Eat a lot... but not all the time: How to follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle.
For years, the fitness industry’s party line in terms of weight loss has been to restrict your calories and eat multiple small meals spread out throughout the day to keep your metabolism working all day long. That is, until recently. With new research coming out about the benefits of intermittent fasting in terms of weight loss and overall health...the industry is beginning to take note. While this incredibly effective nutritional strategy has not yet become mainstream, it is becoming more and more popular as the results truly do speak for themselves.
Because intermittent fasting is still relatively new on the scene, there is a lot of confusion about what it is and how to implement it effectively. While there are many intermittent fasting protocols available, I’ve chosen to base my online bootcamps on the 16/8 protocol because I believe it to be the most effective and sustainable over time.
What is the 16/8 protocol and how is it different?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but an eating schedule. When using the 16/8 method of IF, you are fasting each day for 16 hours and shortening your eating window to 8 hours per day. This means that you take your daily macro counts and squeeze them into an 8 hour window. This is different from other IF strategies where you fast for entire days at a time, or where you have an even shorter eating window.
What’s so great about 16/8?
Since most of us sleep for about 7-8 hours per night, we are only fasting for 8 hours per day using the 16/8 strategy. This protocol gives your body time to rest, DAILY. It allows your insulin levels to decrease, DAILY. You will be more productive and focused, DAILY. In addition, an 8 hour eating window is completely doable when it comes to getting in all of your macros each day. In fact, you end up eating slightly bigger meals that leave you feeling more satiated than the countless mini-meals you’ve been told to eat all day for years.
How do you implement the 16/8 Intermittent Fasting strategy?
Implementation is super simple: pick an 8 hour window and consume all of your calories/macros during that 8 hour window, then fast for the other 16 hours of each day. People typically fast overnight, unless they work a night shift. During your fasting window, you can consume water, black coffee and herbal teas while still keeping your body in a fasted state. I typically fast from 7pm at night then break my fast with a hearty meal around 11am. This can obviously be adjusted based on your schedule and family’s needs. The placement of your eating window is not important as long as you are fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8!
When beginning to use this strategy, you may want to ease your way up to 16 hours: starting with 12 for a few days, then bumping it up to 14 for a few more before going all in at 16 hours. Also, when starting out be sure that you are consuming enough calories during your eating window, which can be a challenge when you are first getting used to the 16/8 strategy.
Intermittent fasting has incredible benefits for those wanting to burn fat, increase their energy, and prevent illness. Using the 16/8 fasting protocol is incredibly sustainable and will give you the results you are looking for!
This is the strategy I use in my virtual bootcamps to get women some incredible results. Check out the FASTer Way to Fat Loss bootcamp here!