by Matt Weik
Do you live a hectic lifestyle? Maybe you own a business or have children? If so, you know how hard it is to fit in quality meals when you’re always on the go from place to place. Many end up hitting the drive-thru and choosing options that might not align with what your health and fitness goals are. And if you’re trying to lose weight, constantly eating out could be putting you behind the eight ball. That’s where implementing intermittent fasting into your lifestyle can be extremely advantageous.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a type of diet used by many Americans in an effort to lose weight and drop body fat. If you know me and follow my work/content, you know I am not a fan of “diets” or even the term itself. In fact, I hate the word “diets,” and that’s a really strong word to use.
When it comes to diets, most are impossible to follow due to the fact that most will cause you to eliminate entire food groups such as fats and carbohydrates. For the majority of the population, that’s simply not going to work – nor do most people have the willpower to follow such diets.
Where intermittent fasting shines is that it only allows you to eat during a “feeding window.” A what? Let me explain. Intermittent fasting is the process of fasting for 16 hours and then eating within an 8-hour window (do the math, and you come up with 24 hours). For instance, many people will break their fast and start eating around noon or 1pm. This then allows them to eat for the next eight hours. Seems weird, no? Hear me out.
Why Should You Consider Utilizing Intermittent Fasting?
The 8-hour window can be anytime you designate, so you could even break your fast at 3pm and eat until 11pm if you so chose to. Why would you want to consider such a diet? It actually makes sense when you think about it. You don’t need to take a break to eat anything until you start your feeding window. This allows you to utilize all of your time during your fast to get as many things done as you wish and be extremely productive.
Another benefit of intermittent fasting is that you can eat as few or as many meals as you wish during that timeframe – meal frequency is thrown out the window, which for many is music to their ears. Some people like to consume two meals while others fit in as many as seven – the good news is that it’s entirely up to you. The bottom line is that you are to fit in all of your calories for the day within your designated 8-hour feeding window.
Many people think a 16-hour fast will be nearly impossible and that your body will be starving by the time your feeding window comes around. While I’m not going to lie, at first, it may be difficult, and you will feel a little hungry, your body will eventually get used to it, and those hunger pangs will ultimately go away.
However, most forget about all of the hours you spend sleeping. How many hours do you sleep each night? Why is that important, you might ask? Well, because that counts towards your fasting period. If you sleep 7-9 hours each night, you are that much closer to your feeding window. If you sleep for seven hours each night, that means you only need to fast for an additional nine hours.
Here is my personal example of how I utilize intermittent fasting to not only be more productive during the day but also help maintain my lean muscle mass while shedding body fat. I go to sleep around midnight every night. From midnight until 7am, I am sleeping. I then wake up and start my day without the traditional morning breakfast.
This allows me to be extremely productive immediately upon waking. I then fast until noon. I eat my meals from noon until 8pm and then start my fast again. It works exceptionally well for me, and it’s the regimen I recommend most people start with.
How to Make It Hours Without Food?
You may be thinking there is no way you can make it 16 hours without eating anything. I’m telling you that you can. There are some tricks that I want to share with you to make intermittent fasting much easier. Just because you can’t consume calories doesn’t mean you’re running on empty.
You can consume calorie-free beverages all the way up until you reach your feeding window. This means you can consume coffee (no cream or sugar), water, or any calorie-free beverage you choose. This also helps reduce any hunger pangs you may encounter, and the caffeine from consuming coffee can help keep you energized. In the end, it works out perfectly.
All in all, intermittent fasting is utilized by many people to help them lose or even manage their current weight (whatever their personal and individual goals may be). While it might not be for everyone, I urge everyone to at least give it a try to see how they like it and what results they can yield from following intermittent fasting. There are many studies out there showing the health benefits from fat loss, blood sugar regulation, and much more. Again, if you follow my work, you know I am very critical of “diets,” but this one (I feel) can be highly beneficial for most of the population.