How To Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
As a 54-year-old woman whose weight has crept up over the years despite working out and eating mostly, well…somewhat, healthy, I decided to give Intermittent Fasting a try to see if it was all I’ve heard it to be for weight loss. Intermittent Fasting has gained popularity over the past few years, as a way to lose weight and keep it off. I’ve tried it before, but haven’t seen a lot of success until I tweaked my approach to Intermittent Fasting. Once I did, I was able to eat more (carbs even, gasp!), work out less and still lose inches to my physique. I can’t wait to tell you how I lost weight with Intermittent Fasting and the nutrition program that taught my body how to become a fat-burning machine.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is not really a diet but a feeding schedule. Most Intermittent Fasting (IF) programs suggest the 16:8 approach. Fasting for 16 hours and eating during the 8-hour window, every 24 hours. What I now do is stop eating at 8pm and “break my fast” at noon the next day.
For those who can’t possibly go without eating for 16 straight hours, start with a shorter fasting window and gradually increase it over days or weeks.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?
There are so many benefits at both the molecular and cellular levels to fasting according to Healthline. Our ancient ancestors were hunters and gatherers and Intermittent Fasting naturally happened in between their search for food.
- During Intermittent Fasting, your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Your cells also initiate important repair processes and change the expression of genes.
- The levels of Human Growth Hormone increase dramatically during (IF) and therefore increase fat loss and muscle gain. Win! Win!
- Intermittent Fasting increases the release of the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
- During fasting, cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside the cells.
- Genes related to longevity and protection against disease are changed in a positive way during Intermittent Fasting.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Intermittent Fasting?
Studies have shown that people lose (on average) 3-8% of their body weight over 3-24 weeks of doing Intermittent Fasting. Some of the weight loss is due to the molecular and cellular changes happening to your body during the fasting period. But, it also is due to the fact that you are more than likely missing one meal of the day and therefore cutting your caloric intake. When I say “more than likely”, it’s because you can still fit in 3 meals and a snack during the feeding window some days, but may not be hungry enough to make it happen.
My Secret To Losing Weight With Intermittent Fasting
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Intermittent Fasting was just one facet to spur the changes in my body. My friend, Beverly Bollman is a nutritional health coach with a program called Faster Way to Weight Loss. Faster Way uses Intermittent Fasting along with nutrition training and specific workouts that coincide with what you’re eating each day of the week.
At first, I thought I didn’t need this program because I thought I was eating healthy (most of the time) and worked out 5-6 days per week. I didn’t think I was going to be learning anything new but ultimately decided to give it a try, since nothing else seemed to be working to lose those extra 10 pounds.
When I enrolled in the 6-week program, I was told not to weigh myself after the first day. Stay away from the scale! I was also told not to count calories. They count macros. For those of you who don’t know what macros are (I didn’t know), it’s the major nutrients that our bodies need to function at their fullest potential and to be fat burners. Macros are Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. Calorie restriction is not a part of this program, which is why I never feel hungry. Plus, keeping my body fed with healthy protein, fats and carbs keep my blood sugar levels even throughout the day.
I was freaked out! I’m going to be eating carbs?
Before Faster Way, my typical eating day would go like this:
Protein Shake for breakfast
Salad (no protein) for lunch
Something sweet mid-afternoon due to my insulin crash
Glass of wine at 5pm (or two) as my source of carbohydrates
Dinner with a protein and a veggie (no carbs)
Something sweet for dessert since I don’t care anymore, due to the wine. 😊
So, even though I was barely fueling my body with what it needed to burn fat, the alcohol was also sabotaging my efforts. Beverly told me that every time we drink alcohol, our bodies prioritize processing the alcohol over anything else. So, working out in the gym and basically starving yourself will not produce any weight loss when you drink alcohol.
Going gluten-free and ditching the dairy were also key components to this method. For those of you who are not gluten-free, it’s an eye-opener when you realize all of the places that gluten hides. Spoiler alert…it’s not just bread. Gluten and dairy also cause inflammation. Giving them up, even without an intolerance will make you “look” thinner pretty quickly.
Why I Am Staying With The Faster Way Program
I thought I was just going to learn more about eating healthier to turn my body into a fat-burning machine and then stop the program after 6 weeks while continuing to utilize what I learned.
However, this program is constantly changing to make sure your body doesn’t acclimate to eating only at certain times and eating certain foods. Making you plateau. Instead, Bev makes sure that we are always tweaking our intake of carbs, proteins, and fats by different percentages.
Have I Mentioned The Workouts?
Working out has always been my “little blue pill”. The endorphins released during a strenuous and invigorating workout make me feel so strong and energetic.
With this program, workouts are tailored to what you’re eating and are delivered digitally daily. Mondays and Tuesdays are basically Low Carb days. So the workouts on those days consist of some sort of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). This could be Tabata, Kick Boxing, Sprints, etc…
Wednesdays through Sundays are Macro days and therefore able to eat up to 45% of my diet in carbs. (Gasp!) This coincides with strength workouts. Different days consist of working on specific muscle groups. They always offer a low-impact option as well as using strength bands instead of weights. Most of the workouts are about 30 minutes in length, making them easy to fit into a busy schedule.
A few of the days the workouts are yoga, barre, Pilates, or stretch for recovery. Because stretching and recovery are just as important as intense workouts for a healthy body.
Remember…you get your abs in the kitchen and not the gym!
Carb Cycling is another prong of this weight loss approach. It is eating up to 45% off your food intake with healthy carbs five days per week and eating low carb (under 50 grams for women and under 100 grams for men) two days per week. By changing up the days that you do low carb vs. macro days, you are constantly making your body stay on its game of burning fat.
If you’ve been starving yourself and working out like a fiend and wondering why you aren’t dropping any weight, it could be because you are not giving your body the nutrients you need to burn fat.
What I’ve loved about this program (besides the workouts), is that I never feel deprived or hungry, I feel amazingly energetic, I sleep great, and no more hormonal night sweats. Hallelujah! This program is safe and healthy for pregnant women (with some tweaks to the IF window) as well as menopausal women. Of course, if you are pregnant, check with your doctor before starting any new diet and fitness routine.
Also, having a coach like Beverly Bollman, was so important to help me tailor and tweak what I like to eat. (vegetarian and vegan menus too) She was great at helping me to personally get more protein in my diet, choose better fats and carbs, and ultimately just cheer me on.
Where else can you get a proven weight-loss system complete with meal plans, recipes, workouts, and 1 on 1 coaching with Bev, for $199?
If you’re interested in learning more about this program, click on this link to learn how to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. I can’t say enough good things about this program. It was the best $199 I have ever spent for my health.