WHAT Is Intermittent Fasting?
It is a pattern of eating where you restrict the hours that you eat. In my book, and around this site, we refer to this as “eating windows”. You open your eating window when you consume your first meal or snack of the day, and you close your eating window after your last calorie is consumed. There is no magic number of hours each person should remain in their eating window, some people have found that 8 hours work for them, for some it is 6 hours, and others will only eat one meal a day. There is more info on this below. But the gist of this lifestyle is that you are not restricting the types of food you eat, but instead the hours in which you eat.
WHEN can I eat?
You have to figure out what works for you because everyone is different and our windows won’t all be the same. There are some people who only eat one meal a day (also called OMAD) in a 30 minute window everyday. Some people eat in a five hour window and have one snack and one meal a little while later. If you’re someone who’s going to do OMAD, just be sure you’re not binging. You may need to spend time enough time practicing it until you regulate.
Personally, I couldn’t lose weight in an eight hour window. I don’t believe many women can unless you’re eating really clean, really small portions. When I’m trying to maintain my weight I do a six hour window with one medium sized meal around 12pm, and something small around 5:30pm. That works really well for me. When my goal is to lose weight, I try to stick to that one meal a day, but it’s usually in a two hour window where I’m eating a nice meal, and then I may have another small snack. You’ll need to tinker with your window to find out what works for you. If your goal is weight loss, you may need to tighten your window and the amount of food you eat. If you’re maintaining, you have more flexibility. Some people want a rigid plan with someone telling them exactly what to do, but with the Chantel Ray Way you have to modify everything to fit you.
Something you want to pay attention is your satiety signals. It’s a signal your nervous system gets that gives you that sense of fullness. Now that I’m doing intermittent fasting, my satiety signals are so good. Yesterday I went to lunch and I tried a lot of different foods; I had a little bit of this and a little bit of that and when I was done I was 100% satisfied with no desire to eat anything else for the rest of the day.
HOW do I start Intermittent Fasting?
I recommend starting with an 8 hour window, which means that you fast for 16 hours a day, and eat for 8. An example of this would be eating your first meal at 11am, and finishing your last meal at 7pm. Once you are comfortable with the 8 hour window, I recommend trying a shorter window such as 6 hours. Eventually you may even work your way up to what we call a power fast, which is a 24 hour fast. Usually from lunch one day to lunch the next day, or from dinner to dinner. But for now, start with a longer window to ensure that you aren’t tempted to binge and give your body time to adjust.
WHO is Intermittent Fasting recommended for?
EVERYONE! The principles that you will find around this website, and in my book are completely based on getting to know and listening to YOUR body. While the windows for each person may look different, based on fitness goals, other health conditions, etc, the principles remain the same. Let your body tell you when you are full, and don’t overfeed it!