empty place setting

Intermittent Fasting: Goodbye Fat – Hello Healthy

Intermittent fasting is a recent unique diet strategy. Dieters have had much success with this method. According to professionals, this lifestyle can cause weight loss, improved metabolic health, and even expanded life.

I bet you heard the word “fast” and your eyes rolled back in your head. Mine did too until I realized that fasting does not equal starvation. When you fast, you know where your next meal is coming from. When you starve, you have no control over when you eat again. For example, the little children from third world countries are starving. They wish they could fast.

The Plans

There are six distinct plans. You need to study the plans and choose one. Remember there is no right plan. Choose depending on your circumstances. I do not like to refer to intermittent fasting as a diet. I call it a lifestyle because it gradually changes what and when you eat.

16/8

This 16/8 plan involves fasting for 16 hours. There are 8 hours where you can eat sensibly. Within the eating window, you can consume 2 or 3 meals, perhaps more depending on the food you choose.

An example would be skipping breakfast, eating lunch at noon, eating healthy foods for a snack, eat dinner and be finished eating by 8 pm. In this post, I will give you enough background so you can get started wisely.

Important: According to health professionals, women should not fast for 16 hours. The maximum fasting time is 15 hours, 14 is even better.

The following chart depicts the 16/8 eating plan.

5/2

The intermittent fasting 5.2  plan involves eating sensibly for 5 days of the week. On the other two days, you can eat only 500 calories for women and 600 for men.

The following depicts the 5/2 plan.

Eat Stop Eat

The eat stop eat plan is exactly what it says. For 5 days, eat normally (sensibly). For 2 days, fast completely. I have tried this intermittent fasting eating lifestyle and found it difficult on the fast days; however, the weight flies off. With this fast, you can fast from dinner on day 1 to dinner on day 2.  That would allow you solid food each day, but a 24 hour fast in between.

The following chart depicts the Eat Stop Eat plan.

Alternate Day Fasting

In alternate-day fasting, you eat every other day. There are two different versions of this method. On the fasting day, you can eat 500 or 600 calories or you can do a complete fast.  I am very reluctant to think in terms of calories though because 100 calorie cookie does not equal 100 calorie apple on the health scale.

The following image depicts the alternate day fasting plan.

Warrior Diet

Basically, with the Warrior Diet plan, you fast all day and feast at night within a four-hour eating window.

This diet’s food choices are quite similar to that of the paleo diet Read more.  The Warrior Diet encourages subsisting on only small amounts of vegetables and fruits during the day, then eating one huge meal at night.

 The following chart depicts the Warrior Diet plan.

Spontaneous Meal Skipping

Another option is to simply skip meals from time to time, such as when you don’t feel hungry or are too busy to cook and eat. Let’s say you are not hungry for lunch, just skip it and eat a healthy dinner.

The following chart depicts the spontaneous meal skipping plan.

Did you know? I Didn’t.

Having lots of sugar in your body damages blood vessels and nerves. Sugar comes from processed foods, candy, sweetened soda, junk food, and so on.

When you are overweight, you tend to want to eat more. This is because you are carrying around energy in the form of fat. Your muscles and brain cannot access energy. As a result of fuel deprivation, your brain tells you to eat more.

Insulin changes sugar to fat. It makes our fat cells grow. The more insulin in your body, the more you want to eat. The more junk food you eat, the more insulin in your body.

Eating a white potato will push your blood sugar up equal to eating a tablespoon of sugar. But if you eat that potato with healthy fat, cheese or butter, the blood sugar peak will be less extreme. Weird, huh?

The reason we eat more junk food is that food manufacturers pack foods with fat, salt, and sugar that makes us crave it.

How Hooked on Carbs Are You?

Take this quiz. How many of these questions can you say yes? The more yes answers the more hooked on carbs you are.

  1. I keep on eating this food even when I am no longer hungry.
  2. I eat to the point where I feel physically ill.
  3. I find myself craving this food when I am stressed.
  4. If it is not in the house, I will get in the car and drive to the nearest shop that sells it.
  5. I use this food to make myself feel better.
  6. I hide this food so even those close to me don’t know how much of it I eat.
  7. Eating it causes anxiety and feelings of guilt.
  8. Although I no longer get much pleasure from eating it, I keep on doing so.
  9. I have tried to give this food up but failed.

I can say yes to 1-5 and 7. The food is ice cream, chocolate ice cream to be exact.

This is a good video worth watching.

Eating Guidelines

  • On active days, eat more carbs than fat (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, quinoa). On inactive days, eat foods that are high in good fat. (avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, fatty fish)
  • Less alcohol
  • No sugar (Sweeteners like Stevia, Monkfruit, or Lakanto are okay.
  • Start by slowly introducing organic foods to replace the processed foods you have been eating.
  • Use spices. Your tongue will adapt to the change.
  • Say goodbye to processed foods.

Note: At first, you might be hungry. Try to distract yourself and have some lemon water, tea, coffee, bone broth. By the way, you can have a small bit of cream in your coffee.

Important: Of course, this does not mean that you can NEVER eat a sweet again. When it comes less often, it is more enjoyable. 

How to Adapt a Dish For a Non-fast Day

On a non-fast day, add one of these foods to your meal.

  • 1 tbsp chopped fried bacon
  • Mushroom fried in 1 tbsp EVOO for 4 – 5 minutes
  • 1 tbsp. grated cheese
  • Handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts

Final Thought

As for intermittent fasting, I am a believer and participant. I love this lifestyle. It actually comes naturally to me now. I have a meal at 10 am or thereabouts. I have lunch at 2 pm and dinner at 5 or 5:30. I stop eating at 6. I never count the calories, but this is generally what I have each day.

10 am. Berries, nuts, and a non-dairy whipped topping. A cup of coffee with a little bit of cream.

2 pm. Hummus and veggies. Baby asparagus, carrots, celery, and broccoli florets.

5 pm. Meat or fish protein. Ear of corn, another veggie, or baked sweet potato. Steamed veggies.

2 squares of 72% chocolate throughout the day.

I drink only water, but if you are more active than I, you probably can have a glass of wine. The thing is if you have no sugar or bad carbs, you are going to lose weight by virtue of the fact that you are eating clean. That makes a difference.

The Recipes

Breakfast: Tomato and Basil Omelet Get Recipe

Light Meal: Hummus in a Hurry Get Recipe 

Light Meal: Smashed Avocado on Dark Rye Bread Get Recipe

Dinner: Steak With Porcini Mushrooms Get Recipe

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *