Fast for 20 hours. Eat every third day.
What mom has time for that? And who can stick to that kind of schedule?!?!
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Luckily, you can reap the benefits of intermittent fasting without much effort. For us moms, I recommend what’s called the 10-hour eating window (or an 8-hour eating window). Combined with eating healthy and regular exercise, intermittent fasting is a great way to jumpstart weight loss or break or plateau.
All you have to do is restrict all of your food intake to a 10 hour window. 8 to 6, 9 to 5, 11 to 9. Or whatever fits best into your schedule.
Here are some of the (many) benefits of following a 10-hour eating schedule:
#1 It can help you break through difficult weight loss plateaus. You know, when you are exercising regularly and eating well but can’t seem to lose weight.
#2 Allows your body time to dig into fat stores rather than quick energy from recent meals, boosting weight loss.
#3 Makes you more conscious of your eating habits, naturally reducing intake of unhealthy foods.
And the best part is that intermittent fasting is easy. It doesn’t impact what you eat, just when you’re eating it. So, as long as you’re making healthy choices about what you eat (read: limiting your intake of processed foods), it can help jumpstart weight loss.
By limiting the time frame, you eliminate extra calories. But we never recommend dropping below 1200-1500 calories.
Before you start, a couple words of CAUTION
Intermittent fasting is perfect for busy moms. But moms that are breastfeeding or pregnant should not restrict their eating. You need the extra nutrients and calories to feed your baby ????
If you have any hormonal issues or autoimmune disorders, speak with your doctor first. It’s possible that women have an increase, decrease or disruption in hormone production. If that’s your case, I recommended trying intermittent fasting every other day. For me, my doctor encourages intermittent fasting with my two autoimmune disorders. As with everything…there is no one size fits all;)
Also, there isn’t enough research to suggest this eating schedule is safe for kids. Plus, if your kids are anything like mine, they eat all day!
Intermittent fasting: When you eat, not how you eat
Intermittent fasting doesn’t mean restricting what you eat—though I always encourage you to make healthy decisions—but rather the window in which you eat it.
Here’s how to get started. Look to our nutrition guides for healthy food options, and then restrict your 2-3 meals and 1-2 snacks into an eight-hour window. That way you are never too hungry or too full during the 8-10 hour time frame.
Of course, you can (and should!) have water throughout the day. You can also have coffee and other calorie-free beverages outside of your window.
A couple of tips on sticking to the schedule
- What to do when you’re a breakfast person
It’s a myth that you need breakfast immediately when you wake up. My advice? Drink a cup of water immediately upon waking up. This should curb cravings and give your body the hydration and energy you need to start your day. And simply eat breakfast within a few hours of waking.
- What to do when you exercise in the morning
Unless you’re planning on a high-intensity workout at least 50 minutes in length, you should have enough glycogen stored in your body to fuel your workout. If you work out for more than 50 minutes, I recommend eating half an apple to help you get through the workout. Then you can have your first full meal during your 10-hour window.If you find it difficult to get through your workouts, feel free to ease into the schedule. Perhaps you wait until 7 a.m. one morning to eat. Then, after a few days, push it to 8. Within a week, you should feel comfortable starting your eating window at 9 or later.