Intermittent Fasting: Everything You Need to Know

by
LAURYN

Hello hello. Boy am I excited for this post.

I met Helen through the beauty of social media & fell in love with her through her Blender Bombs. If you guys haven’t had them, let me tell you, they’re the most efficient way to make a smoothie. They’re full of all sorts of goodness & a great thing to throw in a blender when you don’t have time to add 6 million things into your concoction.

Blender Bombs are Omega-3 Rich Smoothie Boosters designed to make your smoothie the ultimate meal replacement! “Blend ’em” in your smoothie,”Break ’em” over your bowl, or “Bite ’em” for a snack. Hushup X Hustle built & approved.

& they’re sooooo good. I’m a huge fan of the Acai.

Anyway, recently we interviewed Patricia from Southern Charm & we ran into Helen at a tiny hotel called Zero George Street Hotel. We sipped on skinny margs & talked about Naomie Olindo from Southern Charm & how she completely transformed her body through Blender Bombs & intermittent fasting. Helen told me that she also changed her life through intermittent fasting after she gained the ‘freshman 20.’ So I figured I HAD TO ask her to come on TSC to talk SPECIFICALLY about how her & Naomie tightened up.

Helen’s first post is all about intermittent fasting so we’re going to get right into it. ( But stay tuned for her other posts in the coming weeks).

Let’s welcome Helen to The Skinny Confidential

IF YOU KNOW I.F., YOU KNOW

Before I dive into WTF IF is and why I’m such a proponent of it, let’s get something out in the open: I AM NOT A DOCTOR ( surprised? I know ). But seriously — what I’m about to share with you in regards to intermittent fasting is knowledge I’ve picked up from doctors and specialists throughout my own journey. If you have a history of eating disorders, blood sugar issues, or live a lifestyle that always keeps you hungry, IF is more than likely NOT for you. Always consult your doctor or specialist before changing your diet.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive in.

WTF IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet; it’s simply an eating pattern. According to the dictionary, “fasting” means to abstain from ALL food, but fret not because food is still our best friend on IF, just a condensed version of it. 

Basically, IF shortens the time frame in which you’re eating throughout a given day. For example, instead of eating between 8am—10pm, you’d choose an 8-hour timeframe to consume all your food for the day— like 12pm-8pm, 10am-6pm, etc. While practicing intermittent fasting, most people fast for 16 hours of the day, while some prefer 14 hours or 18 hours. It’s totally up to you to find a time frame that works for your body, mindset, and schedule. Some people practice IF every day, and others keep it to 3-4 days a week. That’s why it’s called a “practice.”

WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I DO IT?

Food for thought: We live in an instantaneous world. If you want a meal, a snack, a coffee, a treat, you can find a resource on nearly any street corner everywhere. Constantly grazing has never been easier. Our dear old ancestors, the hunter-gatherers, weren’t eating nearly as often as we do. They didn’t wake up and make an egg scramble with a glass of OJ, a big salad for lunch, and a gorgeously curated dinner while also eating snacks throughout the day. No. They ate calorie-rich meals when they could, and used that food as energy until they found more food and could eat again. It could be hours, or days between their meals.

Our bodies are built to go for periods of time without eating. The hours in which our body isn’t working hard to digest food are crucial for the healing and restoration of our cells! We need those periods of non-eating to “reset.” Check out this TSC podcast for more info. 

Enter: Intermittent fasting. Something as simple as changing your eating schedule can make an immense impact on your life. Because I speak about practicing IF + breaking it with a Blender Bomb smoothie so much on social media, I get testimonial DMs ALL the time about results that truly blow my mind. These are just some of the benefits of IF:

Promotes weight loss 

Increases longevity 

Acts as an anti-aging catalyst 

Regulates insulin levels  

Enhances hormone stability 

♡ Decrease meal planning stress

♡ Clears the mind

Of course, IF isn’t a “magic pill” that will fix all your problems, but it is a very realistic and effective step that will more than likely make a positive impact on your overall health and who doesn’t want that! Might as well try it, right?

HOW THE FUCK DO I DO IT?

Like I said at the beginning of this post, there are tons of different ways to practice IF. Personally, I practice IF about 4-5 days a week for around 16-18 hours.

Here’s how a typical day of IF looks for yours truly:

  • Wake up.
  • Drink lemon water or hot tea.
  • Have a calorie dense smoothie between 11:30am-1:00pm.
    • I always “break my fast” with a calorie-dense BB smoothie, loaded with greens, fruits, Bomb Butter, veggies, and ⅓ cup of granola on top. High calorie, fiber-rich, and filling! Check out this PDF for more smoothie recipes.
  • Small plant-based snack between lunch and dinner.
  • A high fiber, carb rich dinner between 6-8pm.
    • High-carb but plant-based meal with tons of leafy greens. You can check out this PDF for more recipes! 
  • If I’m craving dessert, I’ll have either a Blender Bombmicrowaved for 8 seconds so it tastes like a brownie, a Hail Merry treat or some HU chocolate ).

Then, I go to bed and start the IF cycle all over again the next day (fasting until 11:30am-1pm)! Every once in awhile, I’ll do a longer fast or I’ll go through a period where I don’t fast at all because #balance. But for the most part, I stick to the 16-18 hour window 3-4 days a week. Usually 16 hours, because that’s my sweet spot and what works best for me.

WHERE THE FUCK CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT IF?

Since IF is so popular right now, there seems to be an endless amount of resources if you want to know more. My recommendations are:

♡ Listen to this TSC podcast for a brief and fun explanation about IF.

♡ The BBC documentary Eat Fast and Live Longer  to learn more about the science and medical side of IF.

♡ The “Intermittent Fasting Podcast” is a great listen for information on all of the different aspects of the IF lifestyle.

♡ And finally, the “Longevity & Why I Now Eat One Meal A Day” video on YouTube is another gem of information when it comes to IF.

COMMON IF QUESTIONS

If I have suffered from an eating disorder, should I avoid implementing IF? 

If you have or are currently suffering from an eating disorder, Intermittent Fasting is NOT recommended. Please consult your doctor before making any extreme dietary changes.

Can IF lead to binge eating? 

IF should not lead to binge eating. As long as you are eating enough during your “eating hours,” you should stay full throughout your fasting hours. If you feel like you’re binge eating, make sure the foods you are consuming are whole foods ( bye bye powders ), high-fiber, nutritious, and calorie dense. In other words, food that fuels your body—not junk!

I have diabetes. Should I IF? 

Diabetic people have seen various results ( amazing, good, mediocre and bad ) when they practice IF. Please consult with your doctor before implementing IF into your lifestyle if you are diabetic.

Is it bad to IF while pregnant?  

Because you need to consume an extra 300-500 calories while pregnant, many doctors suggest avoiding fasting during your pregnancy. Please consult with your doctor before implementing IF into your lifestyle if you are pregnant.

Is it okay to IF while breastfeeding? 

Fasting can affect your milk production because it limits the amount of food and liquid for you and your baby. Please consult with your doctor before implementing IF into your lifestyle.

I do HIIT exercising early in the morning. Is it okay to NOT eat beforehand? 

Depending on the person, it can be totally okay to not eat before you do a HIIT workout! If you feel nauseous, lightheaded, or experience any other symptoms, please listen to your body and eat before HIIT. Of course, ask your doctor if you have any concerns or hesitations.

How long until I see results from IF? 

Everyone is different, with different metabolisms and hormone levels. Results usually show within two weeks to three months.

How many days a week should I intermittent fast? 

This is a personal preference! For me, I practice IF 4-5 days a week. There is always a one week “transition” period to get your body in the intermittent fasting routine, so remember to always listen to your body—if IF makes you feel good, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t!

How long will it take for me to get used to intermittent fasting? The first week is hard! 

There is usually a one week “transition” period to get your body in the intermittent fasting routine. After the first week, things should get easier. If they don’t, intermittent fasting might not be the best for you. 

What are the negative side effects from IF? 

If you have any previous medical conditions, are over 65, or are prescribed medications, IF may not be for you. Please check with your doctor first if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have diabetes, are younger than 18 or are underweight before implementing IF.

What other questions do you have about IF? Comment below! 

Keep up the HUSTLE,

Helen

There you have it. Be sure to follow Helen & Blender Bombs on Instagram. Also, stay tuned because next week Helen spills all the deets on Naomie Olindo’s body transformation.

x, lauryn

+ if you’re into intermittent fasting read about my experience with it here.

++ also, hear what Ingrid has to say about I.F. here.

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