I'd like to tell you about my personal experience combining Intermittent Fasting with Zumba® Fitness Classes. If you want to make a subtle, yet high impact lifestyle change for improved health and weight loss, then Intermittent Fasting is for you. For those of you who have never heard of Intermittent Fasting or IF, it is a way of life that modifies WHEN you eat not WHAT you eat. Most people eat for 14-20 hours in the day by waking up early to eat breakfast before going to school or work and then ending it off with a late-night snack after dinner. Some people wake up after midnight for a late night sweet-induced binge. If you did the math you would find that you're eating for 14-20 hours on a daily basis. This means that during that time you're spiking your insulin levels at multiple times from morning to the late night. Insulin is something your body pumps out to balance the sugars in your bloodstream. So as a rule of thumb, when your insulin levels spike your body does not burn any fat. So imagine you're working your butt off to lose weight, only to find that you repeatedly shoot yourself in the foot on a daily basis and then look at the scale and wonder why it hasn't moved. After you have finished eating, that is when you allow your body to focus on all the metabolic processes it needs to go through. Now when you don't give your body the time it needs to digest the food you eat, what happens? It all gets converted to fat and that is certainly something no one needs more of. So one way you can combat against weight gain is by shortening the time span for which you eat on a daily basis so that your body can have enough time to digest everything and focus on cell repair and regeneration which is even more important.
Adopting an Intermittent Eating lifestyle can help you if:
- You are having a hard time getting your sugar-cravings under control
- You want to burn more fat on a daily basis
- You want to increase cell repair and regeneration in your body
- You want to increase your insulin sensitivity
- You're having a hard time choosing a diet but want to improve your metabolism in the meanwhile so that you can prep your body to lose weight
- You are already exercising (i.e. Zumba® Fitness Classes)
What do you do next if you're interested in getting started?
Do a self-assessment and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the latest average hour that I eat up until on a daily basis?
- Am I exercising?
- Do I eat breakfast?
- Do I love coffee or tea?
- How much water do I drink every day?
- Am I okay with having artificial sweeteners such as Stevia® or Splenda®?
- Would I consider myself a sugar-addict?
- How much of a sugar addict are you?
- Basic: I add sugar to my coffee or tea and have the occasional dessert. I mainly eat fruit for my sugar fix.
- Intermediate: I can't have tea or coffee without sugar, and every birthday I must have the cake. When I watch a movie, I often have to have salty snacks and some chocolate or candy to top it off.
- Advanced: When I do consume something sweet, a domino effect happens. I eat one sweet treat after another to include chocolate, sour candies, and/or icy creamy treats.
- Hardcore: What are vegetables??? I just looooveee cake, cupcakes, pie, chocolate, sweet n' salty popcorn, Hagen dasz, airheads, M & M's, Dairymilk bars, macaroons, peanut brittle, oh yeah and easter is coming! Cadbury Eggs!!!!!
- Extreme: I love everything hardcore sugar-addicts do and even black licorice!!!!
Now that you have done your self-assessment let's go through each point and explain how it will help you when you begin to Intermittent fast.
- The latest hour that you finish eating your last snack or meal is at 8 pm. So if that is the case then you will have your first caloric meal at 12 pm. If you like to snack even later up until 10 pm because you have little children or babies, or whatever then you will have your first caloric meal at 2 pm. In either case, you are eating all your daily calories within an 8-hour eating window. After 8 pm you stop eating all the way up until noon the next day which is a duration of 16 hours. During the 16 hour window, you consume no more than 50 calories and you are allowed to consume coffee, tea or water. Because you are in the training phase of intermittent fasting, feel free to add a tablespoon of cream or Stevia®/Splenda® to it as well. You can also have diet soda and water. In the training phase you are bringing your insulin levels, cravings, and sugar-addiction under control so eventually, you will want to wean yourself off of artificial sweeteners, sodas, and adding cream to your tea or coffee. Milk is high in carbohydrates so please do avoid.
- If you are exercising or taking Zumba® Fitness Classes then make sure that you exercise in the morning before you eat. When you intermittent fast, from hours 14-16 of fasting you are burning even more fat.
- If you eat breakfast, great! Replace it with a coffee and delay that breakfast until the start of your eating window.
- If you love coffee or tea this is good because it will help satiate you before you begin eating.
- Drink tons of water so that you flush the toxins from Intermittent Fasting out of your body and to refrain from holding any water weight. Drink at least 2.5 to 3L per day.
- Don't forget that sweetener packets are valued at 1 carbohydrate each, so you can't have an unlimited amount of them. Limit to 3 sweetener packages or less to your coffee or tea.
- If you are a sugar-addict, then we recommend cutting your carbohydrates and focusing on more plant-based, unprocessed foods. This will help bring your sugar addiction under control. Consume fruit no more than once a month until you reach your goal weight. This is because the fruit will spike your insulin levels and stall fat-loss and make your cravings for sugar in general return.
Now you have all the basic information on Intermittent Fasting to get started on fixing your metabolism, taking more control over your sugar-cravings and improving your bodies ability to repair and regenerate your cells.
Let's all bring our hands together, live forever and be happy!
Comment below if you have comments or questions about getting started!
Gotta go now, off to Zumba® Class!