I was able to string two days in a row together for the gym. I may be on a roll. And I think this intermittent fasting is working for me. I go to the gym in the morning before I eat breakfast so it forces my body to use stored energy (a.k.a. fat) to fuel my workout rather than recently consumed food. When I get home, I eat a big breakfast consisting of a green smoothie with protein because by then I’m a little starving.
Intermittent fasting, specifically “early time restricted feeding” is a method of eating by which you eat by the clock. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was practicing this technique to get to a healthier weight. Following this methodology, you do all your eating during a shorter period of time and never before bedtime. You confine your eating to about an eight hour time period, say from 9AM to 5PM. This gives the body plenty of time to process the food before sleeping.
According to this article from the Cleveland Clinic, by limiting food consumption in this manner, you make your body more sensitive to insulin. If you are pre-diabetic or suffering from metabolic syndrome, using intermittent fasting can help to normalize blood sugar and blood pressure.
The reason early time restricted feeding works is because our bodies are programmed to digest food during the day and rest at night so by eating during daytime hours, we are actually following our body’s circadian rhythms. If we eat shortly before sleeping when we don’t have much use for the energy it produces, our body produces more insulin and stores that excess energy as fat, increasing the risk for diabetes and obesity.
When we limit our eating to a shorter time span, we are giving the pancreas a rest and allowing the body to burn stored fat and store less fat. When the body slows down its insulin production, it allows the fat cells to release sugar for energy and we burn fat for energy.
There are several ways to practice intermittent fasting but this seems to be the most effective and, to me, the most sustainable way to do it. It’s important to note that eating high quality, nutrient dense foods during the feeding period is key to success. The actual hours don’t matter as long as eating is confined to early in the day and we never eat before bedtime.
This practice is not recommended for people who have type-1 diabetes because the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin so they need to be able to manage their blood sugar. This type of plan can make the blood sugar in type-1 diabetics go dangerously high or low. If you are otherwise pretty healthy, this plan should benefit anyone who tries it. At the very least, it won’t hurt you.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress as I move through this process. I think it will work for me but we shall see. Stay tuned.
In case you missed my post on June 30th, I am using this 31 day challenge to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I have regained much of that weight so I am working my way back down.
If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes for your best life.