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A Beginner's Guide To Intermittent Fasting

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF)?

IF is basically the practice of occasionally going for extended periods without eating. Most people only experience this when sleeping, from after dinnertime to “break-fast” aka breaking that sleeping fast! Basically, if you typically eat dinner by 8 PM and breakfast at 8 AM the next day, you're fasting for 12 hours and feeding for 12 hours. Do you get me?

Terrified of fasting? Think fasting is for religious zealots? Think again. Intermittent fasting is a valuable tool that allows you to give your body a rest, and at the same time BOOT it into doing some very valuable things our bodies absolutely need!

This idea is not new.

Let's get one thing straight right now... fasting has been a part of human life for ages because it works. That's why Hippocrates, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and nearly all religions praised the benefits of fasting. Only in modern times have people lost touch with the benefits of fasting, so let's debunk the myths and understand intermittent fasting.

MYTH: Fasting is bad for your metabolism

MYTH: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Humans have actually been fasting throughout evolution. Take hunters and gatherers for example, sometimes food was simply not available. To boot, the notion of intermittent fasting has long been a part of major religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. This “new” trend is basically a cycle between periods of eating and fasting, and there are countless scientific research studies that prove its powerful benefits. In short, when participating in an intermittent fast your body changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible instead of burning glucose (sugars).

As one of nature's most powerful tools, it goes hand in hand with a high-fat diet because fasting helps you burn fat. In my opinion, fasting is a win-win because it helps us burn fat, slow the aging process, and helps us reduce inflammation throughout the body by not eating for a short window of time, but not being hungry or tired, just the opposite.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO FAST?

To reap all the rewards of this practice, you should allow around 14-18 hours between dinner and the next meal. I suggest doing this a couple times a week and if you are drinking Bulletproof, you can do it every day, I personally like to take 2 days off to just eat eggs, lots of veggies cooked with my bacon grease on the weekends (pasture raised of course).

Once your body gets adjusted to the routine, you will completely forget about those pesky CRAVINGS, plus you never feel hungry or HANGRY, ever. I'll admit, I was a skeptic when I first did the research about how High-Fat eating could curb cravings. But, I swear to you I am a believer and an advocate for this stuff now. When I am not cheating (I like to relax, eat tacos and have a cocktail on the weekends) High-Fat eating is my way of life. I can have a healthy lunch and avoid the 3 pm slump and the mad dash to get a sweet pick-me-up. Usually, I would need chocolate or something to get through the day. Now, it DOESN'T even cross my mind! There can be a cookie next to me, and I can ignore it no problem because I am completely satisfied.

WHEN YOU DON’T EAT FOR A WHILE, SO MANY GOOD THINGS START TO HAPPEN IN YOUR BODY

BENEFITS:

  • Reduces Insulin resistance, reducing Diabetes

  • Lowers blood sugar levels

  • Increases metabolism

  • Reduces belly fat

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Improves blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, and blood triglycerides

  • Increases waste removal from cells

  • Increases cognitive function

  • Reduces brain fog

  • Helps prevent against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's

  • Detoxification

  • Better Sleep

  • More overall energy

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body's ability to burn fat.

Want to learn more? Listen to these podcasts with master Rhonda Patrick

FAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU FAT!

This high fat way of life actually helps you BURN FAT, crazy right? I have found myself teaching clients, friends and family this concept over and over lately. Unfortunately, our food "controllers" have tricked us into believing that fat is bad and is our enemy. I blame this “trend” as the culprit to our obesity epidemic in the US. Our food controllers, we will call them, pulled the fat out of all our food and what did they do? Added sugar (and a whole lot of other ingredients you can't even begin to pronounce). Luckily, my family has never been one to use margarine or other low fat foods. My mom is Mexican. My dad, Italian. We use lard, extra virgin olive oil and my parents were never shy using BUTTER.

MY EXPERIENCE

I have been on (yes I cheat) a high fat diet and practicing intermittent fasting on and off, for over 2 years now, and I am obsessed, addicted & feel great. Fat tells our brains to optimize their potential, meaning less brain fog, more fat burning, and overall higher energy. Think about it, you get to eat foods such as grass-fed butter and ghee (clarified butter for those of you who can't have dairy), olives, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, grass-fed meats, and lots and lots of veggies! Fat signals our brain to acknowledge that we are satisfied, which in turn curbs sugar cravings, and keeps us feeling full. Did I mention this way of eating BURNS our OWN FAT that we have stored to use for fuel? That's my favorite part because it means you can eat fat and burn fat at the same time! Lastly, BULLETPROOF COFFFE is my go-to when it comes to being successful with IF. Hands down. Join me in my healthy addiction and if you can't have coffee, try TEA.

In summary, should you try it? Yes, there is nothing to lose, well besides some fat! Everyone is different, but below is what most people experience after doing IF for a month. 

  • Your life is easier because you don't have to make so many meals, my life is for sure!

  • You are just smarter, I promise your cognitive function is clear and ready to take over anything that comes in your way

  • It is way easier to control your hunger and overall cravings, yes even my sugar addicts this applies to you

  • You will have way more energy, especially after that healthy lunch after coming off your fast

  • It is proven to help reduce your risk of disease

  • It’s way easier then going on a lame diet where you don’t get to eat yummy foods

  • Just the simplicity of cutting your eating window down to about 6 hours can make big changes in your health

  • IF is not a calorie restricted diet, you get to eat a LOT. Don’t know about you but I love to eat.

Above all else, make sure you are safe, and if you have a chronic disease, pregnant or diabetic, please consult a physician. If you're interested in a guided program, please reach out to me at torie@thevidawell.com. As always, I look forward to helping you through your health journey.  

RESOURCES:

SCIENCE:

HUMAN STUDIES:

  • IF confers protection from toxic chemotherapy treatments, allowing higher doses and therefore more effective treatment for cancers.[13]

  • IF may function as a form of nutritional hormesis.[14][15]

  • Alternative day fasting (ADF) may produce significant improvements in several markers such as LDL cholesterol in as little as eight weeks.[10]

  • “may effectively modulate several risk factors, thereby preventing chronic disease, and that ADF may modulate disease risk to an extent similar to that of CR”.[11]