Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Fat loss is something so many of us struggle with. Many clients will tell me they want to lose weight, but really they want to lose fat. No one wants to lose lean muscle tissue or bone mass.
First of all, fat equals energy. So it's important. The problem is when we have too much excess fat stored on our body. We know that can lead to all sorts of diseases as well as negatively affect our joints and organs. And, we just want to fit into our clothes a little better too.
Intermittent fasting is one of the easiest ways I have found to help with fat loss. So let's talk about intermittent fasting (IF). I recommend a fasting window of 16 hours. That can be as easy as just skipping breakfast and finishing dinner by 6pm.
We were taught years ago to eat every 3-4 hours to maintain even blood sugars. Well, now we know that if we eat every 3-4 hours we don't give our body a chance to use up stored energy.
Here are a few tips I have learned over the years that help with IF.
If fasting for 16 hours right off the bat is difficult, start extending your fasting window by an hour or two at a time. It could be as easy as finishing dinner by 6pm and not eating anything else till morning.
Drink plenty of water. Many times we think we're hungry but we're dehydrated.
They were right when they said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's when you break your fast. It doesn't have to be first thing in the morning. When you break your fast make sure it is with healthy food that is low in carbohydrates, high in quality fat and protein.
Get carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Avoid processed carbs like breads, pastas, chips, cookies and bars.
Don't consume the same amount of calories in the eight hour feeding window that you used to eat in a larger window. What do I mean by that? If you are going from eating 3 meals a day to just 2 meals, don't consume they same amount of food in those two meals as you would have in 3. Dr. Jason Fung has an excellent Youtube video titled "Don't Make this Critical Mistake", check it out.
Studies have shown that eating earlier in the day and ending your feeding window earlier is more beneficial then starting your feeding window later in the day. (Life does happen and you want to be able to maintain IF so choose a window that you can stick with for the long haul.)
There are two kinds of hunger, the one where our intestines are empty. And the one where we would kill to feed ourselves because if we didn't, we'd die. I would bet none of us have ever felt the second form of hunger. Let your body be, you will be ok. You will not die. You are burning fat for fuel!!!!! Think of it as a good thing.
There are several doctors and specialist that I recommend you check out. Dr. Jason Fung has a Youtube channel and he does an excellent job of explaining the science of why fasting works and shows it is a healthy way to lose fat.
Dr. Benjamin Bikman has useful tips and information as well. And High Intensity Health is a podcast that I find easy to listen to and get good solid scientific information from.
As always, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor about starting a new diet or program.
Join the Boundless Balance Community https://www.boundlessbalance.com/community for more tips and recipes.