Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fasting Diet
Fasting is something that’s played a key role in virtually all of the world’s major religions and dates back millions of years. Today, though, while fasting is still observed for many religious purposes, it’s become a new lifestyle that helps individuals lose weight, have more energy, and fight disease.
While fasting isn’t a new concept, intermittent fasting is something that has emerged in the past few years. It has gained popularity due to the incredible benefits it offers against signs of aging and disease.
Keep reading to learn about intermittent fasting and why this may want to be a lifestyle change you make.
Understanding Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a process that involves cycling in and out of periods where you eat and don’t eat. While people do experience (often significant) weight loss with this eating schedule, it’s not as much of a diet plan as it is a lifestyle choice that provides a wide array of health benefits.
There are several methods used with intermittent fasting. These include:
The 5:2 Method
This is the method that allows you to eat normally for five days a week. The two days after are for fasting, but you still eat. The goal is to keep calorie intake on this day between 500 and 600.
The Eat-Stop-Eat Method
This method is a bit different. With this, you restrict all food for a period of 24 hours. This is repeated two to three times per week.
The 16/8 Method
Here, you consume all your daily calories within a shortened period of time. In most cases, you eat in a period of six to eight hours.
The remaining 14 to 16 hours during the day, you fast. This is the method that can be done daily, or several times a week.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
When you switch to intermittent fasting, it will expand your limits while boosting your performance in several ways. Some of the specific benefits offered by this way of eating include:
- Increase energy
- Reduce bad cholesterol
- Protect against various neurodegenerative diseases
- Boost weight loss
- Promote longevity
- Reduce insulin resistance
- Promote cellular repair
As you can see, the benefits are vast. As a result, this may be something you should consider trying.
Tips to Make the Most of Intermittent Fasting
While not eating for specific amounts of time alone offers health benefits, if you want to make the most of this lifestyle choice, there are a few other tips you need to use.
It can’t be a free-for-all when you do eat, as this is going to negate many of the benefits this way of eating offers. Some additional tips include:
- Avoid refined grains and sugars (choose low-carb snacks when possible)
- Don’t snack between meals
- Remain active
- Avoid snacking or eating in the evening and at night
By using these tips, the results of your intermittent fasting will be much more evident.
Be Healthier and Happier with Intermittent Fasting
As you can see, there are several options to consider if you are interested in intermittent fasting. As a result, you aren’t going to feel as deprived or hungry while following this way of eating.
Do you want to make a change to be healthier and happier? If so, let us help! Contact us to learn more about our nine-week challenge.
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10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them
Over half of Americans say they’re trying to lose weight. It can often feel like you’re doing everything right, but you’re not losing weight.
You’ve tried the most recent fad diet and committed to a rigorous exercise regime, but the pounds aren’t shifting.
The answer has to be somewhere. Don’t give up just yet!
Instead, find out why losing weight is hard and what you can do to fix it. Check it out below!
1. Not Getting Enough Protein
If you’re having a hard time losing weight, then you could still be eating the wrong things.
Even if you’ve reduced your overall consumption, you might need to increase your protein intake. You want to lose fat, not muscle.
People who eat a protein-rich diet (between 15 and 25% of overall calories) store nearly 50% of excess calories as muscle rather than fat. If your diet consists of only 5% proteins, then 95% of your excess calories are stored as fat, not muscle.
So make sure you’re eating plenty of eggs, lean meats, and legumes in your diet.
Apparently, 80% of working Americans don’t drink enough water on a regular basis. You may be eating great, but are you drinking enough water?
After all, up to 65% of the human body is made up of water. It’s essential to the healthy functioning of your body.
However, it’s also really important when it comes to weight loss. High water consumption can even improve your metabolism by up to 30%.
3. High-Stress Levels
If you’re trying to lose weight, then high-stress levels are really not helping. There is a correlation between high stress and larger weight lines, according to studies.
You can either get started with mindful meditation, which has been shown to reduce mental stress and anxiety. Or you may need to make some drastic decisions about your work and home life. Either way, your stressful life could be responsible for not losing weight with diet and exercise.
4. You’re Click Happy
We quickly moving toward a cashless society. However, this could have some significant consequences for people trying to lose weight.
Studies have shown that people who use credit cards to pay for groceries online are more likely to make unhealthy purchases. Therefore, if you think you’re guilty of being “click happy” with your credit card, then it’s time to switch back to the green stuff.
5. Missing Out On Sleep
You may have trouble losing weight because you’re not getting enough sleep.
If you want better sleep, you may need to consider when the best time to do exercise is to optimize your shut-eye. Or how you set a regular bedtime and wake-up time to improve your sleep patterns.
6. Lack of Vegetables and Fruits
Do you only ever buy food which has nutritional information on the label?
You don’t need to only purchase groceries which are labeled “low fat” or “no added sugar.”
Instead, why not purchase whole foods which don’t have any labels at all. Most importantly, you need to be eating fresh fruit and vegetables to lose weight.
By eating fresh fruit and veggies you can also maintain your healthy diet after you’ve achieved your weight loss goal.
Do you ever think – “It’s healthy! I can eat as much of this as I want.” This is a dangerous game to play.
It’s also possible to overeat low-calorie and so-called “healthy” foods. Simply put, if you’re consuming calories that you’re not burning off, then you’re overeating.
Eating fruit can be essential to feed your cravings if you’re cutting out candy and chocolate. But, you can also eat too much of this good stuff too.
8. Drinking Calories
It’s so easy to concentrate too much on what you’re eating and forget that your drinks count as calories too.
If you often find yourself drinking lattes and smoothies instead of water, then you need to count those calories as well.
Although your regular black coffee doesn’t contain many calories, lattes and other milky coffee drinks do. Even a latte without sugar and low-fat milk contains up to 150 calories. However, if you’re choosing to add syrups and whole milk, you could be going over 400 calories.
When you consume sweet drinks, this also triggers your cravings for more food. So, you’re making it harder for yourself.
9. You’re Hungry
If you want to lose weight, you’re probably going to reduce the number of calories you are consuming. You can always go too far!
If you reduce your calories too much and too quickly, you could starve yourself. This slows down your metabolism so you can’t lose weight as easily.
If you’re eating less than 400 calories, your body could stop functioning normally. Your stress levels will increase and your thyroid hormones breakdown.
10. Run Don’t Walk
Even though any physical activity can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, if you want to lose weight, you need to do more than just walking.
Low-intensity workouts, such as walking with friends in the park, can be great, but you need to go up a gear as well.
You need to do moderate-intensity exercises if you want the pounds to fall off you. These include jogging, swimming, and cycling.
Why You’re Not Losing Weight
When you’re not losing weight with diet and exercise, it can be hard to stay motivated to achieve your weight loss goal. However, there are numerous reasons why you’re having a hard time losing weight.
Now you know what mistakes you need to watch out. It’s time to fix them and get back on track.
Do you want to find out more about how we can help you overcome your setback? Check out our 9-week challenge here!
Gym Couples: 6 Reasons Why It Pays To Work Out With Your Partner
Have you ever considered becoming one of those gym couples? You know the kind — the partners who lose weight and look great together. Here’s why you should.
For optimum ‘fitness goals‘ and ‘couple goals’ in one, nothing beats exercising with your partner.
But, couples working out together doesn’t just mean plenty of opportunities for Instagram-friendly hashtags and gym selfies featuring coordinating workout gear.
Becoming one of those gym couples can actually be a great way to strengthen your relationship while you both get stronger too!
Here are six great reasons why you and your partner should work out together.
1. Built-In Accountability
It’s all too easy to skip a workout when you only have to answer to yourself. Training with someone else keeps you accountable, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your exercise plan. And, who better to hold you accountable than your partner?
No one knows you and your usual excuses like your partner. And, no one knows just how to get you motivated when you’re having a bad day or don’t feel like exercising.
Couples that work out together can encourage and inspire each other. Not only will this bring you closer together, you’re both more likely to get a great workout in too.
2. Achieve Fitness Goals Faster
As author Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry said, “love is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.” This is a great metaphor to describe how sharing goals with your partner – such as a desire to be healthier – can bring you closer, and makes it easier for you both to achieve those goals.
Bringing exercise and shared fitness goals into the relationship makes you both more aware of health and nutrition as a couple too. That means both of you are less likely to unintentionally sabotage your fitness goals with offers of takeouts or wine.
And, couples working out together also get to enjoy quality time with each other while getting in shape. Which is much more conducive to achieving your health goals than spending every night on the sofa with pizza and beer.
3. Increase Workout Efficiency
For those of you who are already confident in the gym, exercising with your partner can actually result in a more efficient workout.
Without us necessarily being aware of it, the presence of someone else increases performance. Through a combination of motivation and competition, performing a couples gym workout is a great way to boost your energy levels and improve your speed and efficiency.
Ideally, you’ll both be working out in tandem and switching between machines during super sets to save time. But, it’s also helpful having your partner there to spot you or keep an eye on your form. This ensures that you’re completing moves the right way, meaning better workout efficiency.
4. Have Fun
Having a workout buddy helps you enjoy working out and often makes gym sessions feel like less of a chore.
And, while there are plenty of solo gym moves, a great way to have fun during a couples gym workout is to incorporate some partner exercises. From simple in-sync squats to those brutal double dare crunches, partner exercises offer unique and exciting ways to challenge each other as a team.
You’re also more likely to try new methods and exercises if you have the support of your partner. That could mean going heavier on the weights, trying a new tactic such as a HIIT run, or attempting your first Pilates class together. As a result, you get to shake up your old solo routine and find different and enjoyable ways to work out in the process.
5. Boost Love and Attraction
Exercise results in the same symptoms of physiological arousal, such as shortness of breath, sweaty hands and a racing pulse. This has the effect of mirroring the thrill of romantic attraction. As a result, people often mistake physical arousal for romantic attraction.
In fact, studies show that couples report greater relationship satisfaction and increased feelings of romantic love after participating in an exciting physical activity together. The reason for this is the physiological arousal of the activity rather than the difficulty or novelty of the challenge itself.
So, while getting sweaty together might not seem a great way to make you appear more attractive in your partner’s eyes, psychological research shows that it actually does!
Working out as a couple gives you the chance to take advantage of this physiological arousal. And, it means that exercising doesn’t just make you and your partner healthier. Your relationship also becomes healthier and stronger as a result.
6. Reconnect as A Couple
The gym might not be the most romantic setting, but exercising together can be a great way for busy couples to reconnect.
Couples that work out together provide encouragement and support for each other. They also get to witness each other’s success, build trust and have fun as a team. Even suffering through a grueling workout routine or new class can be a great way to strengthen your relationship. Especially when you can both laugh about it afterwards, or console each other with soothing massages.
And, the very act of exercising together can help you reconnect as a couple. That’s because coordinating your actions, such as running at the same pace, creates nonverbal matching, or mimicry.
This nonverbal mimicry helps couples feel emotionally in tune with each other. And, through this, couples working out together report greater a greater sensation of bonding. A couples gym workout gives you both an opportunity to create this connection, benefiting your relationship and your health in the process.
Gym Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together
If you’re both into health and fitness then it makes sense to combine your passion for exercise with your passion for each other!
And, with all these great benefits to becoming one of those gym couples, what are you waiting for?!
No More Post-Baby Bump:
14 Tips to Help Busy Moms Lose Baby Weight
As much as you love your new baby, you may not love the body that’s left behind. It can be manageable to lose baby weight with these great tips.
Did you know that it takes most women 3 years to get their confidence back after having a baby?
Although our bodies are incredible and can grow humans in 9 months, it takes time for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy shape.
If you want to learn how to shed fat and keep it off as a new mom, here are 14 tips to lose baby weight permanently.
1. If You Can Breastfeed, Do It!
One of the most effective postpartum weight loss tips is to breastfeed your child.
The reason why breastfeeding helps you lose weight is that your body uses fat reserves to help produce milk. Your body is also more efficient at burning the calories you eat every day.
Do keep in mind that breastfeeding mothers need to keep their energy up, which is why you should never diet after giving birth. The desire to shed your pregnancy weight may be high, but you and your baby’s health should always come first.
Some women naturally don’t produce enough milk for their children or they prefer to bottle feed. If you can’t breastfeed, don’t fret. There are still plenty of other things you can do to fuel your weight loss efforts.
2. Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated
Losing weight after pregnancy can be as simple as remembering to drink enough water. This tip works well for anyone looking to shed fat.
There are plenty of reasons why drinking more helps you stay slim. Since our bodies are mostly made out of the water, we need to replenish our reserves every day. If you don’t drink enough, you’ll retain water and feel sluggish.
Drinking water also helps curb your appetite. If your someone who has a hard time knowing when you’re full, drinking plenty of water before and during mealtimes will help prevent you from overeating.
Did you know that our bodies’ thirst and hunger signals are the same? This means your stomach growls could be your body asking for water. A good method to live by is to drink a glass of water whenever you think you feel hungry. If you still feel hungry 20 minutes later, then you know you’re experiencing true hunger and not thirst.
Drinking also helps us eliminate waste easier. The less backed-up your system is, the slimmer you’ll feel.
3. Lose Baby Weight by Exercising Smarter, Not Longer
Lots of people have been brainwashed into believing that logging more hours at the gym leads to more success. While some people may thrive in a gym setting, most of us would rather stay in bed.
The best way to stick to an exercise routine is to find a setting, workout, and timeframe that suits you best.
One tip that all moms should know is that you can exercise for 10 minutes and get the same results as someone else who exercises for an hour. The key to losing weight and toning muscle isn’t how long you sweat, but how effective your sessions are.
If you can pour all of your energy into an intense 10-minute workout, you’ll make progress. This method is much more effective for your goals and happiness than sluggishly pedaling on a stationary bike for an hour while feeling miserable.
4. Take Your Baby for a Walk Every Day
Walking is incredible for weight loss and overall physical and mental health. The best part is that you can also bond with your baby. Even if you don’t break a sweat while you walk, you’re still burning calories and toning your muscles.
This is a great opportunity to get out of the house so you don’t feel stir-crazy at home with your baby. If you know any other moms, invite them to go walking with you. You can have a fitness buddy who can hold you accountable to your goals and help you pass the time with fun conversation.
5. Make Sleep a Priority
Sleeping your fat away sounds too good to be true, but it’s one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.
The reason why sleep deprivation leads to weight gain is that our bodies turn to eat more calories to make up for the lost energy. When we’re tired, we tend to reach for comfort foods full of fats and sugars to feel better.
Sleep also helps fuel workouts. If you’re too tired, exercising will feel like an impossible challenge.
Do you have willpower made out of steel? Even if you can resist junk food and stick to your workout routine, your body is still plotting against your weight loss efforts.
One night of sleep deprivation is enough to trigger the release of ghrelin, a hormone that revs our appetite. Excess calories that come from healthy sources still turn into a fat gain.
6. Meal Prep Once a Week to Make Cooking Easier
Cooking at home is the best way to save money and skip unnecessary calories, sugars, and fats. When you’re the chef, you control how much you eat and the quality of your ingredients.
However, all new moms know how challenging it is to find any time that isn’t devoted to caring for their babies. This is why batch cooking is the perfect method for your weight loss.
If you can get help from your partner or another loved one, dedicating a few hours once a week to batch cooking is easy.
During this time, you can make a big pot of brown rice, quinoa, or other healthy whole grains. You can also bake a pack of chicken breasts or another source of lean protein. Wash and chop all your veggies so they’re ready to eat raw or cook in a flash.
Once your prep work is done, all you have to do is reheat your food and season it to create a new dish for meals during the week. Check out these batch cooking recipes that take no time to make.
7. Join a Weight Loss Program That Does the Planning
Most new moms are exhausted, battle mental fog, and have no time for themselves. Losing weight fast requires lots of planning.
If you want to make life easier, join a weight loss program that has a tried-and-true method for fat loss.
All of your meals and calories will be customized for your unique body type and fitness goals so you don’t have to think. You can also have access to personal coaches and a community of other people in the program who are there to motivate each other and share tips.
These programs are more effective than solo-dieting because all the details are hammered out to a science. There’s no guesswork at mealtimes and the ease of cooking makes it easier to stick to the plan.
8. Eat More Plant-Based Meals
If it comes out of the earth, it’s good to eat! Plants are the best health foods because they are low in calories but high in nutrients your body needs.
Meat is linked to excess body fat and illnesses. The reason why meat and other animal products can sabotage your weight loss efforts is saturated fats and cholesterol.
The more plant-based you can eat, the better. If you’re up to the challenge, you can even try going vegan for a month. Veganism is one of the most popular weight loss lifestyles because you can eat a lot of wholesome foods with fewer calories.
9. Don’t Skip Breakfast or Starve Yourself
Thanks to fad dieting, most people’s first instinct to lose weight is to skip meals or starve themselves. While you can get fast results, you’ll feel miserable. As soon as you start eating again, you’ll put all the weight back on and then some.
In fact, yo-yo dieting is much more dangerous for your health than maintaining a steady BMI. Instead of passing on breakfast, start your day right with a smoothie filled with fresh greens or a hearty bowl of oatmeal with enough fiber and protein to keep you full until lunch.
10. Reward Yourself in Moderation
Did you know that some studies have revealed that cheat meals or cheat days can yield more fat loss than strict dieters?
The reason why treating yourself works is that it gives you something to look forward to after a week of eating healthy. This incentive will help you stay on track.
People who remove all of their favorite foods from their diets are also more likely to binge. Once people binge, they may decide to quit altogether because they think all their efforts have been lost.
Letting the lion out of the cage for a short time each week will help you feel satisfied. Besides, eating more calories one day revs your metabolism so you can continue burning more the next day.
11. Eat Healthy, High Volume Snacks
Have you ever tried eating snacks designed for dieters and felt ravenous 30 minutes later? Although these treats are healthier than other junk food, they’re not substantial.
The best way to fill up is to eat nutrient-dense foods that pack a lot of volume for not a lot of calories.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of fuel. Check out these no-cook snack recipes that include treats like banana ice cream and sweet potato hummus. If you want a heartier snack, you can dip apple slices in a nut butter of your choice to get a dose of healthy fats.
12. Manage Your Stress and Care for Your Mental Health
Yoga is one of the best exercises that everyone should try. It combines cardio, muscle toning, stretching, and meditation. You can even reap the health benefits by doing it only 5 minutes a day.
Raising a child is one of the most stressful things people can do. Stress turns our bodies into effective fat storing machines. Finding ways to cope with any negative emotions is crucial for your health.
Although yoga is a great place to start, some people can’t stand it. Just because one exercise works for one person, it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it. Take some time to experiment with different outlets to find your happy place.
Exercise always makes you feel better because of endorphins, but you can manage your stress in other ways, too. Painting, knitting, scrapbooking, and writing are just a few of the hundreds of different activities you could try.
13. Strength Training
Many women are afraid of lifting weights because they don’t want to get bulky muscles like men. However, it’s impossible for females to pile on muscle with casual weightlifting.
Strength training is ideal for new moms because it involves lifting light weights for extended repetitions. This will help tone your muscles and burn fat for a sexy, sculpted look.
You don’t need a gym membership to strength train, either. Try these at-home workouts that utilize your body weight to help you shape up.
14. Be Patient and Kind to Yourself
The most valuable lesson all women need to learn is self-love. Your body can do unbelievable things and you should be proud of it.
Making a baby takes 9 months. During this time, your organs shift, your abdominals split apart, and your pelvis opens to make room for another human being.
Every mom cherishes those 9 months of beautiful change. After you give birth, you should have the same patience and acceptance of your body as you did while you were pregnant.
Remember how long it took your body to come to its current size and give yourself the same amount of time to shrink down. Celebrities who boast about their bodies a couple months after giving birth have a team of personal trainers, chefs, and designers to make them look their best.
The happier you are with yourself, the more likely you are to stick with your goals. Always strive to be the best version of yourself, but never stop loving yourself along the journey.
Ready to Transform Your Body?
The best way to lose baby weight and keep it off is by committing to easy lifestyle changes. When it comes to shedding fat, even the smallest habits can add up.
If you want guaranteed results within a couple months, then Body Transformation Coach would love to help you get the body of your dreams the healthy way. Contact us for more information on why our program works and how we can help revolutionize your health.