Eat six small meals a day, choose low-fat options when at the grocery store, drink slim fast for a meal replacement as often as possible, etc, etc. After spending years sifting through the plethora of diet and nutritional information available I’ve learned some important lessons. The food industry is in the business of selling you food, that’s the bottom line. We’ve known for years that sugar is toxic and that cholesterol is not the underlying factor in heart disease, yet this information is still lost on 90% of the population, this is not a coincidence.
What is Intermittent Fasting? First of all IF is NOT a diet. I will not ask you to cut your calories and starve yourself for the short term accomplishment of losing weight. Many “diets” are unsustainable and end up hurting the self-confidence or those who use them.
Intermittent fasting is restricting your eating window instead of restricting your caloric intake.
Simply put we will have you fast for 16 hours of the day and eat for 8.
The science behind this method is simple. Our bodies preferred energy source is glucose. It takes 6-8 hours for your body to fully deplete all of its glycogen stores and make the switch to burning body fat. The International Journal of Obesity has touted IF as the number one way to fight chronic disease. Metabolic disease markers shoot down drastically. IF brings amazing results when it comes to blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, heart rate.
Some of the benefits include
-Normalized Insulin Sensitivity
-Boosts mitochondrial energy efficiency
-Increases human growth hormone production
-Lowers levels of inflammation
-Sheds unwanted fat/ eliminates sugar cravings
-Reduces oxidative stress
-Increases brain function
-Cleans and detoxes the digestive system, turning it into a finely tuned machine.
I won’t bore you further with the why, but as always if you have any questions feel free to shoot them to me in an email.
Starting IF will be incredibly simple. For most individuals eating right when they wake up is a struggle. Just listen to your body and skip that morning meal. Uneducated skeptics will say that not eating several small meals throughout the day will put you in the “starvation zone” slowing your metabolism in an attempt to store body fat for a period of less abundant food. This is a complete misunderstanding. The “starvation zone” is real, but you don’t reach it until 72 hours after your last meal. We won’t get anywhere near it.
The first 6-8 hours of your day are usually spent sleeping, so by the time you wake up you’re already burning body-fat. For the next 8 hours we will fast. The only calories I suggest consuming(optional) is organic unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil contains heart and brain healthy fats, it will help tremendously in controlling your hunger in the first few weeks of IF, and most importantly it contains zero carbohydrates, so you will continue to burn ketones instead of glucose(I blend it into my coffee, sounds weird but it’s amazing).
After your 16 hour fast it’s time to feast! I will ask you to eat a diet that consists of meat, vegetables, fruit, little starch and no sugar. Have a large meal at lunch time, snack on fresh fruits and veggies(as much as you desire) throughout the day, and then finish your last meal by 7pm. If you can’t have your last meal on schedule you can adjust the 16 hour fast window as necessary.
Here’s what my client Will Dennis(Left Handed Pitcher/2015 MLB draft pick for the Baltimore Orioles) has to say about his first month of training while intermittent fasting.
“I’ll be honest, I was very skeptical when Jon asked me to start intermittent fasting. I was certain that I wouldn’t have the “fuel” to complete the workouts that are required of a pro-athlete, but I lost 4lbs in the first week and 11lbs in one month! Even better we tested my body fat and not only did I lose 3.5% of my body fat in one month but increased my muscle mass as well. I have finally returned to my high school playing weight! I will never eat the same again.”