Intermittent Fasting Tips, Tricks, and an Update

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If you wait long enough your bell bottom jeans, plastic choker, and chunky platform Bratz Doll-esk sneakers WILL come back into fashion.

The pulse of diet culture follows a similar pattern. We are always looking for the “quick fix” and “results now” diet.

Hopefully, people find what “diet” mode works for them, and stick with that.

For me this has been intermittent fasting. I add and subtract habits in conjunction, but what hasn’t changed is that I have a fasting cycle. I am still doing minimally 8/16, (sometimes I aim for 8 to be more like 4). If you do not know what I am referring to, check out my earlier post all about intermittent fasting.

Here’s a two-minute refresher on IF

Insulin molecule (from a banana peel)

Insulin molecule (from a banana peel)

Insulin is the hormone that helps turn glucose into usable energy. The remaining glucose is stored in the fat cells and liver.

What the insulin – glucose – eating relationship looks like

After we eat a meal, our glucose (blood sugar) level will rise (how much depends on a few factors, what kind of food, our own bodies’ sensitivity, etc.)  The influx of glucose tells the pancreas to release the secreted insulin which in turn flows through our blood into our cells. Insulin tells the cells to let the glucose in so it can be converted to ATP, the energy currency of the body, and away we go.

Now, granted, this is a hyper simplification, it paints a picture of the tag-team, touch and go, type of relationship these hormones typically have. Without insulin, our bodies are not able to use or store glucose. So, IF allows us to decrease blood insulin and glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.

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That last benefit I have not heard talked about a lot, but for me, IF makes everything so much simpler. When I wake up, I can do my morning routine, get in a workout, work with clients, and not break my focus flow with a meal (prepping, eating, cleaning up).

Here are a few tips & tricks I’ve learned doing IF thus far…

During the feeding window, esp with the first meal, I avoid foods that will spike my blood sugar levels (high GI foods). Fasting already lets me lower my insulin level, but I don’t want to undue all that work by spiking it as soon as I eat.

This means I limit carbs in the break-fast meal, and a few days a week I will keto fast, yup, you heard that right. A ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb protocol that enables the body to use healthy fats for fuel (instead of carbs). There will be a post coming on that soon, pro’s, con’s, how it works, and all the deets.

Fasted workouts. This is something I was already doing, but only sometimes. Now, I make sure to be strict with myself. Working out in a fasted state will burn more fat.

Increase my potassium intake – Potassium has a lot of benefits and is connected to improving blood insulin/blood sugar levels. Not to mention, a half of an avocado has 487 mg of potassium, and one medium sized sweet potato has 541mg of potassium, two of my favorite foods as of late.

So, yeah, there you guys go, I hope this helps you get clear on intermittent fasting and if it’s right for you! It has really helped me, but always remember there are tons AND TONS of diets out there. The most important part is finding the one that works for YOUR body and YOUR lifestyle. If you have any other questions, let me know. Until next time.

 

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