Lose Weight with Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a tremendous tool for health and weight loss. It is important to understand that IF is not a diet, but rather a very simple technique of meal timing. Intermittent fasting divides your day into two parts; a period of time that you eat (the eating window) and a period of time that you take in no calories.
IF is very flexible and has many health benefits, including improved mental clarity, detoxification (reduction in headaches) and improved cardiac profiles- but weight loss, however, is the most immediate benefit.
IF is practical for many people because it is extremely easy to implement. One of the reasons I shifted to IF was because I became tired of constantly planning for the next meal. For many years I ate 6-8 meals each day. I bought into the idea that I should eat every few hours in order to “stimulate the metabolism”. I also believed that if I didn’t consume protein every few hours, my muscles would waste away. My own experimentation with IF has convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that neither of these things are true. Both of these common beliefs have been perpetuated by companies that are anxious to sell you protein powder and things of that sort.
The Hunting and Gathering Connection
From an evolutionary standpoint, it would be very unlikely that our ancestors would have consumed food as frequently as we do today. It would have been far more likely that they would eat substantial meals after finding a new food source or after making a kill, but they would also go for extended periods of time where food was scarce. Our genes are very well-adapted to this situation. It is our current lifestyle-with food available all the time- that is incompatible with our genes.
Combining the Past and the Present
Most of us don’t want to go long periods of time without food. We also don’t want to give up our modern lifestyle-and we shouldn’t. We should be thankful for how great our modern lives are. However, it is clear to we are not living in a way that is compatible with our genes and we are paying a price with our health and our weight. We must give our genes what they require. That will always be the first step to health. No amount of drugs or surgery can ever make up for depriving our genes of the food they require. Chiropractors have labored to get the lay public to understand this critical point.
In a previous blog entry, I discussed the foods that our genes require. To review, click here. The next step is to give our body a period of time each day that we don’t eat. This will promote weight loss, but it also gives our body a chance to do some housekeeping and maintenance. This maintenance period is critical for regaining health and losing weight.
Dr. Moore’s Simple IF Protocol (16/8)
16/8 is a 16 hour fast and an 8 hour eating window. Any time works fine as long as you have a continuous 16 hour fast, followed by an 8 hour eating window. Common eating windows are 10-6, 11-7, 12-8, and 1-9. Any other alteration is fine. Choose an eating window that works best for your schedule. I use the schedule below:
1 p.m to 9 p.m. The Eating Window (8 hrs)
Eat two to three meals, focusing on eating lean meats, veggies, and fruit. If you are still eating processed foods, remember to apply “fresh fiber first”-Eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable before eating anything else.
The Fast (The period of 16 hrs you have designated as calorie-free)
Take in no calories. Black coffee and tea are fine. Focus on drinking water and getting things done. You will have hunger pangs once in a while, but you will notice that they soon go away. After a few days you will notice an increase in energy during the fast, and you will see that hunger pangs come and go quickly.
This schedule is very malleable to what works best for you; do move the eating window to whatever period of time you wish. I prefer fasting from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. because it allows for dinner with friends. Remember, you are already fasting each night while you sleep. IF just extends it a little longer.
As a beginner, you may choose to start with a 12-hour fast. Try fasting from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. As you get more comfortable, simply push your breakfast to 10 a.m. This would create a 14- hour fast.
Please feel free to ask questions. IF works for this Fairbanks Chiropractor, and it will work for you as well.