A client recently asked a a great question about Intermittent Fasting. Should she try it to burn those last stubborn layers of fat?
Long story short, I don't recommend it for women. Here is a smart article explaining why it's not so great for ladies.
Men can play with it as they tend to be more successful with IF, but I really feel that the best lean results come from well portioned, balanced meals, tracking intake of macros, everything in moderation, and obviously a deficit of calories for those wanting to lean out or lose weight. :) I wrote up a little blurb a year ago for some of my nutrition clients. Check it out below.
INTERMITTENT FASTING...Does it work?
Some studies prove Intermittent Fasting (fasting in planned short to long periods of time, then eating daily caloric intake in one sitting, several times throughout the week) for women hormonally disruptive and can be very dangerous in some cases. Oddly enough, most studies prove it works very well for men. Truth is, in my opinion, it’s just an extreme, exaggerated version of what is already intuitive eating. If you think about our biology from a primal standpoint, we were designed in a time of feast/famine. I know we have adapted from living in a cave obviously, but there is something to be said about our natural instinctive desires for food.
Trick is, you have to first get really great at listening to your body’s cues. Increasing your internal kinesthetic awareness. If you are already very aware, then you’re probably already IF-ing without even knowing. Ever have a morning where you simply aren’t hungry, so you don’t eat until noon? Guess what? You just IF-ed all over the place. Ever have a day where you “forget” to eat and then eat a large, well-balanced dinner? That’s also IF.
I think formally adopting IF can be really tricky because you’re intentionally planning long periods of time without eating. This doesn’t work well for me, like I mentioned before, because it’s this mind game where now that I can’t have it, I want it. So for me, purposefully implementing IF backfires. Instead, I have learned that I am not really an eat-when-I-rise person, and that’s okay. I will instead drink water, have coffee and wait until my hunger cues kick in. Some days that’s one hour after rising, some days it’s 5 hours after rising. It’s not that big of a deal, unless not-eating becomes more of a pattern than eating. With my nutrition plans, I do not recommend planning days of fasting vs days of feeding. I’m more concerned with you accurately identifying when you’re hungry vs thirsty or tired, when you’re overeating, when you’re not eating enough.
Learn to respond to your body instinctively, almost pragmatically.
Am I hungry?
Why am I hungry?
How long ago did I eat?
How much water did I drink today?
Did I recently have a high amount of sugar?
If everything seems on track, then it’s probably true hunger and time to fix yourself something awesomely nutritious.
See? We don’t need a fancy IF system because guess what? That’s the way your body was designed. If we simply get better at listening to our body’s cues, we can naturally respond more accurately in the moment. What about all those articles you read in SHAPE that said skipping breakfast will make you gain weight? To be clear, it CAN make us gain weight if we skip breakfast and then become so ravenous that we eat everything in the deli that we see. It’s about having a plan. Acknowledging that you are waiting to have breakfast, and when that time comes, knowing exactly what you plan to eat. If you know that waiting to eat breakfast will put you into a hunger craze and set you up to fail, then eat breakfast. It’s finding what works best for YOU. This is how we instinctively eat, or wait to eat, to succeed.
If you would like one on one custom macros and meal plans designed for you, please email me for more info! I will teach you how to eat intuitively and for your goals, without starving yourself, to build a beautiful lean strong body you are proud of.