Today I am popping on to talk about Intermittent Fasting.
I have fasted in some sort or other for years, whether for medial or religious reasons, as well as the unhealthy fasting that comes with stress and personal pain. But as this way of eating has grown more popular, I wanted to learn more about it in order to implement into mine and my clients eating.
The best part of IF, is that it is not a diet, instead it is a pattern of eating that I have found incredibly freeing and has allowed me to focus less on what I am eating, instead I focus on eating to fuel my body when it is truly hungry!
The popular IF trends right now have people fasting 16-18 hours, which I have found to be a tad too long for me. Instead 14 hours has been my magic number. Basically I stop eating around 9pm and then eat again around 11-12pm depending on my day! This has allowed me to truly feel hungry, and I feel like my body is truly using the food I eat for fuel.
When we eat, our bodies can’t use all the energy from food immediately. The leftover energy must be stored away for later use. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of food energy. Insulin rises when we eat, helping to store the excess energy in two separate ways. Sugars are turned glycogen and stored in the liver. The liver only has so much glycogen storage, and the excess glucose gets stored as fat.
When we fast however, the insulin levels fall, allowing our body to start using stored energy as fuel. This causes the body to use the excess glucose that was stored as fat.Insulin levels fall, signaling the body to start burning stored energy.
Our bodies use Glycogen because is the most accessible energy source. Glycogen is broken down into glucose, which can power the bodies cells for up to 36 hours. Once that has been used, fat is broken down and burned as energy.
In the past two months I have found more energy, been able to sleep better, and lose a few pounds! More than the weight loss which was secondary, I’ve gained more muscle tone without changing my workouts and have had less “unhealthy eating” self talk!
I was worried at first that it could trigger my history of disordered thoughts and habits, but instead it has helped free me of those beliefs. I have more food freedom now that I am able to truly see food as energy, and am no longer just eating to eat.
If you are interested in learning more about IF, I’d love to help you navigate it! Shoot me an email or DM!