"Eat Less. Move More"
We’ve all heard that.
The question is why does this not work sustainably for the 97% who fail?
We have to remember that when we reduce energy intake our body slowly reduces its energy expenditure to protect us. Our body is an adaptation machine that holds “our safety” as it’s number one priority.
We are built to survive not thrive.
We can thrive though, through proper lifestyle habits.
The Standard American Diet aka. The SAD diet has us believing that we need to be eating 3 meals and 2 snacks or small meals constantly throughout the day.
"Big Food" has been behind this narrative for so many years and our health has paid the price for it.
Here is why the 4-6 small meals a day approach is flawed for weight loss and health optimization.
Every time we eat foods rich in carbs and protein our insulin levels spike.
Think of insulin as your body’s salesman. It opens doors to its 'cells' to allow for carbs and protein to enter the cells - which is all good and dandy if we were highly-active and experiencing times of 'famine' where our body can tap back into these stored nutrients.
That being said, when insulin levels our high we are inhibiting lipolysis, aka fat burning. The only way we can tap into our fat storage is when we have times of 'fasting' (assuming you are metabolically flexible, which most are not), when we are expending more than we are intaking, when we go periods without carbs and protein, etc.
Fat, as a macronutrient, does not have the same impact on insulin the way protein and carbohydrates do. This is why we can do things like some mct's and/or butter in coffee and still reap the rewards of fasting for fat loss and/or health optimization.
But let's talk about what YOU can do to make small tweaks to the routine to improve all of this.
Ideally, your body reaps fasting benefits around 12 hours without food, which may sound intense but really isn’t. If you had dinner at 7pm and breakfast at 7am, BOOM – there’s 12 hours right there. Most people doing intermittent fasting shoot for a 16:8 split. Here’s the coolest part, the structure is not something to stress yourself out about! Eating should not have stress built around it, that defeats the ENTIRE POINT!
Having periods without food allows your body to tap into what is stored, meaning let’s burn that stored fat baby!!
We’re not trying to be in a huge calorie deficit doing this either. We are just reorganizing when and how your calories are structured throughout the day.
How to Implement:
-Ideally, we should try to stop eating ~3 hours prior to bed, this is for sleep reasons.
So, if we’re eating dinner around 5-8pm every night for dinner, by 5-8am the next day you have already reached 12 hours. Some of you might be doing this without even realizing this and if you’re not – start here!
-For those that are already doing this and not realizing it, try pushing that window back a couple hours. There are so many ways to do this, the most important thing is to find what works best for YOU.
-Another fat loss hack that you can do is make your breakfast full of healthy fats, protein and low glycemic fibrous carbs (vegetables and/or berries) This will give you the calories without the drastic blood sugar shift. Allowing you to get into states of ketosis and most importantly become more metabolically flexible.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
Some people associate intermittent fasting with weight loss. It’s not that simple—you need to eat! But when you restrict your eating window, you give your body a break from digestion which translates to the following benefits:
Weight management: Everything from your hormones to your blood sugar affects what shows up on the scale. In animal and human studies, intermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent insulin resistance and leptin resistance, which may assist with weight management.
Fat burning: If you’re interested in trying keto – intermittent fasting can help you get started. Your body uses glucose (carbohydrates) for energy. When you fast, your body uses up available glucose, and then transitions to burning fat for fuel—aka a metabolic state called ketosis. Break your fast with keto friendly foods to help your body stay in ketosis and reap those fat-burning benefits.
Cleans Out Your Junk: Over time, your cells naturally accumulate damaged cells and waste that can interfere with cellular function. In rodent studies, intermittent fasting has been shown to promote a process called autophagy, which is what happens when your body clears out the junk so your body can work even better.
Supports healthy aging: Studies show that intermittent fasting can help protect your cardiovascular system and your insulin sensitivity to support healthy aging. It even helps promote feelings of tranquility and alertness.