I am always asked by new clients what are my thoughts about IF and is it a good plan for them. Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. It is based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. Typically you will eat during an 8 hour period each day and fast for the remainder of the day.
IF can help reduce insulin levels, increase growth hormone as well as increase the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. These all can contribute to helping lose weight. When we extend our natural fast over the night into the day this will use up our glycogen stores that will cause an increase in fat oxidation.
The truth is without a total calorie deficit we will not have a significant impact on weight loss. The reason people lose weight is not because of magical metabolic changes, it is because eating in a small window typically reduces how much food you eat in the entire day. If you are the type of person who gets extremely hungry if you go without eating for a long period of time such as starting to eat at 12 and missing morning breakfast and snacks and then end up overeating during your eating window then IF is not for you.
I find for most people they like their eating window to be 11-7 PM or 12-8 PM.
I am realizing that most people can skip breakfast especially with their often hectic mornings and can’t take the time to have a balanced breakfast.
If this is your window I suggest to treat the first meal of the day as your dinner being the largest meal of the day, balanced with at least 6 oz. protein, 2 bread servings such as 2 slices of bread or a cup of whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, lentils, kidney beans and 1 cup of cooked veggies or a salad. I have found thar clients are not as hungry in the evening and can have a lighter meal such as an omelet, soup and salad or even a baked potato with cottage cheese and veggies.
Now with extra daylight we are up later and these 2 windows of time help to prevent over snacking at night which often prevents weight loss.
Let me tell you about my client Dr, Lee, an internist at a local hospital. Dr. Lee is a mom of 2 teenage girls, a wife and of course a very demanding job as a physician.
Dr. Lee rarely had time for breakfast and would get though the day eating granola bars, pop chips, nuts and dried fruits which were all available in the doctors lounge sponsored by the hospital. These so called snacks were not filling her up and accounted for hundreds of concentrated calories that she was not aware of. She was trying to adhere to the 8 hour fasting window but felt defeated and ravenous at 9 pm.
These were my recommendations for Dr. Lee. I was emphatic with her that she had to have a lunch equivalent to a dinner because her days were so long. I suggested her to take her lunch and spread it across the day and make sure she consumed it all before she left work. I gave her ideas about what an adequate lunch meal would look like. It would contain at least 6 oz. of protein, 1 cup of rice that she loves and 1 cup of veggies. In the doctors lounge there always are homemade desserts which I told to her to take a very small portion of if she would enjoy them and then reduce the rice.
I am glad to inform you that after much persuasion Dr. Lee is not only losing weight but she feels so much better with her energy and has lost 20 pounds over the course of 4 months. This is a very healthy weight loss or an average of 5 pounds a month. We are continuing to work together to lose the next 20 pounds which very well might take a longer time. Those first pounds always come off faster. Dr. Lee is very motivated now and is hoping by summer she will feel better in her shorts and bathing suit which she can remember happened before her kids were born.
If you are struggling with weight loss let me take you by the hand and set up a meal plan for you based on your favorite foods and daily schedule.
Nutritional Counseling is often covered by your health insurance such as
ABMG. Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Contra Costa Health Plan, Sutter, UMR, United Health Care and others. Please feel free to contact me and I will call to see what your coverage is for nutrition.