3 Ways to Optimize Intermittent Fasting for Women

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Check out these Intermittent Fasting Schedules

I’ve become a big fan of Intermittent Fasting for women.  But many women still have questions on Intermittent Fasting…one being HOW to actually go about it.  So in this article, I  share with you 3 different options for an actual schedule on Intermittent Fasting.

These posts might also be useful for you:

My Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Weight Loss v. Fat Loss

What is Leptin Resistance? 

So I unknowingly was doing ‘intermittent fasting’ for YEARS before I knew what it was. 

I have always taught to close in on your eating window, starting with 12 hours, tapering back to 10 hours and having a goal of 8 hours.  By doing this, I personally found more freedom in what I  was doing…not having to worry about the timing of foods or weighing or measuring (because I  combine this with my Fat Loss Project where I teach #foodliberation) was SO freeing!!!  Not only that, but the physical results spoke for themselves. 

With Intermittent Fasting it’s important to remember that you aren’t eating LESS…you are just eating in less TIME.  There’s a big difference there!  So don’t go into Intermittent Fasting thinking you are going to starve…you will still have the goal to get in all of your calories for the day. And if you focus on nutrient dense foods, you’ll feel AMAZING when following these.

Let’s look at 3 of the most popular Intermittent Fasting schedules:

#1 TRADITIONAL 12 hour fast

This method used to be considered a normal eating regimen…3 meals a day would be consumed between 7  a.m and 7 p.m and then a fast from 7 p.m to 7 a.m.  A small breakfast at that 7 a.m. mark would ‘break the fast’.  When this was a routine scenario, research has shown that obesity rates were also MUCH lower than what they are now…hmmm, coincidence?!?  So previously, people would eat what we refer to as ‘3 square meals’, but more recently the trend became to increase how many meals a day are consumed.  Going from 3 meals a day to upwards of 6.  And guess what that did?  It kept insulin levels higher for longer.  Like we’ve talked about in previous posts, when insulin levels are kept high, insulin resistance becomes an issue which ends up leading to obesity.

The 12 hour fast protocol leads to lower insulin levels during the day.  Not only does this decrease obesity but also helps in the fat loss journey that many of us are seeking.

 

#2 LEANGAINS which is also known as the 16:8 rule

Ok, so complete transparency, this is my jam.  This is the route I  take 😉 The 16:8 simply means that within a 24 hour day, you are fasting (not eating) for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours. I  like to look at it as an 8 hour eating window, because as I’ve stated in my other blog posts, I  prefer to focus on when I  CAN eat not when I  can’t, lol!  I ’m all about mindset and for  me this is a big one 😉

This is my preferred schedule and I  typically stick with the eating window of 11-7.  There are a couple of reasons I  like this one the best…

  1. it’s just natural for me…I  mean how many times have you skipped breakfast or gotten busy and just don’t eat until like 10:30ish?  That was common for me if I  wasn’t intentional with it! So pushing that start time to break my fast at 11, was just natural
  2. it’s flexible!  when something is flexible, that means that I ’ll actually stick to it…and the likelihood of my clients sticking with it sky rockets as well 😉  Let’s say that I  know we have a dinner to go to at 8:00…well, maybe I  won’t eat until 12:00 that day instead. Or what if I’m so hungry I ’m mad at like 10:00 in the morning?  I ’ll eat!  And I ’ll just move my stop time back to 6:00 instead. 
  3. I  make it work for ME because it’s not extreme! I’m not super strict…I  do what I  can do and follow to the best of my ability.  And it works for me.

Just like the 12 hour IF schedule, this 16:8 method leads to lower insulin levels throughout the day without a lot of spiking and crashing.

And look, if even fasting for that 16 hours seems too extreme for you, inch your way into it like I  do with my online clients.  Start with a 12 hour eating window, work your way down to 10 and then maybe you’ll see that 8 could work too. But at the end of the day if you’e miserable, don’t do it.  Do what works for you 😉

#2 WARRIOR fast

This way of fasting includes a 20 hour fast with a 4 hour eating window…so how I  said that the 16:8 isn’t extreme? Well this one might be a little more on that extreme end. Here you aren’t eating for 20 hours and then you try to get in those calories in your 4 hour eating window.  Now let’s be real, sometimes one huge meal can be absolutely amazing!  But it wont’ always FEEL amazing.  So definitely think about the repercussions of how you’ll feel if you follow this.  If you DO this option, you’ll definitely want to forgo heavy carbohydrate meals to keep you from feeling lethargic.  This has the most benefit when paired with natural and unprocessed foods.

And keep in mind you could always do this one day and then go back to the 16:8 the next…either way your insulin levels won’t be roller coasteering as much and you’ll gain benefits from doing so.

WHICH  INTERMITTENT FASTING SCHEDULE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Like I said, I  personally love the 16:8 method. It’s what I  coach my clients on in my Fat Loss Project, and what I  have found to be the most beneficial to me.  But, if one of the other 3 protocols seem more interesting or doable for you GO FOR IT!! The biggest tip with nutrition and Intermittent Fasting for women is to find what works FOR YOU.  Listen to your body, don’t be miserable and always work on that mental mindset piece. When you have a great mindset, so many other things fall into place 😉

Don’t keep looking for a quick fix, keep your eyes focused on your own personal healthy solution and what’s sustainable for the LONG TERM.

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