up, heading out to find their food, and then gorging themselves knowing what they were eating was going to have to hold them over until their next meal. News flash: they not only survived, they thrived with this eating pattern.
“But Brian, How Could I Ever Wait Till Noon to Eat?”
When people first hear about intermittent fasting, they’re immediately turned off by the idea of not eating for 16 hours. But if you think about it, half of that fasting-period you’re asleep, and the other half equates to one meal. So you’re really just skipping breakfast.
Intermittent Fasting is WAY easier than you think and you can customize your eating window to your schedule. For Melanie, a 1 pm-9 pm works great. She gets up, gets the kiddos off to school, works out, and then sits down to a big, well-deserved lunch. I prefer a 12 pm-8 pm split; I tell myself I can only eat after I go for my daily run. I’m motivated to work out and I keep my fasting schedule consistent. The key to getting through the morning munchies is to stay busy and drink those 0-calorie beverages. After a while, you’ll find the hunger subsiding and you’ll wonder how you ever ate such a big breakfast at 7 am. If you are light headed and dizzy from skipping one meal, go see a doctor, you might be hypoglycemic. (Also, go listen to our podcast on blood glucose meters.)
“But Brian, Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal of The Day!”
Puh-leese! While we don’t know exactly when humans evolved to eating three meals a day, we do know one thing: the breakfast campaign is a bunch of a bologna. In the early 1900s when a certain breakfast cereal company was trying to take off, a certain breakfast cereal creator recognized that the general population was not attuned to sitting down to breakfast every morning. So what did he do? He funded tons of studies (completely skewed) to promote this idea that breakfast is not only great tasting, but it is great for your health too. Now that the health community is doing a little reality check on the “facts,” we’re starting to see that breakfast… it’s doing more harm than good.
Your Body Thrives in a Fasting State
So how does this time frame effect weight-loss so drastically? Think of it as your entire body re-setting itself and power up for its future meal. When they aren’t overworked, your kidneys, liver, and digestive system function way more efficiently. Give them a break, you will build a stronger metabolism and a built resistance to storing fat. You heard me. Your body will be less likely to store fat. Why? This is our theory: when you start starving your body, it is going to panic and start pulling from your fat storage; thus, immediate fat burn.
The difference between intermittent fasting and starvation is that you’re STILL consuming ALL of your calories for the day; you are just condensing the time period that you’re actually eating. (Remember: If you fail to hit your calorie goal, you’ll start to produce cortisol, a stress hormone that causes fat storage). You’ll soon discover that fitting all of your calories into your 4-8 hour feast is almost harder than not eating for 16-20 hours. But is it possible? Absolutely. If the weight-loss component of intermittent fasting isn’t motivating enough, read up on the other benefits:
- your brain will function better when you are intermittent fasting (Your brain requires the most energy over any other organ in your body, if your body is constantly spending energy on digestion, there is less to help your brain function at peak performance.)
- decreased chance of breast cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
- increased metabolism by up to 14 percent
- reduced risk of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s
- Increased protection from obesity (if you limit your eating time window, you could potentially prevent your body from EVER going into fat-storing mode.)
- Increased production of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which is essential to fat burn and muscle growth
“But Brian, How Will I Ever Eat That Many Calories?”
If you’re the kind of person who just can’t eat that much food in a small period of time, there ARE some tricks you can use.
- Avoid low-calorie dense foods like broccoli, it will quickly fill your stomach up, and you won’t be able to fit in all of your calories.
- Focus on calorie-dense foods (foods that have a ton of calories, but won’t will you up quickly).
- Drink your calories. A big ‘ole calorie-dense protein shake is easy to swig down in a time crunch, and it’s not going to fill you up.
To learn more about intermittent fasting and become an expert, go listen to our podcast, Intermittent Fasting is AMAZING!