Intermittent fasting 101

Hey y’all,
I have been working on this post off and on for several months now. I have struggled with all the right words due to my own experiences. But to be fully transparent, I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with food. I love food. Like really really love food. Good food is definitely the key to my heart. In fact I love food so much that it was something my step dad and I bonded over when he first came into our life 22 years ago. I’ve always been fit. I can remember being in the 4th grade being a gymnast and having a six pack and hating my body. Thinking I looked like a boy. But as I got older I appreciated that six pack and truthfully through high school was involved in so many sports I never thought twice about what I ate. But then came college..

I didn’t think I was going to cheer in college just because of my knee injuries. But 8 months in and I was missing it. Went to a few clinics, tried out and made the squad. It was there for the first time that all of my female teammates were my-size and most extremely aware of what they ate everyday. I lived in fear of gaining the freshman 15 especially since a man was throwing me up in the air 5 days a week. I became so obsessed that I actually lost the freshman 15, and then some. I would take the grunts from the guys tossing me up in the air personal. I kept thinking if I became the smallest, it would be easier. At my smallest I was 88lbs and just for reference, coming into college I was 112lbs and now at my healthiest I am 107lbs. I can actually remember the day I told my mom I was struggling. We were sitting at Jason’s Deli. We discussed getting me help but I ultimately decided to start becoming educated and that next fall I signed up for extra nutrition classes as my electives. I read every blog/ article I could find learning about food and the science behind it. It ultimately lead me start this blog back in college as an outlet. If you’re an OG, you know this was a recipe healthy lifestyle blog!

So ultimately it’s taken me a long time to have a healthy relationship with food. Figure out what works for my body and I do worry that intermittent fasting done wrong can sometimes relapse old habits in those of us who have a not so good past with food. So before I answer some of the questions and share what I do, I want to remind y’all that I am not a Medical professional. If you have diet restrictions or medical conditions, I would consult a doctor to help ultimately pick what works for you.

With that being said let’s get to y’alls questions!

What is intermittent fasting?

Essentially, intermittent fasting is not changing what you eat but when you eat. If you read on it enough you’ll see “Delay don’t Deny” referred to often referencing a book by Gin Stephens. There isn’t calorie counting, you don’t isolate food groups, and you don’t have to cut out alcohol. It is basically time restricted eating where you cycle through periods of eating and fasting.

How does Intermittent fasting work?

When your body goes 12 hours without food it starts making changes. When you are eating your body gets energy from the food you eat. When you are fasting your body gets energy from it’s last reserve which for must of us is fat. Therefore, the longer you fast the more fat your body burns. When you fast you deplete your body of glycogen stores. Once glycogen stores are gone, fat stores are released into your bloodstream to be converted into energy molecules in the liver. These are called “ketones”. Ketones suppress our hunger hormones and thats why you have energy highs when you normally would not.

What breaks a fast?

I’ve read various things but for me, it’s more than 50 calories. So I usually don’t count my prework out or Usually That being said, if a supplement contains things Protein shakes will definitely break your fast as they contain calories and usually some form of sweetener. Some people take BCAA (branched chain amino acid) supplements while fasting. Similar to my pre workout, there is some debate it breaks your fast but too each their own. The general rule to remember when it comes to working out what breaks your fast or not is that most live by is if it contains calories, it will probably bring you out of the fasted state. So stick to water.

What I do?

Truth be told I kind of fell into doing intermittent fasting just with busy schedules and kids before it ever was a thing.  There are many ways to practice and the best part is it can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle and needs/goals! You can open your “window” for eating whenever you choose. I typically fast on a 16:8. This is usually recommend for beginners. I normally open my window at noon and close my window at 8:00 pm. I’m not rigid with it so if I need to do 11am, I make it work and adjust.  Therefore, I fast for 16 hours and have an eating window for 8 hours. Minus these last few weeks (with the knee surgery) I live a pretty active life style. I’ve heard of people doing 21:4. I also don’t do this everyday. I like to do this 2-3 times a week. ALWAYS on Monday’s, It feels like a cleanse to start my week.  I’d recommend trying it out and seeing what works for you. As we creep closer to warmer weather aka bikini season, I might do 3-4 days a week from time to time to aggressively see change.

There are so many ways to incorporate intermittent  fasting into your lifestyle. No matter what type of schedule, career, or social life is like. Especially you busy mommas out there. 🙂

hope this was helpful insight! I’d love to hear from you! If you do intermittent fasting, what your schedule is like? How you break your fast? Or any other questions you have for me. drop a line below!  BTS- Lexie Happy Sunday!  xoxo, Lexie     
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