Today's post is by Amber from Live Simply Better.
Like many moms, I came out of that second postpartum haze heavier, softer, and more tired than ever.
Luckily, I started hearing about intermittent fasting.
I began my fasting practice earlier this year, lost 30 pounds and am now hooked on my new fasting lifestyle!
Below is my story on how my life has changed due to intermittent fasting!
Right away, the relief of one less thing on my to-do list each morning was instant:
- one less meal to plan
- one less thing to do in the morning
- more time spent to cherish my beloved cup of coffee
- more time for my literally never-ending to-do list as a working mom
And, guess what?
I lost 10 pounds easily in those first 2 months of intermittent fasting!
I was so excited. Not only was I was feeling great and losing weight, but I also didn’t feel deprived.
Yes, yes, yes! This new fasting practice was the best thing ever!
Over the course of the next 6 months, I lost the last 20 pounds of my ‘baby weight’ — even dipping below my wedding-day-weight! Score!
There were some ups and downs along the way, but, for the most part, intermittent fasting fit seamlessly into my life.
No deprivation, no food off limits, no weird diet products. Simply skipping breakfast. So easy.
To this day, I still practice intermittent fasting, even after I’ve more or less reached my weight loss goal.
There are numerous health benefits I enjoy from intermittent fasting outside of just the fat loss.
Here are my best tips to get started and succeed with your journey.
Slowly increase your fasting window.
The best way to start your fasting practice is to start slow.
The most common fasting window is 16 hours followed by an 8-hour ‘feeding’ window.
However, I would not recommend jumping right into the 16 hour fast.
Start with a 12-hour fast — something like 9PM to 9AM — and work your way up from there.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to simply omit or delay breakfast.
I shared more about my fasting schedule in this post: 48 Hours in the Life of an Intermittent Faster.
Start with alternate day fasts.
Another easy way to acclimate your body to intermittent fasting is to fast every other day or every third day for the first 2 weeks of your fasting practice.
Combining alternate day fasts with slowly increasing your fasting window (as mentioned above) will set you up for success and allow your body to acclimate to its new schedule.
I discuss this more in my free intermittent fasting beginner schedule for my e-mail subscribers, which you can sign-up for here.
Don’t obsess over bite-sized calories.
Without a doubt, the number one question I receive about intermittent fasting is whether you can put cream in your coffee or not!
Technically, putting cream in your coffee DOES break your fast.
However, I have always fasted with a splash of cream in my coffee.
Some experts say that anything below 60-80 calories will still allow you to achieve the fat loss benefits of fasting.
In my personal experience, I have found that a splash of cream in my coffee actually compliments my fasting practice.
The small amount of calories blunts my hunger enough to allow me to fast. Plus, who doesn’t like cream in their coffee?!
Remember to fuel your body well during your feeding window.
Intermittent fasting is simply an eating schedule that allows dieters to reach their caloric deficit goals more easily.
However, that does not mean you should just eat junk during your feeding window.
Your body needs to be fueled properly and I have found that eating well the majority of the time really makes me feel even better during my fast.
Of course, the occasional treat will keep any dieter sane, but it’s important to not let intermittent fasting be an excuse to eat like crap.
Stay as active as possible during your fast.
I have found that I breeze through my fasting hours much more easily if I’m more active during those hours.
I work at a desk job, so I make sure to schedule any active work during the morning hours, if I can — in-person meetings, errands around the office, standing during a conference call, etc.
In the afternoon, once my eating window has started, I use that time to hunker down at my desk and get my in-depth work done.
On the weekends, I try to plan outings with my family during the morning hours to make fasting easier.
Now that I’ve reached my dieting goals, I don’t always fast on the weekend, but when I was aiming for fat loss, I did make morning activities more of a priority. It really helps your fast go by much more quickly!
Shift your feeding window later if you like to eat at night.
One of the worst dieting myths ever is that you shouldn’t eat anything after dinner if you want to lose weight.
That sounds like a pretty sad life to me because I personally love to eat after dinner! Anyone else?
This is why intermittent fasting is so amazing. If you like to eat at night, simply shift your eating window later.
My eating window is around 1PM to 9PM on the days I practice a 16 hour fast. This works so great for me! I’ve even heard of some late risers shifting their eating window even later and eating from 3PM to 11PM.
Do whatever works for you! I simply prefer to consume my calories later in the day because that’s when I like to eat, so I shift my eating schedule to fit my presences.
Focus on these bonus health benefits!
As I mentioned earlier, there are some AMAZING health benefits that come with intermittent fasting in addition to just fat loss. Check these out!
- better appetite control
- lower blood sugar levels
- improved longevity/longer lifespan
- possible prevention of cancers/disease
- improved cognitive function/clarity
- improved energy levels
- better sleep
- can reset your circadian rhythm
- increased human growth hormone and strength
- reduced inflammation in the body
I can personally vouch for nearly all of the benefits above (can’t exactly predict how much it will extend my lifespan by yet!). I feel better than ever and my energy levels are off the charts.
It has made me such a better mom, wife, and employee! Three things that are very important to me!
I hope you enjoyed my intermittent fasting tips and tricks!
I am so happy I discovered intermittent fasting and am now enjoying the many health benefits it offers — including being 30 pounds lighter!
In a nutshell:
1. Slowly increase your fasting window.
2. Start with alternate day fasts.
3. Don't obsess over-bite sized calories.
4. Fuel your body with healthiy, nutritious foods when you aren't in fasting mode.
5. Stay as active as possible while you are fasting.
6. Shift your eating window later if you eat at night. This means if you eat a lot at night, keep a fasting window of 2pm-9pm, or something similar depending on your unique fasting window.
Have you ever tried intermittent fasting?
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