If nothing else, you may say I am obsessed with learning. Maybe it was a by- product of my law school days, or just a passion for new information, but there's never a minute I'm not jotting down something new I learned from a podcast, book or website. I have dozens of notebooks, notepads and a ridiculous amount of iPhone notes all dedicated to new things I learn each day!
The two topics I am obsessed with recently are (no real surprise here!) healthy living and good parenting skills. I learn stuff, write them down and then try to implement them right away. Two weeks ago I saw the same buzz phrase appear in 4 different podcasts and 1 book I was reading- 'intermittent fasting'. The experts were in completely different fields- Dr. David Perlmutter, Tim Ferriss and Dr. Sara Gottfried. The word "fasting" made me immediately suspicious that these experts were talking about some scary restrictive eating cycle, but once I learned more about this approach, it should be re- named something less scary like "timed eating" or "scheduled meals"- something that doesn't cue a starvation feeling in your mind!
Here's what YOU need to know about this very real and growing trend!
What it is: Intermittent fasting is a cycle of 'short' interval fasting- not eating for a period less than 24 hours (water and some low calorie foods like coffee are ok). Many of the experts agree that fasting for 16 hours then eating within an 8 hour time frame, two times a week is a good foundation. If you can't do 16 hours, aim for 14 like I did!
Why experts are recommending it: Many experts believe that intermittent fasting has a powerful and beneficial affect on our brain and genetics, meaning we can protect ourselves from diseases we are genetically predisposed to! In my own family, my maternal grandmother beat breast cancer twice (she is still living at 97 1/2!), my paternal grandfather died of Alzheimers, and I am determined to do anything in my power to keep any of those genes from turning on. More and more, science is teaching us that lifestyle choices will protect us from those so called "bad genes." Of course I had to give intermittent fasting a try!
I set my intention on completing a 14- hour fast. I ate dinner at 6pm and then ate breakfast at 10am the next morning (in between I had black coffee and water which is fine). I thought I wouldn't be able to exercise because of the starvation, but I was totally fine and did a whole strength training exercise that morning. I wasn't even that starving and post- fast, I went into a normal routine of lunch and dinner.
The result? In one day, the fast seemed to have reset my hunger, reminding my body what hunger feels like! This means I was more in tune to eating when I was hungry than EVER BEFORE! If you are the type of person who always feels hungry or are endlessly snacking, look at some of the sources below to see if intermittent fasting is right for you! I will continue to test it out and let you all know of any progress in how I feel and function!