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Not a diet

October 5, 2016

Intermittent fasting is quickly becoming one of the most popular trends in the fitness world today. What is intermittent fasting, or IF? Like it sounds, intermittent fasting alternates between a fasting period and an eating period.

Now you're probably thinking, "Not eating can't be good for you," and it might seem a little counterintuitive at first. But intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is an eating pattern. It doesn't change what you eat but rather when you eat.

The 3 most popular forms of intermittent fasting are:

  • "The Warrior Diet" where your fasting window is 20 hours and your eating window is 4 hours.
  • The "Alternate Day Fasting" or "ADF" where you alternate between fasting for 24 hours and then resuming your normal eating patterns the next 24 hours.
  • And my personal favorite the "16/8" where you have a 16 hour fasting window followed by an 8 hour eating window.

So why try intermittent fasting? Some of the benefits are it can help you lose weight, burn fat, improve heart health, improve brain health, reduce inflammation, and improve *metabolic health*.

Frequently asked questions for any fitness professionals, especially around the summer months, usually look something like, "What's the best way to lose weight?" or "How to lose weight fast?" And there is no universal "best" answer to this question.

But from personal experience a cheap, easy, and effective option could be intermittent fasting.

A standard day of 16/8 IF is pretty simple and might look something like

  • From 12:00 pm-8:00 pm is your eating window.
  • After 8:00 pm-12:00 pm the next day is your fasting window.
There is no magic to 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm and you can shift it to whatever time is most convenient for you. In the suggested scenario, it helps to remember that half of your fasting period will be time you are asleep anyway!Along with intermittent fasting, having a healthy, well balanced diet, getting plenty of rest and regular exercise is when you will see the best results.

You might be thinking that there's no way you could go 16 hours without eating! But it's actually much easier than you might think. A few strategies to help curb the hunger are to drink plenty of water black coffee or tea without any added sugar or sweetener can act as a natural appetite suppressant and mineral or sparkling 0 calorie water, with the added carbonation, can make you feel more satiated.

It might be difficult the first 2-3 days, but after that your body adapts and it actually becomes quite easy. You may be surprised at how not hungry you actually are.

Although intermittent fasting has numerous benefits, it may not be for everyone. Those with diabetes, blood sugar regulation issues, those with low blood pressure, taking certain forms of medication, are underweight, have a history of eating disorders, women trying to conceive, women with a history of amenorrhea or that are breastfeeding may not want to try intermittent fasting and should consult their physician before trying.

It is surprisingly easy once you get started and has noticeable results and benefits!

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