TOP need-to-know INTERMITTENT FASTING diet focus.

TOP need-to-know INTERMITTENT FASTING diet focus.

If you are into choice, variety, flexibility, and benefits when it comes to a regulated diet, then Intermittent fasting may be for you!

Intermittent fasting has always been on my radar, possibly because I have never enjoyed eating breakfast and ended up drinking coffee until my first meal at lunchtime. However, there needs to be a BUT or I would surely never have struggled with being fat! Like everything in life, drinking at least 4 cups of coffee with milk and sugar before lunchtime was a little OTT. There is ALWAYS a right and a wrong way to do anything…

This long lost art of eating we can thank our Neanderthal relatives for since 2010 the demand for and understanding of this manner of eating has escalated due to its successful manner in dealing with diabetes. For some reason, this practice disappeared but now it is back in full swing with success around every corner.

The basics are as follows, you get clever…(actually, your body does the cleverness, you just follow instructions), with intermittent fasting, your body understands that relying on fat for energy makes more sense, in fact, 5 calories more sense, as fat supplies 9 calories per gram and protein and carbohydrates only 4. Understand one thing however, if you are willing to supply it with continual copious amounts of carbohydrates, it is willing to use that BEFORE fat for fuel. Your body wants the simplest shortest easiest route to gain energy for your functioning, it WILL chose EASY if you supply EASY in carb form, so whatever you do, careful of that on your intermittent fast. It does need a little convincing i.e. regulated clean fasting to nudge it in the right direction of fat burning.

Let us look at the Top need-to-knows.

INTERMITTENT FASTING – It is all benefits!

Expect weight to drop

The minute you improve hormones – which you do with intermittent fasting, expect fat to start frying. Basic fat burning known as lipolysis kicks into overdrive. If you want to speed it up, use a VLCD (Low-Calorie Diet around 600 – 800cal) in combination with Intermittent Fasting.

If you have a desire to supercharge your weight drop then consider including 10 min intensive exercise in your day. As time progresses, add another 10min by including a slower pace after the intensive exercise. This depletes your glycogen stores that result in your body relying on burning fat for energy a lot sooner.

Intermittent fasting, ketosis diet
Any exercise is good exercise, focus on 10min high impact per day.

REMEMBER, fasting is not about calorie reduction (unless YOU chose this of course) it is about limiting the time period in which you eat daily. If you would like to focus in on fat burn then YES, drop the calorie load in that time period, but DON’T STARVE.

YOU will live longer!

Now, personally, I have not tested this theory but have an absolute belief that living to 100 will not be a problem… There is sound science that backs the fact by consuming fewer calories in a restricted time frame daily, aging may slow down and we will live longer. Just this benefit, if you love life as I do, is possibly enough to give this a PROPER go.

We found [that beta-hydroxybutyrate] can delay vascular aging. That’s actually providing a chemical link between calorie restriction and fasting and the anti-aging effect. This compound can delay vascular aging through endothelial cells, which line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. It can prevent one type of cell aging called senescence, or cellular aging.

Dr. Ming-Hui Zou

Hormones, they get better and therefore your waistline too!

Everybody knows it takes control of insulin and blood sugar to start controlling and ridding your body of unhealthy weight. With intermittent fasting, that IS what happens. Not only does it control it but boy does it IMPROVE it enabling significant weight control and better health in muscle maintenance due to an increase in growth hormone and better heart health. With a decrease in insulin levels, intermittent fasting increases insulin sensitivity.

Be aware that it increases norepinephrine and epinephrine levels which of course increases fat breakdown. Reason being, both of these are attached to our Neanderthal status of fight or flight, stress response. When we fast, there is a primitive side to us (mine is extremely primitive, literally, my primitive side has an anxiety attack when someone says to me “maybe eat less often!”). Our bodies without food from around 12 hours starts protecting itself, releasing these 2 hormones indicates that we need to start finding energy elsewhere… that is, FAT for FUEL!!! BUT, if you have adrenal gland issues or thyroid issues, DO have input from a medical professional before taking on any fasting routine or your hunger will turn into HANGER and ill-health.

WT? is autophagy?? And why do we care?

Autophagy, sounds like a possible disease, but in fact, this is what prevents ill health in your body, see it as a built-in cleaning service with MEGA BENEFITS. And this is the exact process that comes into being in our bodies when we do intermittent fasting. It is our body’s way of cleaning out all our ‘YUCK’ cells. The ‘Auto’ means self and the ‘phagy‘ means to eat, so basically this process in your body, directly speaking is ‘self-eating’. Whilst fasting, the process of autophagy ends up breaking down cell debris and recycling proteins that are compromised. If your body is breaking down fat, there just may be a greater toxin load, and for that reason, dumping the excess debris may be required! The science behind this including information on Cancer is a great read.

Oooohhhh there is a choice…

Intermittent Fasting – Alternate Day

As it states this is intermittent fasting every other day for a full 24-hour period. Now, this is one which is not on my recommendation list at all, as you basically end up spending half your remaining life not eating. For us, as women where our hormones and fertility are regulated by calorie intake, this is NOT an advisable option.

Now yes, some do take on this fasting process but for me personally, I cannot see myself functioning optimally on this. First of all, most people with weight issues enjoy food. Chances are anybody fighting fat may have to choose between taking on a controlled diet and integrating it into their lifestyles for life and not eating every second day is diabolical. Then, if you have a lot of fat to sizzle, sticking to this over a short period can also be tough, never mind 6 months to a year and can cause you to give up and burn that diet wagon once again!

5: 2 Fasting

This is one plan which a vast majority of my clients succeeded at. It entails eating normally for 5 days and limiting food to 600cal and no more for 2 days. You chose the 2 days which makes it fairly flexible. With this plan burning fat around that belly works a charm.

16/8 Daily Fasting:

My personal favorite, where I fast for 16 hours and eat for on average 8 hours. I have found this an easy way to fast, based on the fact that I am not a big breakfast eater as said before and can go without. I also chose to skip breakfast rather than supper as I love sitting down with my children for supper. Within this manner of fasting is great flexibility, chose to skip breakfast or supper, chose to have your larger meal at lunchtime to reduce the calories that need work whilst you sleep. It may sound difficult but in fact, when you reflect on it you may find that you HAVE done this before without feeling regulated. You may not get to lunch and in fact, I know of people who don’t even get to lunch and push through to supper. Why I love this choice is it is something which I would do as a choice of lifestyle which allows me to live healthily and control my weight. Often when we chose a diet it does not allow us to embrace it FOREVER, I do believe that whatever we use to drop fat we must be able to do forever and a day AND be flexible within it.

Intermittent fasting, ketosis diet
Keep an eye on your eating times with handy apps you can find online.

The flexibility is also based on when you start, you can start your fast any time, and start eating 16 hours after. So maybe you would like to eat from 10 till 6 pm or 2 till 10 pm (little late unless you work nightshift of course) but pick your 8 hours based on YOUR LIFESTYLE.

1-DAY Fasting

This is once per week, on average for 18 to 24hours. You start from supper time around 6 pm the previous day, sleep through most of the fast (yes, I do advise an early evening to prevent finding yourself wandering to the fridge by midday the next day). Your intake for the day is water, tea, and good quality coffee till at least early evening, that is a full successful day. If this suits your lifestyle, fantastic. PLEASE be kind on yourself, there is no need to berate yourself if you do NOT make 24 hours. You have effectively stretched yourself and possibly no matter how many hours you have given your body a resting period it will thank you for and most likely next time around it will be easier!

Added note:

My advice would be as follows, make sure if you are fasting that days you are not fasting in, for example, the 5 : 2 fasting times, make sure you eat sensibly, mindfully and not try to overeat or treat it like a ‘cheat’ day and gorge yourself… big mistake. Yes, common sense but sometimes we need reminding… Of course the same applies for the 16 : 8 hours, it can turn into on-diet and off-diet which can undo what we are trying to do.

METABOLISM, I need all of it!

We have been sold on the fact that little snacks through the day is good for us… it keeps our metabolism going… well, what I found firstly, was that when this was the approach healthy snacks eventually became ANY SNACKS and at this point for some odd reason, he he heheheheheheheh, there is a weight loss plateau… On further investigation we find muffins becoming the standard in between snack which causes more harm than good. Other than that, snacking is not necessary to keep our metabolism in place. There are plenty of available studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which deal with continual fasting and alternate-day fasting resulted in no decrease in metabolic rate. Even if you chose to do a very low-calorie diet of around 800 calories, your metabolic rate remains unharmed.

Being foodless is not the problem, rather excessive weight and lack of muscle mass is more the problem. You see, some plonkers – that includes me, did do extreme diets in which case muscle is lost, the minute that drops there is less to chew excess fat and then your basal metabolic rate drops… when eating correctly and nourishing your body with great REAL FOOD and include supplementing where needs be is the right way to go about this, then metabolism will NOT be a problem. Burn fat and live a healthy lifestyle and metabolism concerns will disappear.

It may be for you, OR NOT

Disclaimer: Note the benefits of intermittent fasting but know that it is controversial. If diabetic your dose may need to be adapted and you would need to discuss any lifestyle changes with your doctor. Please take note that people who are underweight or have eating disorders like anorexia, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people under the age of 18 should NOT do this plan.

Take care, as stated above, if any adrenal gland and thyroid challenges and/or any chronic medical conditions seek medical advice before taking on intermittent fasting. Add to that, if you do have low blood sugar or suffer from dizziness if you do not eat, be cautious. Then, based on the energy requirements of a child, pregnant or breastfeeding women, this is NOT an optimal choice.

Allergies? YOU MAKE ME FAT!

Allergies? YOU MAKE ME FAT!

What could getting FAT, moodiness [might be as a result of getting fat], muffin tops, puffy ankles, and aching joints have to do with allergies?  Well, just about everything.  If you take your health seriously, and weight gain is an issue to you, pay attention to allergies!

In my younger days, I recall allergies being a sniffly nose or a bee sting going wrong.  These days, it is on a different level… Becoming aware of it in my personal life with a daughter who from age 2 weeks suffered from allergies.  Yes, her immune system was not the strongest for numerous reasons [ok, ok, it was totally my doing, elected Ceaser and not breastfeeding, etc. etc. etc – but this Mom was truly a duck out of water – my bad! I have learned a couple of things since then… thank goodness.] and for this reason, she ended up suffering till 9 years of age.  It started out nice and easy, constant check-ups with a doctor, antibiotics every year, sometimes a couple of times a year, then asthma pumps littered the house and my handbag/s. 

As time progressed, things got worse, her inactivity lead to weight gain and being bullied, and when she got sick it was 2 weeks of MAHEM… It didn’t stop there, strict instructions to teachers what she could and could not eat and limitations on running around, like any child should be able to do, based on her limited breathing ability and her allergic reaction to just about everything.  Then allergy testing was traumatic with scratch tests, yes, it was not going well.  I recall sitting up in bed at night holding her upright, tears streaming down my cheeks wondering “WHAT OH WHAT CAN I DO!!!???”  due to her not being able to breathe after a fun birthday party rolling around in the grass and having that one [chemically-laden-to-taste-better] sweet, too many, that ONCE AGAIN triggered her bodies immune response.  The good news is this, besides learning a heap full about good nourishment, I happily AND THANKFULLY  learned a heap full about good NATURAL supplementation too, within a month of MARCH 2016, I had her off all her medication and slowly building her immunity back up to what it should be.  From age 9 to now 12, her body has clawed its way back to ‘normality’.  We have not seen a doctor for allergies in 3 years, no antibiotics for illness come wintertime and a NORMAL amount of broccoli [sic] instead of nightly plates full and a daughter who is playing hockey and excelling at singing. Happier for sure – in fact NOW, I have a HEALTHY daughter once again.

Get great natural supplementation to help your body function optimally!
Get great natural supplementation to help your body function optimally!

But, that is not what this article is about – I couldn’t resist sharing my story as, after all, it was the foundation of me finding my BLISS in life-supporting, coaching and mentoring those with health and weight challenges.  You see, I may have got the first part horribly wrong for my daughter, but after that my intuition and inspired dissatisfaction with the status quo kicked in 150%. I realized that the chemicals I was pouring into her little body for the sake of science and medicine was doing more harm than good long term and I knew I HAD to change that.  I knew that it may be helping right now, but LONG TERM, what were the effects and what were the repercussions of not dealing with allergies going to do to her life quality?

So, let us have a look at how we get unhealthy and gain weight which could have EVERYTHING to do with that slight allergy you have suffered with and also why, if you are a Mom with a child who has a compromised immunity, that you know you CAN do something SOONER THAN LATER to assist a better quality of life.

I will list a couple of items but will be discussing weight gain in a bit more detail, but first I would like you to think about these in the following way, you may have relocated and one of these symptoms magically disappeared, or have gone on holiday and awarded your magically feeling better to being ‘away from the boss’.  If you have physically felt the difference, it may, in fact, be a hidden food allergy that has released its grip.  Now yes, there is a change of water or damp [or the lack of an infuriating boss] that can impact this as well, but sometimes just taking a look at what you eat my be suffice.

COMMON AILMENTS SURROUNDING FOOD ALLERGIES:

Water retention

Diarrhea

IBS

Bloatedness

Crohn’s disease

Abdominal discomfort

Joint Pain

Rheumatoid arthritis RA

Vomiting

Nausea

Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers

Itchy eyes and puffiness

Asthma

Aching Muscles

Itchy skin

Eczema

Headaches/migraine

Fatigue

Depression/anxiety

Hyperactivity

Runny nose

Mouth ulcers

Now THAT IS A LONG LIST!  And for me, these were all symptoms, and one of the primary causes, in my opinion, was a completely COMPROMISED DIGESTIVE TRACT.  That was my port of call for my daughter.  If I could get her digestive tract right, I could raise her immunity and address all these – exactly what we managed to do with good nourishment and supplementation.

But let us have a closer look at one of the nasties that take lodging and compromise your health when ALLERGIES are left unchecked.

WEIGHT GAIN [fat] AND THOSE PUFFY ANKLES

Seeing as I specialize in dealing with people in this industry – this is a primary concern and for once I cannot blame the fat on excessive sugar intake.  If by CHANCE your thighs are slapping together more than they should be and you have not necessarily made pizza your standard food intake, in fact, you are quite careful about what you eat and the exercise you get in, then an allergy may be your challenge.    Often the challenge here exists and starts in wheat.  This then starts causing the damage it generally does in your body which then may lead to further intolerances to for instance milk and eggs,  once the body starts breaking down due to an allergy making you its home, I have seen other ‘intolerances’ start popping up.  The problem, of course, is that our HIPS start POPPING TOO!!!

How does this work?  If you consistently have allergic reactions, you gain weight (I saw this in my daughter first hand).  What happens is when you have an allergic reaction, your body releases cytokines (little cutesy immune messengers) to deal with the allergy.  But these little cutesy makes you less responsive to insulin making your resistant to insulin increase, which of course is supposed to keep your blood sugar in balance…   Your immunity starts to struggle to fight off invaders the more allergic reactions you have… and the more it struggles the more JUNK is swirling around in your bodies’ bloodstream.  Of course, our bodies’ main concern is us, so it sends the junk to the liver to deal with [sounds like a hot potato pass and it is!!!].  Eventually, your liver ain’t happy, it’s overworked and underpaid and its capacity is reaching breaking point… if that is the case, your body, who is still loving you by the way, now dumps these toxins in YOUR FAT CELLS… oh dear… sounds like a good plan, but it ain’t.  The JUNKIER your fat cells become, the slower your LOVING BODY is able to metabolize the fat for energy use, result:  WE GET AND STAY FAT.

Then comes the wicked bestest mate who says “you JUST NEED TO EXERCISE MORE… [smiley face, smiley face]”. Arggghhhhh… Problem is, with toxicity overload you will experience massive lethargy and chronic fatigue… that ain’t gonna help any exercise routine AND may put your friendship at risk…

With this ALLERGY, comes water retention, a person can hold on to as much as 4,5kgs of extra ‘weight’ [ladies, noticed I did not say FAT!] in fluid retention. 

So here comes the WHAMMY, those [and yes, I know, you are a logical intelligent reader and you would NEVER THINK of doing something like this] who have been beguiled into taking a couple of tablets to drop 5kgs in a week… this is it – water weight (and possibly, most likely, ok, definitely a bit of muscle too!).

Back to the puffy ankles.  If you experience massive weight fluctuations in a 24 hour period, anything from 1.5kgs to 2.5kgs, have puffy eyes (yes those bags under the eyes) or puffy face, or do you need to loosen your belt after eating (without having overeaten)?  Ever felt both your ankles swell up, and fingers?   Possibly dry skin and dandruff?  This could have everything to do with allergies.   Of course, other related causes are blood sugar and kidney problems and excess sodium but chances are you will be able to see the causes by slowing improving how you eat.  Eliminate the CRITTERS that could be causing it and start EATING CLEAN.  Remove sugar, refined foods and possibly coffee [ouch, this one hurts me as I am a coffee fanatic, but it may be included when you have the health of your gut improved for those of you like me who cannot see life without it…].  Add healthy fruit and veg to your diet, including seeds, careful of gluten as there may be sensitivity on this one.  Focus in on good omega 3, try evade additional salt and make sure YES… that you GET WATER IN! Drink at least 2l of water a day, more if you are exercising.

Eliminate elements, then slowly incorporate after your gut is functioning 100%
Eliminate elements, then slowly incorporate after your gut is functioning 100%

Then, seriously look into high-quality supplementation,  I will happily point you to exactly that which I used for my daughters’ improvement and feel free to email me – I know the struggle with a toddler and what to do about it.  Then, if you are at a point where you cannot understand your weight gain and have eliminated the wrongs and added exercise like an athlete preparing for the Olympics, do look into this.  Address your gut first and foremost, keep the refined and processed foods out, that is, eat CLEAN, natural real food…include fermented foods.  Then SUPPLEMENT!  My children and I have a supplemented pre and probiotic EVERY DAY out of choice… not because we don’t want to eat real food but because sometimes we don’t ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT and need something to look after our billions of good gut bacteria, after all, THEY LOOK AFTER US!

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