You’ve seen the latest diet fad, intermittent fasting, everywhere. Its proponents have touted its advantages. Perhaps you’re curious and want to get to know the mechanics behind strategically scheduled meals and how to fit them in your schedule to get best results.
[Note: always consult your physician before embarking on any major changes to your diet or exercise routine to be sure that it is the right plan for you.]
Today we look at one approach. Ian K. Smith’s book “Fast Burn! The Power of Negative Energy Balance” is a recent book that helps explain the physiology and science behind the intermittent fasting fad.
Good fat, bad fat
First we start by learning, or unlearning, things we thought we knew about the body and dieting. That means understanding that not all fat in the body or in the diet is bad fat.
There is a difference between healthy and unhealthy fat that is found in our foods and in our bodies. While a small layer of fat accumulates all over our bodies, and is inescapable, it is excess
Knowing the difference between good and bad fat is important.
Fat is a macronutrient that our bodies crave and need. The complications go on – there are four kinds of fats, two of which are generally good, and two of which are generally bad. Trans fats are often artificial and found in fast or processed foods.
The key to managing your weight is to burn more calories than you take in. But the shortcut to this is to reduce your intake of fast and processed foods.
Our bodies evolved to experience fasting
Our bodies evolved over time to experience periods of fasting. This came from periods of hunting or foraging that included dry spells, figuratively or literally.
Whatever structure they take, the intent of these designs is to imitate the historical fasting we experienced. Each model can bring weight loss benefits. During these periods of low intake, the goal is to force our bodies to burn the fat that is already available in the body.
The longer you fast, the theory goes, the more your body burns the available fat from your belly, thighs, or other places around the body.
Weight loss, improved brain function, and reduced inflammation are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting touted by its adherents.
In “Fast Burn! The Power of Negative Energy Balance”, Ian Smith outlines one particular intermittent fasting schedule.
The Fast Burn! plan
There are, as with any fasting plan, lots of different options and methods for how you can get in on the fat burning plan.
This example, proposed by Ian Smith, is just one way to do this. And again, whenever you are considering a significant change in your diet or exercise, you should check with your physician to make the best decision for your personal situation.
Smith uses a variety of different time-restricted feeding (TRF) models to divide the day into periods of eating and fasting as his 10-week plan progresses.
He suggests starting with a 12/12 program. This is simply selecting 12 hours where you take in your calories, and then fasting for the other 12 hours. This is your schedule to start off during the 4 week ignition period. This eases you into the IF lifestyle. In the 12/12 plan, you should space your meals wisely and evenly, and add mild aerobic activity every day.
After the 4 week ignition period, you should then move to a 10/14 mode – 10 hours eating and 14 hours fasting. In this segment of your progression, you should be ramping up your physical activity, with a rigorous zoomba or other cardiovascular workout added to the other work you were doing. In this way your body
As you start the 10/14 schedule, the fasting periods will come to feel more normal. It is at this time that you will start to a “jigsaw” schedule with some of your meals becoming entirely plant-based.
The goal of dieting
The ultimate goal of dieting is to establish a healthy balance of activity and caloric intake. Those calories should come largely from plants. However, you can balance HOW you eat with WHEN you eat to put your body in a position to burn fat.
Of course, if you are having trouble getting motivated and staying on your diet, there may be more at work than a simple recipe for weight loss can handle.
Are you struggling to keep your New Years promises or to achieve other goals, big or small? Do you keep falling off the wagon and into bad habits?
Perhaps what you need to do is to address patterns of thinking that keep you in those bad habits of action.
A therapist like Sakina Issa can help. Click the red button on the screen right now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Ask questions, listen a little, and determine if regularly working with a counselor might help you break free from dangerous patterns.