Intermittent fasting is a fancy way of saying skipping meals! It has been popularized recently as the latest trend. Let’s talk about why, in general, fasting is a good thing and how you can do what I call “Regular Person Fasting” to achieve the same results in a more sustainable manner than skipping meals!
When it comes to weight loss, we get all hung up about the calorie counting or the new revolutionary fad diet. Weight issues can be better managed by retraining our hormones!
The main hormone we need to keep in check is insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates and stores your sugar in your body. We make insulin anytime we eat! If we have consistently high insulin, over time we can become insulin resistant. With insulin resistance comes weight gain – particularly in the abdominal area. So, if insulin is made when we eat, and we want less insulin floating around in our blood, then the answer is simple– fasting! Also avoidance of over eating and eating processed foods such as simple carbs and sugars that can spike our insulin levels.
Another hormone that can contribute to weight gain is leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in our fat cells and tells our body to STOP eating. While lepin is good in that it helps regulate our appetite, there can be leptin resistance. This happens when leptin levels increase (due to extra fat) and our brains become ‘numb’ to the signal. We just keep eating and ignore our body trying to tell us to stop.
Now how do we manage insulin and leptin? The simple answer is fasting. All foods – healthy or unhealthy – do raise insulin levels and can potentially raise leptin levels. The one true way to decrease insulin resistance and decrease leptin resistance is through fasting. Not only does fasting help reduce insulin and leptin levels, it also helps increase our metabolism and increase human growth hormones which both help people lose weight and keep the weight off.
So, what is “Regular Person Fasting”? Three SIMPLE rules:
- Fast between meals- no snacking. Aim for a 4-5 hour fast between meals.
- Finish your last meal 3 hours before bed.
- Aim for a 12 hour overnight fast.
Easy. You don’t have to skip breakfast or have “eating hours” to implement fasting into your life. By doing this you naturally decrease calories, eat only when you are really hungry, and tune in more to your hunger cues. Gone are the days of eating 6 small meals throughout the day!
I love helping women reformat their meals and talk about meal timing to reach their weight loss goals. Reach out to me if this info is helpful and you’d like even more help reaching your health goals this New Year!