This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
When I started my weight loss journey last year I was prediabetic and knew something had to change. I am a single mom so if something happened to me, where would my kids go? You can read more about my weight loss journey and what kept me motivated. I had started my weight loss journey, but it wasn’t until I read Dr. Fung’s book that I decided to add intermittent fasting to my keto lifestyle. So here are the principles of IF, think of it as your Intermittent Fasting 101 Guide.
Intermittent Fasting Principles
Even though you hear intermittent fasting referred to as a diet, it’s not a diet. The reason it is not a diet is that you can literally eat whatever you want (mostly) during your eating window. There are different methods and proponents (like 16:8 or 5:2) that offer different eating plans, you can choose whichever one you want to go with. But first, there are a few intermittent fasting principles you need to know.
Your Calories Matter
This plan of eating causes weight loss by limiting the calories you consume. If you can no longer eat at will, you will naturally lower your calorie intake. However, you will also need to boost your intake sometimes if you’re under eating to ensure you get enough.
Your Macronutrients Matter
Most proponents say that while you can eat what you want, you should focus on high-nutrient foods and avoid pre-packaged high-carb junk food. No matter what plan you choose, you need to eat enough nutrients to be healthy. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that a junk food fast will not help you.
Lower Your Insulin Burn Rate
If you read Dr. Fung’s book, you’ll learn why the “small meals throughout the day” concept it so bad for you. When you don’t eat as frequently, you tend not to burn as much insulin. This means your sugar levels will remain more stable. You’re not going to experience as many blood sugar swings on this way of eating as your body grows used to the plan.
Healing Your Body
Did you know that when you are sick, you should not eat as much? Not eating allows the body to put the focus on healing other aspects of itself and less on digestion. By avoiding digestion, your body can put to use the nutrients and savings (fat) that you have.
Perks of Intermittent Fasting
While at first you may be hungrier on this plan than you are on other plans, the truth is, your body will grow accustomed to it. Plus, some of the hunger you think you feel now is really thirst. After a couple of weeks, you should not feel as much hunger other than before you eat. Hunger is good because it brings acid with it to digest your food.
Meal Planning Made Easy
It’s easier to plan your meals on this plan than others, which makes it more likely for you to stick to it. Since you can eat what you want, you’re not going to have to buy any specialty foods unless you simply want to. Plus you are planning less meals, which as a busy mom I will take all the help I can get!
Puts An End To Snacking
You don’t snack on this program at all! So unless something serious is going on and you need a snack under 50-calories, a snack will just mess up your fast. When you don’t snack and you let your tummy get empty, your digestion is going to improve and eventually you will end the constant hunger and low energy attacks that you feel now.
Your Body Turns Into a Fat Burner
Your body is going to burn more fat during fasting times than during eating times. If you never fast, you may not burn as much fat. Your body is lazy; it wants to burn energy that is easier to get to such as food you just swallowed. By fasting, you force your body to chose more complex options for energy.
A Intermittent Fasting 101 Must – Drink More Water
Know the difference between hunger and thirst. Most people don’t know there is a difference. If you feel hungry and a glass of water helps the hunger pains, more than likely your body is thirsty. Water is vital to so many aspects of a healthy life as well as weight loss.
If you have trouble drinking water, try our 7 day water challenge to help kick start your water habit. I also switched to a Hydrate 3 bottle that reminds me to drink throughout the day, plus it’s pretty!
The entire idea behind this way of eating is simple. Let yourself get hungry so that your body can properly digest food. Give your body a break so that it can figure out what it needs.
Feed your body nutrients that improve health, avoid simple carbs, unhealthy fats and sugars, and eat all you want of the high-nutrient foods during your eating windows. If you follow these guidelines of Intermittent Fasting 101, you won’t get anything but good results from this plan.