Intermittent Fasting: What You Need to Know
It’s difficult to have a conversation about weight loss without discussing the option of intermittent fasting. If you haven’t done any research on it, you’re in for an eye-opener. Besides rapid weight loss, intermittent fasting offers incredible health, wellness, and beauty benefits. When done correctly, you can come out looking, feeling, and being better than you have in years! I’m talking about a whole new you!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
The body, although ever-evolving, is an intermittent fasting pro. Think about it – your early ancestors would venture out and hunt for their meals. And they did not always come back victorious. Living a feast-or-famine lifestyle was normal, and the human body was able to adapt accordingly. These periods without food gave their bodies time to heal, cleanse, and rejuvenate. Intermittent fasting was their natural healing process.
Instead of viewing intermittent fasting as a quick weight loss win, look at the bigger picture. But don’t just take my word for it. The greatest philosophers and early healers, including Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, used fasting as a powerful healing tool, preaching of benefits.
How and Why Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent fasting influences two vital hormones that support your body’s ability to burn fat and increase weight loss efforts–insulin and glucagon.
Insulin is a blood sugar regulator - it transports nutrients from your bloodstream to your cells. When you eat too much, your insulin levels can spike and remain high.
Here’s the problem - insulin packs on the pounds. Insulin is one of the most significant forces in excess weight. Not good news for your weight loss goals, right? Here’s what happens - insulin levels become chronically high, and your cells react by becoming insulin resistant. Resistance means your body must reroute glucose to your liver. And if you’re wondering what that leads to….. it transforms into fat.
During intermittent fasting, your insulin levels drop, allowing your cells to become more sensitive to insulin. Rather than preventing the proper transport of glucose, your body will welcome and burn it as fuel rather than stubborn belly fat out to derail your weight loss plans.
You should always address your concerns over sugar spiking with your doctor before fasting. If you live with diabetes, intermittent fasting may not be an ideal choice for you. However, in many cases, diabetes mellitus does not cause inadequate production of insulin by the pancreas. Instead, insulin resistance, which we link to excessive abdominal fat, is to blame. In any case, direct questions and concerns to your physician before considering intermittent fasting, especially for your rapid weight loss options.
To burn fat, your body must release and break down fatty acids held in fat storage into your bloodstream. This process is known as lipolysis, and it depends on glucagon—a hormone that has the opposite job of insulin. So, while insulin is storing your fat, glucagon works to pull fat from your cells. Great news for your weight loss goals, right?
Within hours of starting your intermittent fast, your glucose levels will begin to drop. As your body realizes the need to mobilize its fuel reserves, it begins to churn out high levels of glucagon. These rising glucagon levels cause your body to release fatty acids into your bloodstream, or lipolysis, and transport them to your cells for oxidation, or energy.
Adrenaline and Norepinephrine
Intermittent fasting also increases your levels of adrenaline and norepinephrine. And these two hormones boost the energy you burn, even while your body is at rest, allowing it to pull out even more fat from storage. That undesirable belly fat will melt away before your eyes. Hello, weight loss!
What to Expect with Intermittent Fasting
Starting an intermittent fast, particularly your first, may bring a variety of symptoms. You may feel sluggish and hungry or experience a few headaches. Don't worry; it happens to everyone; it’s a natural way for your body to adjust. Additional short-term side effects that you may experience include:
- Dizziness/lightheaded feeling
- Low blood pressure
- Abnormal heartbeat/palpitations
- Low blood sugar
- Increase in cravings
Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?
Intermittent fasting, when done correctly, can be a safe and healthy way to achieve weight loss and heal your body. Your entire body may reap the rewards from unbelievably rapid weight loss to treating digestive issues. Not to mention, it will bring that sexy feeling back when you see a slimming waistline and radiant skin and hair! Not only do I recommend it to my patients, but I also incorporate intermittent fasting into my own lifestyle for weight loss and health benefits. It's a fabulous option when I need a quick weight loss option for an upcoming event.
As with all diets, there are circumstances where this may not be ideal for you. While your doctor can answer all your concerns, I do not recommend intermittent fasting if you are:
- Under 18
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- Looking for a weight loss quick fix
Intermittent Fasting the Right Way
If you're hoping to reap the rewards of intermittent fasting, it's essential to do it the right way. Intermittent fasting significantly reduces your calorie intake, so adding bone broth can help tremendously. But remember, this isn’t your traditional diet–it’s a sustainable healthy lifestyle change. Bone Broth Fasting is the Holy Grail of fasting. If you’re already familiar with my Bone Broth Diet, you know the incredible benefits bone broth offers your body, inside and out. If you’re unfamiliar with the bone broth miracle, I’ll put it to you this way - I call it liquid gold because it’s nutritious, and the healing and weight loss benefits are endless.
When you drink bone broth or add it to a variety of recipes, you feel fabulous. And on a cellular level, nutrients are bathing your cells in goodness. Think of bone broth as your helping hand while overcoming the initial symptoms of beginning a fast. It helps curb cravings, ease the reduction of carbs, and replenishes nutrients you otherwise get from your daily food intake. And did I mention how tasty it is? You just won’t believe it’s a weight loss option.
By sipping on bone broth during your intermittent fasting period, you’ll enjoy benefits like:
Erases fine lines and wrinkles
Heals a leaky gut
Strengthens your bone
Relieves joint and muscle aches and pains
Helps with sleep issues
It turns out bone broth is beneficial for just about all your health, wellness, weight loss, and beauty concerns! Bone broth replenishes the essential nutrients your body needs to thrive, including bone density and strength. You’ll find bone broth is full of clean protein, calcium, and amino acids, to name a few.
How Do I Start Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting the right way means it should be flexible and easily adaptable to your goals and needs. Various fasting lengths may be more suitable for you than others.
Some bone broth intermittent fasts limit your eating to specific hourly windows each day. For example, the Warrior Diet lets you only eat within a four-hour window each day. Another popular intermittent fasting plan offers a 16:8 window, which means you will fast for sixteen hours, then eat your meals during the following eight hours. Other intermittent fasting plans restrict your daily caloric intake to 500 calories.
With my Bone Broth Diet, I recommend doing two intermittent fasts a week, sipping on bone broth throughout the day. Choose two non-consecutive days for your fast and keep in mind, fasting for longer periods doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll reap more benefits, so stick to a reputable plan to stay safe and healthy.
Determining Your Eating Windows and Fasting Times
Be Flexible: This is YOUR Plan
When you start your intermittent fasting journey, you may prefer dinner-to-dinner fasting. Remember, this isn’t about revolving your life around fasting; it’s about building fasting into your new healthy lifestyle. Choose fasting windows that make sense to you and your busy schedule. The last thing you want to do is set yourself up to fail. Start your fast when you have put systems in place to succeed and have made the proper food preparations. Choose your days and times and plan by selecting an official start date.
Put a Support System in Place
Ask reliable friends or family members to help support you during your fast. Invite them to join you on this life-changing journey. Share the incredible weight loss, beauty, health, and anti-aging benefits. They’ll love hearing that! And even if they decline, they can help by encouraging your progress, supporting you in various situations, including at work, by limiting temptations, choosing helpful restaurants, or preparing additional options at gatherings. Even if this means you bring your own snacks or meals, your support system will already be on board with your new lifestyle changes.
Don't Give Up
If you ever find yourself thinking about giving up, just remember this: excluding food for a short period is doable and useful for you. Your tummy may be rumbling as you start, but ultimately your entire body will thank you.
Meal Prepping for Your Intermittent Fasting
Make sure you have all your bone broth ingredients ahead of time. It’s your key to curbing those dreadful cravings, keeping symptoms at bay, and bringing quick healing benefits your way. Meal prepping, including freezing extra bone broth, goes a long way in keeping you from reaching for that unhealthy snack when you get a snack-attack on those non-fasting days.
Set aside an afternoon to batch prep meals and snacks. Might as well get it all done in one shot, am I right? Use bone broth in as many recipes as possible. This way, you’ll flood your system with healing nutrients no matter what you eat, while keeping your stomach full.
Best Food Recommendations for Intermittent Fasting
On those non-fasting hours or days, it’s essential to consume a nutrient-rich diet. Try to keep some of these foods on hand:
- Healthy fats like avocado, olives, and coconut
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Wild fish (canned, frozen, or fresh will work)
- Fermented foods including kimchi and sauerkraut
- Grass-fed, pasture-raised meat, poultry, and eggs
- Organ meats from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals
Eating a healthy whole foods diet is vital. You’ll ensure the necessary vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant nutrients essential to promoting weight loss, health, preventing disease, and carrying out the benefits of intermittent fasting. This includes:
- Burning fat
- Building muscle
- Repairing cell damage
Avoid packaged and processed foods like the plague! Trust me, friends, they provide zero nutrition. And they are full of harmful ingredients that work against your weight loss and health goals. Avoid:
- Refined flours and sugars
- Artificial sweeteners
- Chemical additives
Best Beverage Recommendations for Intermittent Fasting
While it should go without saying, staying hydrated during intermittent fasting is a MUST!
But you won’t need to have a constant reminder when your plans include a steady stream of bone broth, right? Also, load up on:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Herbal tea
- Filtered water
- Mineral water
- Sparkling mineral water
- Coffee – but, no more than 2 cups per day
Follow the 80/20 Plan with Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting won’t make up for an otherwise terrible diet, but it provides a way to reset and heal the damage done. It even helps you “start over” after a little cheat day slip, if necessary. But to help guard against slips, try my 80/20 program. It offers a way to tweak your favorite recipes to contain all the healthy nutrients your body needs while omitting foods your body doesn’t. I’m talking about pecan-crusted salmon filets, blueberry poppy seed coffee cake, and pork chili. Yum! You won’t even believe how delicious they are.
Bone Broth or Collagen Broth To-Go
I’m no stranger to busy schedules, juggling priorities, and on-the-go food needs. It's crucial to simmer bone broth’s bones at least twenty-four hours to ensure you are getting their maximum nutrients. This is one of those reasons a batch prep day is a life-saver! But, whenever you need a quick grab-n-go option, for time, just know I’ve done the cooking for you! Yep, that’s right. Stock up on some of my bone broth snacks and meal options, all full of collagen and bone broth goodness. Just like homemade bone broth, they're abundant in nutrients your body needs to melt away fat, smooth out wrinkles, and heal your gut. Plus, they make fasting a breeze!
Popular Fasts I Don’t Recommend
While there are several popular fasts out there, they are not all healthy or safe for your body. Let me put it this way – most of these fad fasts boast incredibly quick weight loss but what you’re really losing is the water weight. This also means that when your fast comes to an end, you’ll put it right back on. Here’s a look at a few you may be considering but should think twice about:
Juice Cleanse Fasts
Juice cleanses sound yummy, but trust me, they are mostly all sugar. You’ll also go through some pretty uncomfortable bowel movements from a serious lack of fiber. Juice cleanse fasts recommend fasting for three to seven days in a row. Just think of all the essential proteins, healthy fats, and fiber your body is missing out on. You’re doing more harm than good to your body at this point.
And it’s just as it sounds. You survive on water alone and while dropping pounds from water weight quickly, your body is reaping zero rewards! No calories may sound ideal, but it also means no essential nutrients whatsoever. And those hunger pains and cravings from lack of food? Not a great way to fast.
Complete or Dry Fasting
This one is high on my “no” list, and for good reason. It’s an extreme fasting method, restricting all food and water. This can only lead to bad news. I’m talking about dehydration, lightheadedness, terrible mood swings and no energy at all.
Foods to Eat After Your Fast
There are many fantastic food choices to have ready for your post-fast snacking. They’ll satisfy you while helping you avoid making unhealthy choices. Consider stocking up on:
- Raw unsalted nuts, such as cashews, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, and walnuts
- All-natural jerky, such as beef, bison, ostrich
- Fresh veggies, including carrots, celery, broccoli florets, and cucumber
- Hard-boiled eggs
And trust me, you'll fall in love with so many bone broth recipes, you'll have plenty of nutritious options to fill up after your fasting period.
The Bottom Line of Intermittent Fasting
I want your intermittent fasting to bring you all the rewards you didn’t even realize you were looking for. By relying on my successful methods of weight loss through bone broth and intermittent fasting, you’ll acquire so much more! Browse through my free resources and start making plans to begin your journey to a healthier, happier you!