Teaching your body to burn fat effectively takes the right combination of nutritional strategies and exercise. Much of what we’ve been taught by the health and fitness industry is actually causing us to store fat and decreasing our metabolism. We are often told to workout intensely, 6 days a week, and eat several mini-meals while restricting calories to alarmingly low levels.
Unfortunately, while this will get results initially, it will also mess with your hormones in some pretty significant ways and eventually slow down your metabolism. I know this because it happened to me, and because research has shown the negative effects of this type of lifestyle.
It wasn’t until I began to implement intermittent fasting that I started to see some real results. This, paired with carb cycling and effective workouts, got me leaner and more fit than I had ever been.
Fasting might sound a little scary, but I promise you...it isn’t as bad as it sounds!
Intermittent fasting is exactly what it sounds like: short periods of fasting, intermittently. This strategy has a growing body of research behind it and has far more health benefits than simply fat burning. Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet, but an eating schedule.
Your body is always in one of two states: fasted or fed. When you eat several meals throughout the day, your body is always in a fed state. While in the fed state your insulin levels are elevated, which makes it more difficult for your body to burn fat effectively. However, after about 12 hours of not eating, your body goes into a fasted state. While in the fasted state, your insulin levels are lower, and your body will reach into its fat stores for energy. This will help you burn fat more effectively and will not only have an effect on your overall weight loss, but will make a difference in your body composition as well.
While there are several different types of intermittent fasting schedules, a daily fast of 12 to 16 hours is the most sustainable and easiest to implement when starting out. This simply means you would fast for 12 to 16 hours each day and then consume your normal amount of calories and macros during the other 12 to 8 hours. This is not a way to significantly restrict your calories, because doing that slows down your metabolic rate and can have an adverse effect on weight loss. Instead, during your 8 hour eating window, you would consume all of your allotted calories for the day with whole foods that will get you close to your macro goals.
A daily fast gives your digestive system and thyroid time to rest each day. It also keeps your hunger hormones in check (this sounds counterintuitive, but it actually happens after a couple of weeks), and will increase your energy levels, improve the quality of your sleep and boost your immune system and mood.
Intermittent fasting isn’t scary, but a simple way to give your digestive system time to rest, increase your energy levels and turn your body into an effective fat burner. It is worth checking out and experimenting with my friends!!
Talk to you soon,
P.S. If you are interested in learning how to pair intermittent fasting and carb cycling with effective HIIT and strength training workouts, check out my FAT Loss Online Program. It has everything you need to burn fat effectively, increase your energy levels, and build the body you want!