Intermittent fasting part one


I get a lot of people asking me what intermittent fasting is. It means you have an eating window. That window last between 6 to 8 hours generally. The rest of the time, you don’t eat or drink anything with calories. You sleep, or exercise, or work. Some say the brain is more clear when it’s not digesting. When fasting, water is okay. Tea or coffee is okay. As long as you don’t add any sugar or cream or anything with calories to those drinks.

Generally if you want to start intermittent fasting, you start eating a little later in the day. I’ve never been a fan of an early breakfast so for me this is perfectly fine. My body takes a long time to warm up to wanting to eat. I have never been one of those people who woke up hungry. Intermittent fasting is something that you do if you want to lose body fat. when I do intermittent fasting I’m training at the same time. So when I work out, I work out fasted. Then I eat sometime after that workout.

I’ve had trainers and fitness professionals who’ve asked me what the sense behind this is. And I know why they are asking. Intermittent fasting goes against the most predominant idea in fitness and eating: that to lose excess weight you should graze throughout the day. They tell us to eat many small meals. And that is perfectly fine if that works for you. But I wasn’t losing the fat that way. As soon as I started intermittent fasting, my body fat started melting off. The idea the way I understand it is, your body takes a lot of energy to digest food. And if you are eating all throughout the day then it doesn’t give your bodies digestive system time to properly digest that food.

Also the night time is important. The body metabolizes fat and build muscle while you are sleeping. During your sleep is not the time to be digesting food you have just eaten. When you sleep, your body is metabolizing fat. If you have worked out your body build muscles while you are sleeping. An optimal time for building muscle? Two hours between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. So don’t go to sleep at midnight! You need your two hours between 10 and 1 a.m.

To start IF, you should aim for an eight hour eating window. That means start eating at noon or 1 PM and stop eating at seven or 8 PM generally. If you have any questions about this please leave a comment below! Now one last important point is that during your eight hour eating window, you should be eating the right amount of calories. To figure out the right amount of calories for you, you need to calculate two things. First is your basal metabolic rate or BMR. That is the number of calories you burn without doing any physical activity.

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If you want to lose weight, then you need to adjust the amount of calories you eat depending on how much you burn. It’s calories in versus calories out. So within your eight hour eating window, you must eat enough calories! Don’t eat too little calories. Eat as many calories as you are supposed to eat in the whole day, but eat it during your eating window.

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To me intermittent fasting makes sense.

We have a obesity and a myriad of health problems attacking our society today. Human beings created a society where it is too easy to get food whenever you want it. before this consumerism, human beings didn’t eat for a while. This gave their bodies a chance to metabolize the food properly. Now, with people being able to eat anytime they want, there’s too much food in our bodies. And we don’t give our bodies enough time to metabolize it. It’s something to think about.

Please leave me your comments! Do you agree with this? Do you disagree? Is this ridiculous? Your ideas are important. for me, intermittent fasting worked. but every body is different. I have been very happy with my results with intermittent fasting:

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18 thoughts on “Intermittent fasting part one”

  1. Sometimes when I exercise hungry I get hypoglycemia symptoms but I will definitely try this. It seems counterproductive as they say one should never miss breakfast, but here one does not eat breakfast. Eating small meals throughout has not worked and this makes a lot of sense because our bodies are not meant to continuously digest, especially in the stressful environment today where people are continuously in stress response and not digesting. Amazing Serena! I can’t wait to try this!

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    1. Hi Saadiya,

      I agree with you. Let me know if it works for you. Generally I wouldn’t eat until noon and stop eating around seven or 8 PM. But make sure you are eating enough calories! It’s not a good feeling to get hungry at night. Thanks for your comment! Let me know how it goesโ€ฆ

      xxSerena

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post! I have never heard of IF, but I’ve heard of similar approaches but never articulated so clearly. I thought the part about metabolizing fat at night interesting. I had always been told that you need to have food in your body to build muscle otherwise it is easier for your body to break down existing muscle than existing fat. I’m going to try this for a month and will keep you posted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Funkstop! I hope you do try this for a month. One thing though – record your measurements and your weight, take pictures! And then after doing IF for a month see if there is a difference. For me there was, and I like it because it’s just common sense, it’s not about taking pills or eating foods or diets. Do let me know either way what happens!
      xxSerena

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  3. What if you wake up at 4am? Should you make sure you sleep during the not eating window?
    For a morning workout, is a pre-workout drink ok? Or is it Zero calories during the 16 hour no eating window. How clean do you eat during the 8 hours?

    Thanks in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alif, these are great questions and I think I will write my next post to address them properly. I’ll give you a short answer for now. If you wake up at 4 a.m. that means your fasting (or as you say no eating window) happens earlier than the one I described in this post. So whatever 8 hours you are sleeping (or 6 or 7..) my advice is to try and stop eating a few hours before you go to sleep. Also my advice is to wait to eat until after you’ve worked out.

    i’m glad you’re working out in the morning, I think that’s optimal for IF> It’s beneficial for fat loss and muscle gain to eat all or the majority of your calories POST workout. I don’t suggest a pre-workout, but if that works for your body then it might work for you. And yes, it’s zero calories during the 16 hour window. I suggest drink lots of water, because to metabolize fat and help digestion, you need water.

    How clean do I eat in my 8 hour eating window? That deserves a post and I’ll do that. Sometimes I eat clean, sometimes I eat what my eyes want! I know that’s vague, I promise to elaborate.

    Good luck and I wish you a strong body, a restorative sleep and good health.

    xxSerena

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  5. I like the approach of starting your fast a few hours before bed, and breaking your fast a few hours after a normal breakfast time. Most days I start my fast when I finish dinner (around 7pm) and break it around morning tea/lunch time (earlier on training days, later on off-days, because I normally train around lunch time and personally I can’t train safely without some pre-workout nutrition — hypoglycaemia is the bee’s knees).

    I saw a documentary last year which claimed that the body goes through cellular repair during fasted periods, which may reduce the risk of a lot of diseases, including cancers. There also seems to be a correlation between fasting and longer life expectancy. Of course, this information could all be flawed, or the presenters of said research might be overselling the implications of the data, but at the very least this is an area worthy of further investigation, and it certainly plays a big role in my motivation to practice IF.

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    1. Thanks for the information Ryan. It’s interesting that some believe the body repairs cells while in the fasted state, I had heard that too. I feel it makes sense to me because digestion is an activity that takes so much of the body’s energy and attention. I think of when I learned about physiology in university, when I learned about the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. When human beings have to enter the “fight or flight” response at times of emergency (right before you’re threatened by someone about to shoot you with a gun let’s say) the sympathetic nervous system kicks in – your blood pumps quicker (blood vessels constrict to increase blood pressure) your pupils dilate (so you can see clearly), blood rushes away from your digestive system (stomach, small and large intestines, digestive organs such as pancreas, liver, gall bladder, etc.) and the blood goes straight to the brain. Digestion is a long slow process. It takes hours. And if the body is digesting at night, can it perform cellular repair, muscle repair and fat metabolism effectively? It’s an issue worth further research. For me, IF works and glad it does for you too.

      Thanks for your own blog, your comments and taking the time to read Ryan!

      xxSerena

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    1. Thank you yourstruly ๐Ÿ™‚ In June 2013 I was at 27% body fat. In December 2013 I was 21% and in that pic I’m about 17% body fat I think. I must have gained muscle because my measurements changed considerably and my fat percentage decreased. I fit into my clothing much better and needed a smaller size. This was with a mixture of cardio, flexibility training, muscle conditioning and intermittent fasting.
      xxSerena

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