We’ve all been there. Counting calories. Tracking macros. Exercising daily. Weighing way too often to track progress…and so on…
Hey, I get it. We as 40-somethings are just trying to shed those irritating extra 10 pounds that are stubborn as all get out!
If you’re ready to take a break from all the tracking and are considering other options to losing weight “naturally”, then intermittent fasting might be a solution for you.
Intermittent fasting is basically choosing certain times for eating each day, or “eating windows” that allow for longer periods of non-eating, which allows the body to process food more efficiently.
Because you consume your calories within a certain time frame, you tend to eat less in a 24 period. Once you get your mindset clicked into the intermittent “eating window”, it gives you freedom.
Freedom from all the tedious calorie counting and exercise tracking. Freedom to relax into your life, enjoy the food within your “eating window” and the freedom to stop all the stress and self-judgement having to do with food and counting calories.
Intermittent Fasting is Not Starving Yourself
Intermittent fasting is NOT a way to starve yourself and just eat as little as possible. It is important and necessary to still be eating an adequate amount of calories for your body, it just happens to be within a shorter eating window.
Many people start with the 16/8 schedule where you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8 hours. This still gives you a good amount of time for 2-3 meals and a snack or two.
Keep your meals within this shortened window, and you will notice that not only do you tend to eat less overall, but your body adjusts your hunger and fullness levels to this window as well.
Have a Kitchen “Closing” Time
Another simple way to shorten your eating window with intermittent fasting is to have a kitchen cut-off time.
Just like a restaurant, this is a time during the evening when your kitchen is closed, and you no longer run back for more snacks or nighttime treats.
People who like to stay up late, watching TV or burning the midnight oil with work projects, are more likely to go and grab those late night snacks. While there is nothing wrong with it, it could make it harder to burn calories naturally and make it harder to sleep with digestion issues.
Research has shown that having a 3 hour window of non-eating before bed, allows the body to have optimum digestion and metabolism for higher quality sleep. This may prevent problems like heartburn at night and even insomnia.
Learning how to adapt intuitive and mindful eating into your lifestyle can be a big game changer. Start to observe how your body feels during different times of the day.
Do you get light-headed or brain-foggy if you go too long without eating? Do you have a habit of snacking when you’re bored instead of being actually hungry? Do you get sweet cravings every afternoon?
The more you understand about your body and what motivates you to choose certain foods, the easier it will be to follow these cues and choose the best foods to eat during your “eating window”. You can also determine what the best time during the day to plug in your “eating-window”.
Every woman is unique. You need to find what works for you. It is good to begin by modeling a time-frame that is generally successful for most people like the 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule.
But…It is important to find the best time frame that works for you and your lifestyle. Maybe you shift hour lengths a little longer one way or the other. It is also important to determine how to place your eating window within your day so you can have the best benefits from it.
Remember small changes can add up to big results. Move forward with love for yourself.
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