I’ve gotten so many questions about this lately, so I wanted to let you know where I stand with intermittent fasting.
First of all, I want you to know that in fitness and health…. there are no ABSOLUTES.
There isn’t one thing that works for everyone and that is what trips people up a lot.
There’s keto and paleo and whole 30 and intermittent fasting and all the things and people try to implement them even though it may not fit their lifestyle, likes, dislikes, hormonal environment, etc. and they can never stick to it long enough to see results.
So, let me start off by saying this.
The best “diet” or way of eating is the one that you can maintain for a long period of time.
The one you can truly make a lifestyle.
You’ve heard me say this a ton….
CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY.
Intermittent fasting works amazingly for some and for others it doesn’t work and there is research for and against both.
I have personally tried intermittent fasting… there is nothing that I talk to you guys about that I don’t test first.
I did not see results with it, actually my body fat went up.
And….. I WAS MISERABLE. lol
You know I love food and love to eat.
I’m also very active at the beginning of the day, so not having fuel in my system made it very hard to function.
I’ve tested it on many clients as well.
For some it worked and for others it didn’t. (most had adverse results)
I will tell you who it worked for mostly.
- People who are busy in the first part of the day and normally have a hard time eating a healthy breakfast, getting meals in because they are busy… etc.
- Not having to worry about food for these people, simplified their life and made it easier for them to eat healthy the rest of the day.
- Others who have done well with it are people who don’t like or are able to eat several small meals per day and would rather have 1-2 big ones. (basically those that could care less about food)… NOT I 🙂
One benefit of intermittent fasting is that it reduces insulin levels which can help the process of fat burning.
When insulin levels are low, growth hormone levels increase as these 2 hormones are inversely related. Growth hormone helps to increase muscle.
But here’s my point….
If you eat healthy and moderately and you don’t eat a ton of sugar and you speed metabolism and lift weights, you can also reduce insulin levels and increase growth hormone and testosterone WITHOUT HAVING TO FAST.
There are also studies that state that intermittent fasting lowers triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Which is amazing….
BUT…. so does eating healthy (sans fasting) and exercising.
Some studies say that fasting also gives digestion a break.
Digestion is one of the biggest and most important processes in the body and takes a lot of energy.
Not having to digest food for long periods of time could allow for your body to do other things like burn fat.
Studies show that intermittent fasting is better for men than it is for women and that is because of our hormonal state and because women are created to reproduce. Because of that, any kind of fasting is a threat to our bodies.
So I will say this CONFIDENTLY…
If you are trying to conceive or are pregnant or are breastfeeding… DO NOT FAST.
While men and women are both made up of the same hormones, we have them in different levels.
Men have more testosterone and we have more estrogen and that is so that we can create life inside of us.
Men are WAY better at using stored fats as fuel.
When they go through long periods of time without eating, their body is pretty darn good at using fat reserves as fuel…. this goes back to the cavemen days.
I know what you’re thinking…. NOT FAIR 🙂 lol
But….. we get to create and give life.
And because of that our bodies are WAY DIFFERENT.
Our bodies were literally created in order to create and give life……
So anything that threatens our body is not good.
Fasting is a threat to our body.
As soon as our bodies are not getting enough fuel…. it enters into a state on imbalance and emergency and we start to secrete more CORTISOL (stress hormone). Which also negatively affects our insulin levels.
So this tells me that whether I’m trying to have a baby or not, fasting is not good for me.
Also, when you go more than 4 hours without eating, the appetite hormone (ghrelin) shoots up causing you to be hungry and increases cravings.
So when you fast, you are hungrier and have to have even more will power than normal to fight those cravings that are happening for HORMONAL reasons.
What Happens When Cortisol Levels Are High
- Hold on to more belly fat.
- Burn muscle.
- Unstable insulin levels that cause cravings, low energy and inability to burn fat effectively.
After testing it out myself and testing it on many clients and seeing the results.
I saw more adverse results than actual weight loss or body composition getting better.
And that is not to mention the lack of energy, and mood swings that come with fasting.
So, I do not fast and do not promote it.
But if you do and it works for you, I am all for it. No judging here 🙂
What I Do
What I do, is I TRY to do a 12 hour fast.
Meaning if I eat at 7pm, I try not to eat breakfast until 7am or after.
This gives me the benefits of giving digestion a break.
Its also a long enough fast that it will have a positive effect on insulin and growth hormone but not too long that it will cause stress to the body and then release too much cortisol.
I’m asleep for most of the fast, so I don’t get the negative effects of the hunger hormone, Ghrelin shooting up, irritability or moodiness from the fast, etc.
And I protect the state my body was created for, which is to reproduce by keeping my body hormonally balanced and not putting stress on it.
As you can see, there is no end all be all.
Everyone is different and different strategies work for different people.
But at least now you are better informed.
You understand more about what fasting does to the body hormonally…. and that is huge when making a decision.
I’ve talked about intermittent fasting, so here are 3 Easy Weight Loss Tips- Not Exercise or Diet Related!
So tell me….. now that you have this information.
REPLY AND TELL ME THIS…
Do you want to try intermittent fasting? Do you want to continue if you already are? Do you want to stop fasting? or maybe you wanted to try but now you definitely don’t.
If you liked this post, check out this post about Why You Get Cravings In The Afternoon and How to Prevent Them.
I would love to hear… hit REPLY and let me know.
There is so much more to health and fitness than a diet and workout.
Which is why I created Fit Mom For Life…. to bridge the gap and teach you all the things you need to know to make better decisions about your health and fitness lifestyle.
If you have it, you know how much content is in there and hopefully you have been going through it.
If you don’t have it…. girl… you are seriously missing out.
There is so much gold in there to empower to really reach your best mom life.