It’s not that you are incapable, it’s just you set yourself up for failure from the start.
Let me explain.
I’m Angela, health/nutrition/weight loss coach. I help my clients to design a lifestyle, to design habits to maintain the level of health and fitness they want, get and maintain simply the body they want to have for life.
Many of my clients, especially women come to me and say, “I can’t stick with intermittent fasting! I end up overeating, or eating the wrong thing or binging, or all of it together. Please help me to stick with it!”
And then I usually ask them to start with telling me what and when they eat or trying to eat. And very often I hear something like, “I try having one (or 2 meals) a day. I might eat a cup of low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit for breakfast and for lunch/dinner I might eat some veggies and some fish.”
It’s about 1000–1200 calories or even less!
How do you expect your body to be OK with fasting when the rest of the time you are starving yourself?
Basically, what you are trying to do is to starve yourself of many many calories and essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, essential fats and proteins — ALL the time!
How do you expect this to work? Do you think that’s how people for whom intermittent fasting works do it?
Why do people for whom it works love intermittent fasting?
Because they don’t have to count and restrict calories all the time to maintain and lose weight! They prefer to eat less often but enjoy full-sized meals!
Take me as an example.
Every Sunday I fast for 36–42 hours. Every day I fast for 18–22 hours.
What do I eat when I eat?
Yesterday for my first meal I ate a plate of fruit, followed by 250g of plain full-fat yogurt with 2 table spoons of crushed flaxseeds, enriched with vitamin D, followed by 40g of 100% chocolate and a whole avocado. I took my multivitamins, minerals.
After going out to run some errands I cooked and ate 400g of fatty lamb steaks, lots of spinach and kale with herbs and spices, half of a big sweet potato and 30g more of 100% dark chocolate.
How many calories is all that?
Probably around 2000 or more.
You see the difference?
I’m not restricting my calories on top of intermittent fasting and I make sure that I’m overconsuming essential vitamins and minerals, and fats and carbs, and loads of fiber from whole foods.
Today is Sunday, when I usually fast the whole day.
And there’s no freaking way I’d be able to pull that off, if the day before I starved myself with some nutritionally-poor starvation meal plan. No freaking way!
If you are being hard on yourself trying to be on a calorie-restrictive diet fasting all the time — it’s not you, it’s starvation, that messes up your intermittent fasting attempts! People who succeed and love intermittent fasting don’t do that. You either choose to do more fasting or more calorie restriction. Trying to do both is setting yourself up for failure, for binging, for insatiable hunger, for junk food cravings.
And guys, it’s not just about calories, it’s also about essential nutrients. You’ll be hungry even if you overconsume calories and energy, undereating, lacking essential for human life vitamins and minerals, essential fats and proteins. Our body senses energy but it also senses if we don’t have enough of nutrients we need to live a healthy life.
That’s why it’s important to have a balanced diet. Many many of my clients are doing that — trying to go vegan, or eating not enough potassium-rich foods, or trying to eat low-fat, or eating the same meals over and over again getting more of some nutrients and not enough of others.
That’s why there’s this phrase “overstuffed and undernourished” meaning “overstuffed with calories and lacking essential nutrients necessary for life” — and we can fall into that pattern even when eating just healthy foods, just vegan, just veggies — it doesn’t matter! Eat just apples or potatoes, or salads and you’ll be heading for a health disaster very soon, lacking essential fats or proteins, or vitamins and minerals.
You want to do intermittent fasting? You want to finally be able to stick with it?
Make sure that:
- You don’t starve yourself when you eat, getting enough energy/calories from your meals, eating to normal feeling of fullness (not stuffed either).
- You eat a balanced diet, taking care of all the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins and fats in sufficient for you amounts.
*I can help you to design a balanced diet, that will help to make fasting work for you.
Tune in FOOD SCHOOL Smarter Stronger Leaner podcast — on a mission to inspire a world where food makes us better!
🙂THANK YOU FOR READING!
Sign up for all the updates and my free 10-day email course: Health. Foundation Series.