Intermittent Fasting

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There’s a new buzz phrase in the dieting community that is getting lots of coverage. It’s called intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is the concept of going 12 – 18 hours without food.
Some research is showing it’s a great idea.

When I first developed Plan Z, I designed it as two full meals, or two meals with up to 4 snacks per day. I reasoned (correctly it turns out), that most overweight people aren’t hungry in the morning and don’t feel like eating. I knew I didn’t feel like eating in the morning, and as I asked more and more overweight people, I found a trend brewing. I was not alone in my disinterest in food in the morning.

Whether thin or thick in body mass, it turns out in both camps there are people who are just not naturally wired to eat in the morning. Food actually turns them off.

We all learned that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Turns out for some it’s not true. Depending on how you’re wired, if you’re one of the people who doesn’t want to eat in the morning, your body won’t process the food as efficiently. If you go ahead and eat, it’s more likely to turn that extra food into fat. Yikes!

It’s also been proven that if people who don’t want to eat in the morning skip breakfast, they are not likely to make up the difference later. Many people thought if you didn’t eat breakfast early in the morning that somewhere around 10 or 11 AM you’d be prone to face planting in the donuts in the break room. Again, not true.

So for those who don’t want to eat in the morning, it’s okay. You can stop paying attention to those breakfast cereal ads.

What about those who eat in morning now? Can they benefit from intermittent fasting?
The answer is yes.

Turns out what happens when you go at least 12 hours without eating (and even up to 18), that it causes your hormones to reboot. That cleaning out of your system actually helps your body function more efficiently.

In America (in particular), we have adapted to eating throughout the day. Meals, snacks, drinks for up to 19 hours out of 24 in a lot of cases. That’s actually not good for you. We evolved to have to go periods without food. During the foraging days, maybe it took us a whole extra day to catch up with, and kill, the food we were going to eat. During those times we fasted. That was a good thing as long as it didn’t go on too long.

So if you don’t want to eat breakfast in the morning, don’t. You’ve been made to feel guilty for too long. Let it go, knowing your intermittent fasting is supported by better health.


One other question that comes up pretty often is: What if I eat late at night? Is that bad?
The answer to that is yes and no.

Here’s the backstory:

Turns out your body digests at the same rate 24 hours a day. So it’s not necessary to eat early to get your food to digest.
The only issue is whether you go to sleep right after you eat.
Think this through with me…

When you eat late you’re likely tired from your day. It’s bedtime to your brain. So your brain wants to go to sleep.

Eat late at night and your intestines are busy digesting so they want to you to stay awake.
Those things don’t go together very well. You’re confusing your system.

So if you eat late, the idea is to stay up for a while. 3 hours is good. Your body has processed your food by then so your intestines are ready to wind down for the night.

This indicates that it’s perfectly okay for night owls to eat late. Or people who work crazy shifts. It’s alright to do what comes naturally to you.

The only other thing that factors into this is your stomach. If you are prone to heartburn, it’s not a good idea to lie down too soon after eating. That behavior contributes to acid reflux. That’s uncomfortable and can be downright painful.

Good news is when you lose weight you’re less likely to be prone to things like heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD. Another fabulous reason to get your weight under control.


Pork Chops with Thyme and Mustard

An easy and tasty meal that comes together in a jiffy. Big Yum!