I often get asked what I think about intermittent fasting. That is not a simple answer so, I have broken it down into 5 considerations before implementing intermittent fasting into your life.
Are there several documented benefits of intermittent fasting – Absolutely!
I am not here to discuss those benefits or the pros and cons of intermittent fasting. Those so-called pros and cons will vary from person to person.
Is there one right way to implement intermittent fasting into your life – Absolutely NOT!
I am here to discuss what I feel one should take into consideration before implementing intermittent fasting into their life.
Sleep: We all intermittent fast while we sleep. Hence, our first meal being called break – fast. But… we don’t all sleep at the same time of day nor for the same amount of time. When is your break-fast meal typically? If you work nights that time will differ from someone who works 8am-5pm. What about if you work a rotating schedule? Your sleep time and break-fast meal will rotate along with it.
Movement: Exercising, working out, and movement all play a role in when your body needs and wants nutrients. Remember: food is fuel providing the building blocks for rebuilding and repairing the body. What time of day do you exercise? What kind of workout or movement practice are you participating in? The level of activity and length of time all need to be considered before implementing an intermittent fasting program. After any kind of workout activity your body is craving nutrients to replenish and rebuild the body. Intermittent fasting before and through your workout time could be detrimental, doing more harm than good to your body.
Job: Similar to #1 – consider your job, lifestyle and how skipping meals in the past has effected your focus, energy, and mood. If your job consists of manual labor or needs all of your focus, you want to think about how intermittent fasting might impact that.
Health Concerns: It is important to look at your health at this time. Do you have any health conditions, diseases, etc that may be negatively effected or made worse if you skip meals or fast for too long? Talk to your doctor, do your research, and consider your short-term and long-term health and health risks.
I.F Schedule: Intermittent fasting does not have to look the same every day. Maybe you Intermittent fast on your rest days or on the days you don’t work. Try only intermittent fasting for 10 hours vs 12 or 14 hours. What about trying intermittent fasting on a weekend or when you know you will not be out doing strenuous activities and may not need as much brain power to see how it makes you feel.
The main take away from these 4 tips is to first consider your own personal lifestyle, needs and activities and then make the intermittent fasting fit your life, not the other way around.
Make it YOUR OWN. There is not a 1 size fits all intermittent fasting program and no one said you even have to do it at all.