In recent years, you’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting. It’s one of the most popular health trends out there. You may be an advocate of intermittent fasting already. Or maybe you have questions…
Is it good for you? Is it a diet? A lifestyle? A myth?
In this blog, I explain how intermittent fasting works and give you some ways to approach this way of eating—including my own daily routine as a Pilates instructor.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Simply put, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. It’s about when you eat, not necessarily what you eat. It’s more of a lifestyle than a diet.
According to Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson, our bodies have evolved to go without food for many hours—or even several days or longer. Back when humans were mainly hunters and gatherers, they went long periods without eating, as it often took time and lots of energy to obtain food.
After a certain number of hours without food, your body exhausts its sugar stores and starts to burn fat (this is also known as metabolic switching). Intermittent fasting works by prolonging this period with the goal of burning more fat.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can have positive effects on your body and brain. And it may even elongate life.
Ways To Approach Intermittent Fasting
These are the top three most popular methods of intermittent fasting according to Healthline:
There are many ways to go about intermittent fasting. Below, I give you an example of how I usually eat in a day with a 18/6 schedule—a slightly stricter version of the 16/8 method.
My Ideal Intermittent Fasting Schedule
With a 18/6 schedule, my eating period falls between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and creates a 5-to-6-hour window. Here's a typical day of eating for me as a Pilates instructor:
Please note, I’m not perfect. There are times when I go out and splurge—and you should, too! I try to do my best to get as many days in as possible. When I stick to this schedule is when I feel my healthiest.
If you’re looking to lose weight and trim fat, intermittent fasting is proven to be successful. Pilates alone is not enough to lose weight, so pairing your workouts with a healthy eating program is vital if losing weight is your goal.
The key to success? Liquids, liquids, liquids. I swear by them. Invest in a good, clean protein powder (meaning as little ingredients as possible) and bone broth (or try making your own). These will help you get through your fasting periods and help keep you nourished.
About The Author
Fitness has always been a guiding force for Kathy Lopez, owner of Studio Be. Her inherent drive for health has naturally translated into helping others achieve strength, balance and wellness. Kathy has been voted Ventura's best Pilates instructor nine years in a row. Learn more...