Hey there Monday!!!! While I had intended to post this last week, we all know life happens [good riddens to the stomach bug and sickness finally] and my blog had to take a backseat, but I’ve got a GOOD one lined up today my friends… a topic so many of you had messaged me about, otherwise known as the intermittent fasting challenge.
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, I wanted to share that this post is a fun idea between myself, Heather via My Life Well Loved and Jessica from Happily Hughes. These rockstar mamas and I all integrate intermittent fasting (IF for short) into our daily lives and it’s something I’ve become extremely passionate about since I started Faster Way to Fat Loss back in January. Not going to candy coat it… this was the one component of FWTFL that completely intimidated and overwhelmed me. But now it’s become second nature and it’s my FAVORITE component of my FWTFL lifestyle.
This past week, we started a 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge to share with all of our followers. Mainly to get you out of your comfort zone, trying something new that we all love and hoping you will, too. Basically, the challenge is this:
Intermittent Fasting Challenge
ONE. Fast Consecutively for 16 Hours. Just like I’ve mentioned in previous FWTFL program posts, I eat within an 8-hour window each day and fast for 16 hours. In my book, you can still have coffee [nut pods are acceptable for a bit of sweetness], water and tea. The only caveat is to not have more than 50 calories. It sounds like a long time, but your body adapts to it fairly quickly and it’s second nature to me now. It also helps your body burn fat rather than sugar.
TWO. Load Up on High Quality H2O. I can’t say this enough… one of the best things you can do for your body is to drink loads of water each day… my daily goal is usually 1/2 my body weight, which equates to at least 60 oz a day. It also makes for an easy way to curb your appetite while you’re fasting!
THREE. Workout 3-5 Times a Week. Within this challenge, there isn’t a set number of days for working out, though if you’re doing the FWTFL program, 5 times a week is what we do consistently anyways [1 HIIT day, 1 sprint day, 2 strength training days and 1 leg day]. If you’re newer to working out, take a walk with your kids, ride a bike, go to yoga class–something, ANYTHING to get yourself moving and grooving!
FOUR. Share via Social Media. If you’re participating in this 21-day IF challenge with us, be sure to share via social media…. we will be giving away some incredible prizes at the conclusion so stay tuned for details on that too!
So, I posed a little Q&A via stories last week to see what burning questions you wanted answered in terms of everything IF, and thought I would share those as well as a few of my favorite tips and tricks for implementing IF into your life if you’re ready to accept the challenge with us!
Q & A
QUESTION | What Exactly is Intermittent Fasting [IF]?
ANSWER | Basically it’s 16 hours OFF eating and 16 hours ON eating which equals 24 hours a day. The good thing is that most of the 16 hours are overnight when I am sleeping and then I consume my daily caloric intake within an 8-hour feeding window. I asked why this specific breakdown [instead of a 14/10, 13/9, etc] and the science backs it up as to why it turns your body into a major fat burner.
QUESTION | What is Your Eating Window Each Day?
ANSWER |I br my fast each day at 11AM and then I stop eating at 7PM. You can also do a 10AM/6PM method, 12PM/8PM method, etc… pick what works for YOU! Also, if you have late night events, girls’ night out scheduled, dates, etc… you can alter your 8-hour window to accommodate those occasions and I do it all the time! What I love is that you can modify it to fit YOUR days…
QUESTION | Are certain foods better to break your fast with than others?
ANSWER | Absolutely! As with any diet/lifestyle program, you always want to eat QUALITY foods–those that nourish your body with nutrients like fruits, veggies, grains, lean proteins and healthy fats and avoid the stuff we know isn’t good for us–fast food, high fat meats, etc.
On my regular macros days, I usually break my fast with overnight oats… a higher-in-carb food, yet super filling, nutritionally packed with the good stuff and totally satisfies my “breakfast” of the day.
QUESTION | How many days a week do you fast? Do you fast when you travel on vacation?
ANSWER | I fast everyday, and yes, I fast when I travel and on vacation as well. It’s something my body has become accustomed to and sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but 99% of the time I stick to IF. Travel can be tricky, but I always bring along lots of snacks so that when it’s time to eat I have something ready to go!
QUESTION | I want to try IF, but am nervous to get started. Any ideas to integrate this into my daily schedule easily?
ANSWER | My best advice is to start slowly and work your way up to the full 16/8 method. For instance, if you normally eat breakfast at 7AM each day, try making it until 9AM before you eat. Test out that for a week and then see if you can gradually decrease your eating window to the 16/8 timeframe. Give yourself some grace… it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
QUESTION | Can you workout when you’re fasting?
ANSWER | Absolutely YES… that’s actually the way we recommend working out in FWTFL, as it can help you burn more fat AND boost your endurance levels. Just be sure to watch your energy levels and don’t overexert yourself. Be smart and listen to your body!
Ready to get going??? Here’s a little challenge chart to help get you onboarded for daily accountability and as always, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with other questions you have!
Have you done an intermittent fasting challenge before? Share in a comment below!