It’s no secret the older we get, the tougher it is to lose weight. As our age increases, so does our waist size. Back in our high school days, we could eat whatever we wanted whenever we wanted and not gain a pound.
What I wouldn’t give to have the metabolism of my 18 year-old self.
As we get into our 30’s, our metabolism slows considerably, making it way too easy to pack on unwanted poundage. Why is losing weight, and keeping it off, so difficult?
I blame our modern-day, responsibility filled lives.
I mean honestly, who has time to go to the gym or meal prep these days? Who has time for complicated diet plans and hours-long exercise routines?
The only meal prepping you’re doing is hurling sandwiches in lunch boxes as you’re trying to get the kids out the door every morning. By the time you get home in the evening you’re so mentally drained that all you want to do is to not do anything. You use your remaining energy on dinner and next-day preparation rituals.
There’s literally no time or energy left to concentrate on yourself and your well-being.
For those of us with kids, careers, and other responsibilities, it seems like we’re set up to fail in the weight loss department.
But…what if I told you that, by following one simple routine, you could lose weight, save money, and simplify your life? Sign us up, am I right?
Well, I have signed me up. I’m doing it. And if I can do it, so can you!
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of intermittent fasting, but what exactly is intermittent fasting, and why should you try it?
Contrary to popular belief, intermittent fasting is not a diet, rather an eating pattern. As much as I loathe the expression “it is what it is”, intermittent fasting is exactly what the name implies: fasting for intermittent periods of time.
The word “fasting” sometimes scares people because, let’s face it, fasting is just another word for starving yourself.
But, there’s a way to do it where you can reap the benefits and not feel like your stomach is eating your backbone.
I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting for over a year now, and it has transformed my life, physically and mentally. Here, I’ll give you a few reasons to consider intermittent fasting along with the simple routine that I use to achieve sustainable results.
(For a more in-depth look at the science behind intermittent fasting, check out this article: Intermittent Fasting: Fad or For Real?)
When you really think about it, fasting actually makes sense. Throughout human history, food has never been as easily available as it is today.
Our ancestors couldn’t just go down to the local Whole Foods and restock their shelves and refrigerators. They ate when they could, which was usually only once or twice per day. The human body evolved to operate for extended periods of time without food.
Fasting allows the body to do what it was designed to do: tap into stored fat, detox itself, and operate more efficiently.
These days, we are constantly supplying our bodies with calories. This keeps our body in a continuous digestive state. Our bodies store fat for a reason. If we’re constantly supplying carbohydrates and glucose, we never tap into fat reserves.
Our bodies were not designed for three meals a day. A fasting routine trains our bodies to use stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss, efficiency, and hormone regulation.
Who doesn’t love simple habits that create results?
Intermittent fasting is incredibly simple and can be adopted without huge lifestyle changes. The same can’t be said for most of these crazy fad diets that are all the rage today.
With intermittent fasting, there are no weird guidelines to follow, and you don’t have to study like you’re preparing for a midterm to find out what you can or can’t eat. No arduous meal prepping is required.
It’s perfect for busy adults like us.
Another plus: with an intermittent fasting routine, you won’t be buying as much food. You’ll save money, and who doesn’t love that?
You’ll be spending less AND weighing less. Win-win.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been on this train for over a year, so I’ve learned what works best for me.
It may take some trial and error to find your optimal zone of fasting, but benefits can be felt from fasting as little as 10-12 hours at a time. To get the most out of this, experts recommend a 16 hour fast for men, and a 14 hour fast for women.
I’ve found a 16 hour daily fast works best for me. I know, it sounds extreme, but it’s so not. I’ll explain.
I only eat between the hours of 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm every day. Sometimes I’ll do noon – 8:00 pm depending on my schedule. Basically, I just skip breakfast. The majority of my fasting hours are spent sleeping.
I’ve never been a big breakfast person, so this is a very easy pattern for me to follow. However, I know some people who can’t function without breakfast. If you’re one of those people, just stop eating earlier the night before.
That’s the beauty of intermittent fasting, it can be tailored to fit your lifestyle.
When I eat, I basically eat what I want, but I try to keep it somewhat healthy. My first meal usually contains more protein and I try to stay away from processed foods and junk food.
I love sweets though, so occasionally I’ll indulge. Intermittent fasting gives me the freedom to do that.
Fair warning: If you’re used to eating regularly, suddenly going without food can jolt your system. You’ll probably feel lethargic at first, but stick with it. After a week or so, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your body adapts, and your results will be inspiring.
Even though you’re only eating during a certain window of time, you still need to consume the calories your body needs to operate. This is roughly 2,000 calories per day for women, and 2,500 for men.
Another tip: stay hydrated. If you’re fasting and feel the urge to give in, drink water. This always helps to ward off hunger. To maintain a fasted state, you can’t consume calories, but you can drink all the water you want.
Luckily, black coffee is also allowed. I gots to have my coffee! Just make sure it’s black with no added sweeteners or calories.
Pros and Cons
For me, the pros far outweigh the cons here. Although intermittent fasting is marketed as a weight loss technique, the mental benefits are what intrigued me.
For real, it works.
After my first two weeks of intermittent fasting, I felt significant improvements in my mental clarity and overall sense of well-being. Although I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I inadvertently became very lean, and I had tons of energy. I run frequently as well, which I also highly recommend.
I’m in my late 30’s but, physically, I feel better than I did when I was in my 20’s.
As always, please consult your doctor before beginning a routine of intermittent fasting. Going without food for extended periods of time isn’t recommended for those with hypoglycemia or blood sugar regulation issues.
Easy Does It
Don’t overthink this. It’s incredibly simple.
In my opinion, intermittent fasting is the best way to lose weight and optimize your health. It’s my favorite life hack.
In fact, I’ll make a guarantee. Try intermittent fasting for two weeks, along with 2-3 days of light exercise, and I promise you’ll not only lose weight, you’ll feel better.
If you currently practice intermittent fasting, leave a comment. Share your experience and the techniques that work best for you.
For you newbies, come back after a couple of weeks and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about your progress!
If you want a simple and sustainable way to lose weight and improve your life, give intermittent fasting a try. Like anything worth doing, it takes commitment and discipline, but the results are worth it.
Your transformation can begin today.