As part of our #fitnessisalifestyle campaign, I am going to create small nutrition challenges that you can work on each month! The goal isn’t perfection here.. it’s just to become a “little bit better” than you were yesterday. This is how we create new habits and lasting change. Let’s use each other for motivation and new ideas!! Coach Jennifer
The challenge for OCTOBER is:
TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING!
There are many different nutrition strategies that can work to help you manage your diet and get you to your goals. Things like counting macro’s, Whole 30 challenges, low carb diet, Keto, intermittent fasting and more. One is not necessarily better than another.. it’s about what works best for YOU and your lifestyle. Just because your friend lost a bunch of weight with a certain strategy doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. The way to find out what plan fits you best is simple… TRY IT!
This month, your challenge is to try INTERMITTENT FASTING or IF for short. IF is simply a protocol where you cycle through periods of eating and fasting (not eating).
We will focus on two of the most common eating patterns.
- 24 Hour fast: 1-2 days a week you will not eat food for 24 hours. A common way to do this is to eat dinner one evening and not eat again until dinner the next day.
- 16/8 or 14/10 daily eating window: This means a 16 hour fasting window with an 8 hour eating window or 14hr fast and 10hr eating. A common time frame would be to skip breakfast and have your first meal at 12pm and only eat until 8pm that evening.
You will want to be consistent, so choose a pattern that fits your lifestyle the best. If you choose the daily cycles, you should continue even on the weekends. The idea is that with a shortened eating window, you will be in a slight caloric deficit, which will aid in fat loss. Only eat when you are actually hungry. When fasting, you can have herbal teas, black coffee and water… but nothing with calories.
Tread carefully! If you’ve never tried IF, be aware of how you feel. Hydration is very helpful. Start with shorter intervals and work up. Do not extend your fast beyond 24 hours without talking with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist.
What about fitness?
Regarding working out, you should aim to break your daily fasts with your post workout meal. So if you decide to skip breakfast and train at 12pm, you would eat your first meal after that. If you feel like you have no energy for training, try some branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) before and/or during to help. Do not train during a 24 hour fast… this is too much stress for the body making recovery challenging.
So we’ve talked about the WHAT and HOW.. but WHY should we try intermittent fasting??? There are many proven benefits to fasting… here are a few:
- Weight loss
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control
- Increased energy
- Better focus and cognitive function
- Appetite control and getting in touch with natural hunger cues
- Slows down aging and increases HGH
- Optimizes metabolism so you burn fat more efficiently
The science is pretty compelling regarding fasting and it’s used as a protocol to heal multiple diseases. If you would like to learn more check out ‘The Science of Fasting’ on Amazon Prime.
Challenge Dates & Details
The challenge officially starts Monday, October 1st. Make sure to log your results on SugarWod each Monday for the week before (beginning the 8th). This month I have 1 bag of PE Sports Beef Protein and Greens Powder to give a way!! You will get 1 entry each time you log your score on SugarWod.
Don’t forget to use #fitnessisalifestyle and #diablocrossfit when posting your successes or comments on Facebook and Instagram.
Remember, these monthly Nutrition Challenges are meant to ‘challenge’ you to try something new and different. You may discover you really love it and it works great for you! Use the support of your fellow Diablo members to try this nutrition strategy for yourself and see what you think. I am here if you have questions or need additional support! If you have any questions at all, just ask me or post to the FB group.. I’m sure there’s someone else wondering the same thing 😉
Coach Jennifer Ismar