21 Day ‘Fall’ into Health Challenge: Intermittent Fasting

This post is in regards to my ‘Fall’ into Health Challenge. Over the course of 21 days I will be blogging daily and practicing healthful habits to enrich my life. For information regarding the 21 day ‘Fall’ into Health Challenge, please read this

In my previous post I mentioned that I would be intermittent fasting during my health challenge. I want to touch more on what intermittent fasting is and why I am a fan of it. I will also be sharing my meal plan for the week!

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Intermittent fasting sounds scary. I get it. The first time I heard the word fast, I think I subconsciously tuned out. Not eating food? Not drinking water? Not for me! However, after extensive reading and familiarizing myself with intermittent fasting, I am a huge believe in its benefits and impact. A few months ago I read all I could about it and I listened to many podcast about it. I was hooked. I wanted to try it for myself. So I did. And I got my husband to do it with me. My husband lost 15 pounds doing intermittent fasting and has kept the weight off! That’s impressive.

So what is it? Yesterday I shared many articles explaining it and its many benefits including weight loss (emphasis on fat loss!), longer lifespan, boost in metabolism, better skin, better digestive health, and higher production of human growth hormone. Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It’s an eating pattern. Many proponents of the eating pattern say it’s more natural and in line with what we did in the past. We didn’t always have food available like we do today and eating 6 small meals a day is a new phenomenon and trend.

The focus is not on what you should be eating but rather when you should be eating. For example, my eating window (the time in the day you eat) is 8 hours, from 12pm-8pm. My fasting window (the time in the day I do not eat) is from 8pm-12pm. The beautiful thing about intermittent fasting is that a lot of your fast takes place during your sleeping hours. Which is nice because really all I’m doing is setting my first meal of the day back a couple of hours. I’m not someone who is typically hungry first thing in the morning so waiting until noon doesn’t bother me too much! If you are someone who has to eat in the morning because of blood sugar issues I say don’t worry about. However, if you do not have any blood sugar issues, please try it for these 21 days. It’s really a great thing.

I find that I’m less preoccupied with food thoughts now and I don’t mindlessly munch in the evenings any more. My husband works outside of the home and just waits until noon to eat. He’ll have coffee and water until noon and then he’ll break his fast with a healthy and nourishing meal. I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds. I promise that going a few hours without food will not starve you. Here are some AWESOME podcast to listen to about the topic.

As I mentioned, my eating window for the past few months has been 12pm-8pm. I’ve been working on it for awhile so I think I will be making my window 2pm-8pm over the next 21 days. If you are new to fasting, I recommend keeping your fasting window at 16 hours to start. 10am-6pm or 2pm-10pm or 8am-4pm or any combination. Play with with it and see what works for you. I like ending my eating window at 8pm because I teach yoga in the evenings and like to eat after class. I also like to get a little evening snack in. A later start just works for me but it may not work for you. You may find that you need an early breakfast but maybe not a late night dinner. Play around with it, decide what works with your lifestyle, and then see if it works for your body.

A few tips for intermittent fasting:

DRINK WATER. I drink about 120 ounces a day. Hydration is important. Often we are thirsty when we want to mindlessly munch.

Coffee or tea is a beautiful thing in curbing the appetite before you break your fast. Drink it. Just don’t add sugar or cream.

Eat a sensible first meal. I’ve been guilty of eating a large meal to break my fast and feeling sick! Avoid that. Fill your plate with plants, proteins, and fats.

Workout fasted. If you can, try to get a workout in before you break your fast (a walk around the block, sun salutations, HIIT) and then fuel your body with nourishing foods.

Okay, so that was a lot on intermittent fasting. Now for the fun part- what do I plan to eat during my eating windows? Remember, this is not about restriction. During my eating window I do NOT restrict my calories. I eat a sensible amount and then give my body time to digest my food and burn fat.

Here’s my week of groceries! Not included are the greens I will be eating from my garden. I know it looks like a lot of food but there are 4 of us here! And y’all… we. can. eat. Plus this weekend my inlaws are in town so this is also a hosting food haul. This food will likely last all of this week and maybe half of next week.

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Meal Plan 10/01-10/07: 

*Snacks* Cashew date power balls and fruit smoothies! 

10/1: Sunday Rib-eye, sweet potato fries, kale salad
10/2: Monday Veggie burrito bowls
10/3: Tuesday Grilled salmon tacos
10/4: Wednesday Chicken, green beans, potatoes baked
10/5: Thursday Chicken sausage Greek salad and hummus
10/6: Friday Ahi tuna poke bowl
10/7: Saturday Red lentil vegetable stew over rice

Do you plan on intermittent fasting during these 21 days? Have you tried it before?  Please let me know! I would love to hear about your experience.

Sonni K. 

 

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