This is not going to be a post with medical tips for how to use intermittent fasting to survive in a pandemic. I am not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV. Don't look to me for your medical advice, in fact. There are people for that.
But, I am a person, just like you. I am an intermittent faster, just like you. And I AM STRESSED. Just like you.
Deep breath. Yep. Me, too. I’m also feeling the effects of stress during these uncertainties. Anyone else feeling weepy, or panicked, or just generally out of sorts? Anyone looking longingly at the snack cabinet, or the fridge, or, heck...the liquor cabinet?
Yep. We probably all are feeling this, to one degree or another.
The world feels OUT OF CONTROL. Our brains cry out to be soothed. We reach for food.
This article explains why we have a tendency to turn to food when we are stressed: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat. See? Biology. It's not your fault.
Be strong, friends. In this season of our lives, we have little control of what is happening in our world. But, we CAN lean into our daily fasting practice.
Maybe today your window is longer than you wanted it to be. That’s okay.
Maybe today you reached for comfort foods. That’s okay.
Maybe this season in our lives will be a story of weight maintenance rather than weight loss. That’s also okay.
Whatever happens, though, leave the guilt at the door. Social distance yourself from the guilt, in fact. THERE IS NO PLACE FOR GUILT in our lives right now. QUARANTINE THAT GUILT somewhere that you can't see or feel it.
Fast clean, and allow yourself to feel empowered as you do.
None of us knows what the future holds. While we wait for our world to heal, relax into your life as you can. Create your new-normal, and develop new routines. Look for joy and beauty in your life. Turn off the news. Connect with friends and loved ones virtually. Make time to have fun.
You can use this as a time to strengthen your intermittent fasting practice rather than allowing it to fall by the wayside.
How can you use this time to strengthen your IF practice? I have a few suggestions:
If you are looking for intermittent fasting inspiration, listen to episodes of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast. You can listen for free on any podcast app, and starting in April, there will be 2 episodes per week for you to listen to: one on Tuesday, and one on Thursday. It's impossible to listen to these stories and not feel inspired.
Read (or reread) my books: Delay, Don't Deny and/or Feast Without Fear. Delay, Don't Deny will remind you why you choose to live an intermittent fasting lifestyle, and Feast Without Fear will teach you why we are all different when it comes to what foods work best for our unique bodies...so you can leave all food-related guilt by the wayside. (Amazon is not shipping paperbacks at the moment, but the Kindle version is available for immediate download. You can also listen to DDD for FREE on Audible if you are a new subscriber. Click HERE.)
Listen to The Intermittent Fasting Podcast (available on any podcast app) to hear listener questions and other IF-related chat from me and cohost Melanie Avalon.
Join my Facebook support group. Click here to find it (make sure to answer the three membership questions to join.) Our community is coming together during this difficult time to support one another through it.
Fast on, friends. We've got this.
Good news! No. Skincare does not break the fast...unless you are eating it. Please do not eat your skincare products.
That being said, does our skincare matter? I'm glad you asked!
If you know me, you know that I’ve been living an intermittent fasting lifestyle since 2014. When I started, I continued to eat the Standard American Diet (or “SAD”), but over time, my body has naturally guided me toward different choices during my eating window. Now, I make much different choices when it comes to the foods I eat, and I feel better at 50 than I did at 30.
The changes in what I eat have carried over to other parts of my life, as well. These days, I make more natural choices when it comes to cleaning products, wine, and even things like deodorant, skincare, and makeup.
Enter Melanie Avalon and Beautycounter.
As with many things Melanie loves (think Native, Joovv, Feals, etc.), here is what happens. Melanie will start talking about something on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast, and I am not interested. I don’t need whatever it is she is using, ThankYouVeryMuch.
But over time, I’ll start looking into whatever it is, and before you know it, I’m HOOKED. That is what happened with Beautycounter.
Why do I love Beautycounter? While we often think of exposure to toxins in our food or cleaning products, guess what is one of the biggest sources of toxic exposure that we’re directly exposed to each and every day, especially for women? That would be our skincare and makeup! Our skin is actually our body’s largest organ, and what we put on our skin can go directly into our bloodstream. Even though I don't want you to eat your skincare, as I already said, the products enter your body as if you were eating them. And did you know there is essentially no government regulation in place for skincare products? While Europe has banned over 1000 chemicals from skincare, the US has banned fewer than 10! These compounds have been linked to hormonal issues, metabolic problems, microbiome imbalances, and even cancers. Would you put any of that in your black coffee? I wouldn’t. So why would we put it into our bodies through our skin?
It can be hard to find safe skincare and makeup that actually works. Thankfully, there’s Beautycounter. They formulate amazing skincare and makeup and do extensive testing to create products that actually work, look amazing and most importantly, are safe for your skin. With Beautycounter, you can easily switch to safer skincare and makeup.
And, not only is it so safe it’s Melanie-approved, but the makeup and skincare products are also high-quality. I’ve switched over my makeup drawer, and I’m thrilled.
When you shop with me at beautycounter.com/ginstephens, you are helping to support the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast with every purchase.
If you want to try Beautycounter (and once you visit their website, you know you will!), I highly suggest you become a Band of Beauty member. It’s sort of like Amazon Prime for skincare. Go to the menu and select “become a member”.
For $29 a year, Band of Beauty members receive:
I’m so excited to introduce y’all to this amazing company. Let me know what products you love in the Facebook groups!
This poem was written by Masha Twinkletoes and she shared it in our online support group the other day. Well, we all loved it so much that I asked for permission to post it here on my website. You can also find a YouTube link of Masha reading her poem to you at this link.
I hope y'all enjoy this Seuss-style IF poem as much as I do!
Once upon a time, in a land far away
Lived a woman who battled poor health every day
Digestion so slow, immune system so weak
She needed a change, a reset, a tweak
For as long as she knew, she’d always been “round”
She’d tried all the diets, losing pound by pound
First low fat, then Slim Fast, then Atkins, then juicing
Counting calories, macros, restricting, reducing
Getting her hopes up, “This must be the way!”
Yet gaining it all back at the end of the day
And blaming herself for not sticking it out
“YOU QUIT YET AGAIN?!” she’d hear herself shout
Feeling tired and cranky, discouraged and sad
Till one day she saw yet another new “fad”
Her friend had been fasting and seeing results
“Hmm… Is this legit? Or one of those cults?”
With nothing to lose, and desire to try
She settled on reading “Delay, Don’t Deny”
It sounded so easy, too good to be true
Eat what you want, while losing weight too?
Just make sure your windows are properly spaced
Eating 6 meals a day should be replaced
By fasting at least 16 hours per day
Drinking water, plain tea, and black coffee’s OK
Without hesitation she jumped in with both feet
Fasting long as she could, before she would eat
At first the days dragged, as her body adjusted
They say “trust the process” so the process she trusted
A few pounds came off, but there was no huge change
Her fasting routine she’d switch up, rearrange
Months passed and she noticed her appetite ceased
Her thighs, and her hips, and her waist had decreased
Her weight was the same, but her shape was brand new
Less pudgy, more toned, and her confidence grew
But how does this work? Whats the science behind it?
The answer is there, you just have to find it
“Obesity Code” was next on her list
If insulin’s high, your fat will persist
High insulin’s triggered by eating all day
But fasting helps fat stores just melt away
However, take note, it’s not always so quick
Sometimes your body plays a neat trick
Fasting is known to increase HGH
It helps you look younger, reversing your age
It builds you more muscle, bone density rises
Your weight *may* increase, but you’ll lose a few sizes
Autophagy ramps up as you lengthen your fast
Recycling old cells, and renewing at last
But, isn’t fasting like starving, you wonder confused
NO, your body has plenty of fuel to be used
But don’t calories in equal calories out?
NO! they aren’t all equal, without a doubt
OK, but I’m hungry, which means I should eat
Those nagging old thoughts can be so hard to beat
It’s all in your head though, just take a deep breath
You’ll soon get to eat, you’re not starving to death
And don’t get discouraged, this isn’t a race
Everyone’s journey has it’s own pace
Eating non-stop is what got us all here
Our signals of satiety have all disappeared
Hormonal imbalance is now the new norm
Our mindset and habits we must reform
After reading and researching all through the night
Our heroine sighed, and took her last bite
Closing her window, and shifting her thinking
To long-lasting health, and her belly fat shrinking
Months flew by quick, her weight stayed the same
But her mind was at peace, no guilt and no shame
Digestion improved, her immune system stronger
Her nails and hair grew longer and longer
Her skin cleared up, and her wrinkles receded
Her eyes looked much bigger, she felt she’d succeeded
In shifting her mindset, and settling in
To fasting and feeling OK in her skin
She realized healing inside must come first
The weight will fall off when the damage’s reversed
Clean fasting is key, it’s not worth it to cheat
Just stick to your guns, success will taste sweet
She fasted, she feasted, she lost and she gained
Through hard times and hurdles, determined remained
She knew that she finally found “The Way”
Fasting and feasting, don’t deny, just delay!
By: Masha Twinkletoes
Are you tired of making a New Year's Resolution every single year to lose weight and/or get healthy? I get it. I used to be you. ALLLLLL of those years of diet resolutions, and I would be diet-ed out before January was even over. Sound familar?
Good news! 2020 can be the LAST TIME you make a New Year's Resolution about losing weight, EVER! It's true...you can join the intermittent fasting revolution and get off of the diet roller coaster for good!
I am what you might call an early adopter, and I am proud of it. I began dabbling in IF back in 2009, finally getting serious in 2014 once my weight got up to 210 pounds. I was obese and it was time to do something about it. I lost over 80 pounds living an intermittent fasting lifestyle, and unlike diet plans of the past, the weight has stayed off over the years.
These are a few of my before-and-after shots. Thank you, intermittent fasting!
As you can imagine, I LOVE intermittent fasting for what it has done for me. Every year I say the same thing: THIS is the year that Intermittent Fasting will be mainstream! And every year, that becomes more and more true.
I'm excited to announce that 2020 is *the* year we have all been waiting for. And to know that this is true, you can look no further than the most recent issue of the world's leading medical journal: The New England Journal of Medicine. In it, there is a review article that has gotten the attention of both doctors and the media. The article is called Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease, and you can access it for FREE at this link: www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMra1905136 Please note that you will need to sign up for a free account to access the article, but it is worth the two minutes that it will take you to sign up, and the New England Journal of Medicine isn't going to spam you. I promise.
Here are a few of the benefits outlined in the NEJM article:
The article goes on to list a wide variety of clinical applications for intermittent fasting:
As I like to call it, intermittent fasting is the health plan with a side effect of weight loss.
Here is a summary article from Johns Hopkins: "Intermittent Fasting: Live 'Fast,' Live Longer?"
The research from this review article was covered by all of the major news outlets over the past couple of days, and if you want to read their summaries, here are a few:
Web MD: "Intermittent Fasting Diet Could Boost Your Health"
CNN: "Intermittent Fasting May Make You Live Longer"
NBC: "Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You? Regimen Boosts Weight Loss, Disease Resistance"
ABC: "Intermittent Fasting is Google's Most-Searched Diet of 2019: Is it Right for You?"
Fox: "Fasting Diets May Add Years to Your Life As Well As Help You Lose Weight, New Study Suggests"
So! Now you're convinced. Intermittent fasting is NOT a passing fad, and it is the real deal. Not only will you get healthier, but you might even shed those pounds you are hoping to get rid of...for good.
That's one of the best features of living an intermittent fasting lifestyle, in fact. As your body gets healthier over time, you should also lose weight. Turns out we have had it backwards this whole time: we don't lose weight in order to get healthier. We actually need to get healthier in order to lose weight. And, intermittent fasting helps us do both. As our body works to reverse insulin resistance, for example, we can finally tap into our stored fat for fuel...that's why it's there, after all.
You may be wondering how to get started. Intermittent fasting is free...nothing to buy, and no special foods or supplements needed. Well, there is one thing to buy--my book: Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. In it, you will learn how to craft an intermittent fasting lifestyle that works for you, and you will make 2020 your healthiest year yet. Yes, intermittent fasting is simple, but there are a few things you need to know before you get started, and they are all explained in the book. As one example, a clean fast is the key to long term success, and you'll learn the science behind why it matters (and it's also in my blog post here, if you absolutely can't wait to get started. Promise me: nail the clean fast before you do anything else. It matters.)
Keep in mind...this isn't a "lose 20 pounds by next Tuesday" plan, and you won't "drop three sizes in two weeks." What you will do is begin to feel better and better over time, and you can be assured that your body is healing in so many ways that you can't even see. Refer back to the New England Journal of Medicine article to remind yourself of all of the amazing health benefits associated with an intermittent fasting lifestyle.
Are you ready? Make your resolution and join the revolution! #DelayDontDenyIntermittentFasting
Today's blog post is just for fun, but also should be motivational as you locate yourself somewhere within these stages. I have shared this in my Facebook support groups over the years, but now it's here for everyone.
You may notice that you cycle through some of the steps more than once, but most people seem to experience most (if not all) of these stages somewhere along the way.
1. I'm going to do it! Day 1!
2. What do you mean I have to drink my coffee black???
3. The headache. Oh, I'm so tired.
4. Why am I bingeing the minute my window opens???
5. It's been 6 weeks, and I haven't lost weight/I'm gaining weight. HELP!
6. Hey! Suddenly I'm not as hungry! I got full before I finished my dinner!
7. I have so much energy! No more slumps during the day. This is great!
8. My pants are looser, but the scale still says I haven't lost weight.
9. All of a sudden, I am down two sizes…
10. Help! I've stopped losing weight again! What am I doing wrong???
11. None of my clothes fit. I need a smaller wardrobe!
12. Suddenly I am craving vegetables more than snack foods! Who am I?
13. #FoodSnob, when only the best will do. Food must be “window worthy!”
15. Maintenance. I'll never eat any other way again. #DDDForLife
I have been happily at stage 15 since 2015, and it's definitely a way of life for me now. My wish is for you to join me here and discover the freedom that comes along with intermittent fasting and the Delay, Don't Deny way of life. Get the book and learn how to live the lifestyle for yourself!
One day last week I was Googling myself (y’all ever do that? Why does it sound just a bit naughty?) and was surprised to see one of the search terms that popped up was “Gin Stephens Bread Recipe.” Um, wow. People are looking for my bread recipe? I am not a chef, nor do I play one on TV, so that was a huge surprise! It just so happens that I do have a wonderful bread recipe that I have fine tuned over the months, and I make amazing homemade rolls from wheat flour that I mill from wheat berries. And, the recipe isn't written down anywhere to be found...yet. That changes today! And, since people have been searching for "Gin Stephens Bread Recipe," that is what I called this blog post. #KeepingItSimple #GivePeopleWhatTheySearchFor
So, who’s ready for a bread-making lesson? No matter where you are along the continuum, this blog post has got you covered.
If you have read my second book, Feast Without Fear, you may remember my fascination with Michael Pollan's Netflix series Cooked. I really loved episode 3 (Air), which explores the evolution of bread-making. I was absolutely glued to the television as a woman made bread while sitting on the floor of her living room. She mixed it with her hands, added water, and you could tell that bread making was automatic for her. As soon as I watched that episode, I thought, "I want to do that."
But, I was REALLY intimidated by the thought of baking bread. I had played around with it a decade previously, and I even dabbled in milling my own wheat. I got a fancy bread machine, a fancy wheat mill, and I experimented. Because I never really got the hang of it, I soon lost interest, and those appliances joined the others in my appliance graveyard (also known as the REALLY high-up cabinets). Looking back, I think the bread machine may have been the issue. When I watched Cooked, the bread makers got personal with their bread. They touched it. They worked it with their hands. The bread machine turned it into a more clinical process and so I never really connected with it.
About four months after releasing Feast Without Fear. I was at an event with other ladies from my community, and one of the women brought a loaf of bread she baked. She casually mentioned that there was a book that changed her life called The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I bought the book on my Amazon phone app that very minute and I have been baking homemade bread for my family ever since.
If you are a beginner, as I was, this book is perfect for you. I recommend that you begin with the Master Recipe on page 53. You can do many things with it, but my favorite was making the dinner rolls, and the recipe is on page 88. Why is this book so special? It's their simple technique. You mix up a few simple ingredients (flour, lukewarm water, salt, and yeast), stir it together until you have a wet dough, let it rise on the counter (still in the bowl) and then you throw it into the fridge (covered) until you are ready to use the dough. Every night, I would pinch off enough dough to make the number of rolls we needed for dinner, let them rest on the countertop while the oven preheated and the rolls came to room temperature, and then bake them. The rest of the dough went back into the fridge, and one batch would last for several days, gaining an almost sourdough characteristic as the days passed. We were immediately hooked. I used organic white flour, and the rolls were fluffy and delicious.
Fast forward again, this time 9 months. I was cleaning out some cabinets and ran across my old grain mill. All of a sudden, I knew that it was time to take my bread baking to the next level.
I had a bit of a mishap at first: a very important seal was missing/broken on the grain mill, so when I attempted to grind the wheat berries into flour, the mill spewed a fine dust of flour all over my kitchen in the few seconds it took me to realize what was happening and shut the machine off. Oops. I was still finding flour dust a few weeks later.
I decided that my new adventure in bread baking deserved a new grain mill, and I settled on a Wonder Mill. I bought it from the Bread Beckers website, and I can't recommend their company highly enough. Their website has many valuable resources, including instructional videos, recipes, and more. You can even go to their store near Atlanta, GA and take classes. While I haven't made the trek yet, I plan to visit at some point.
I tried to use the same recipe I had gotten used to from the Artisan Bread book, but the freshly milled flour is VERY different than refined white flour. Why? Well, that could be a whole blog post of its own. Fortunately, Daniel Duane, of Food and Wine, has already written that article, so click here to go to it. From that article: "Wheat berries have three main components—bran, germ and endosperm—and industrial milling removes the first two while subjecting the third to heat treatment, bleaching, chemical preservation and "enrichment" with liquid vitamins. This turns an ancient food into a shelf-stable commodity with little protein, fiber or flavor."
When I tried to use the recipe that had worked so well for us for months) with the freshly milled wheat flour, what I ended up with was a hard dense roll, and my family was NOT happy. Everyone grumbled about the change. Fortunately, I knew that I would figure it out.
I began using a recipe that I got from the Bread Beckers, and the rolls were much better...however, I missed the ease of the technique from the Artisan Bread book. I was totally out of my bread-baking groove, and my family was still complaining about the change.
One day I had an aha moment. What if I tweaked the recipe from the Bread Beckers and did a mash-up with the techniques from the Artisan Bread book? Would that work?
After much experimentation, I finally figured it out, and this is the recipe/technique I am sharing with you today. This is how I do it, and how it works in my kitchen with my oven and my tools. One thing I have learned: bread making is very much a personal experience, and so be prepared to tweak the recipe for yourself. Adjust the amount of flour until you get the consistency you want, and also realize that since yeast is a living thing, each batch of dough will be a little different from the others.
NOTE: When you first start, this recipe/technique will seem REALLY COMPLICATED and even EXOTIC. And MAGIC. Definitely MAGIC. Over time, it will get so easy that you won't even need to refer to the recipe anymore. Trust me. The whole process takes me about 10-12 minutes, from start to finish.
I begin with
Next, I turn on the wheat mill and let it get started before I pour in the wheat berries. Apparently, this is a very important step, and if you don't turn the machine on first, something awful happens. I never want to find out what that is, so I follow their directions. Once the mill is humming along, I pour in the wheat.
The flour you end up with is full of all of the wheat-y goodness, and in mere seconds. (Important note: when milling wheat, you want to mill it as you use it. It's not shelf-stable like the refined stuff we are used to buying from the grocery store. So, plan on making a new batch of flour when you need it and discard any that you don't use.)
I'm not sure exactly how much flour you end up with, but it is somewhere around 3 cups. I use all of it to make one batch of the bread. This is what the freshly milled flour looks like:
Next, it is time to get the liquid ready. Into a small saucepan, place
I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and use the dough hook attachment (you know, the one it came with that looks like Captain Hook left it behind, and you never knew what to do with it until now?) I pour in the milk/honey/butter mixture from the saucepan, add
Next, measure out 2 cups of the freshly milled flour (you will still have some left; you will use that in a minute) and add that to the mixer. Stir it around, scraping down the edges of the bowl until it is combined into a very wet "batter."
Now, it's time to add the yeast. I keep a big bag of Red Star yeast in the freezer, and I pull it out just before using. (That's why the photo looks blurry...the bag "fogged up" in the photo after I took it out of the freezer.) Measure out:
Next, dump in the rest of the flour from the grain mill canister and start mixing. I always have to stop and scrape down the bowl sides at least once.
Once the mixture is combined, set a timer for 5 minutes and let the mixer do its magic. It goes from this:
To this, at the end of the 5 minutes:
Are you ready to get your hands into the dough? I like to set my containers out ahead of time while the mixer is kneading, so they are ready when my hands are messy. I use pyrex bowls with lids, and I divide my dough into three containers, meaning it will last us for three nights. Each bowl of dough will make 3 or 4 rolls, which is how many we need for our family. Adjust as needed for your family. You can even put it all into one big bowl at this point, but I like to portion it out because it is more convenient.
After the dough is finished kneading (when the 5 minutes in the mixer is done), I coat my hands lightly with olive oil and put ⅓ of the dough into each of the containers. I cover lightly with plastic wrap and set another timer for one hour. Walk away, because your job here is done. It's time for the yeast to do its magic.
At the end of the hour (or a little longer, if you get busy...luckily, the dough is forgiving), your dough will have risen. Cover the containers and put them into the fridge for a few hours.
(Note: This is for all of you who don't want to wait for the dough to sit in the fridge for a few hours...you absolutely could skip the fridge step if you want to make your first batch of rolls immediately. If so, the bread dough will be really sticky and hard to work with. You will want to coat your hands with olive oil and go straight to the dough shaping step, below. Also, you won't need to let your dough sit out for as long before baking...30 minutes should be enough, and then you can go ahead and bake the rolls.)
For those of you who do NOT want to skip the fridge step, this is what it looks like when you put them in the fridge. Notice how nicely the dough rose during the hour it sat on the counter:
In a few hours (or tomorrow) your dough is ready for you to shape the rolls! The dough is a LOT less sticky after sitting in the fridge and much easier to handle.
This part is really easy. I use a silicone baking mat and I put some parchment paper on top of it. Take one container of dough out, and then I use a knife to portion it into either 3 or 4 portions. In this example, I am making 3. Grab each portion and shape into a roll, smoothing the dough as you shape it. If the dough is sticky, use olive oil on your hands.
Let the rolls sit there on the counter for an hour or two to come up to room temperature. They will also rise a tiny bit more. I usually shape my rolls sometime between 4 pm and 5 pm so they will be ready to bake for dinner.
About 30 minutes before baking, I place a pizza stone into the oven and turn the oven on to 400 degrees. (I use my oven's convection setting, so my oven actually adjusts the temperature automatically down to 375 degrees.)
Right before baking, I melt some butter and brush on top of the rolls. I place the silicone baking mat with the rolls on top of the preheated pizza stone and bake for about 12 minutes or so...keep your eye on what's happening, and take the rolls out when the top is golden brown and they are done.
And, there you have it. Now you know how I turn this:
Have fun! Experiment! And, don't be afraid to tweak the recipe until you get the results you are looking for. The most important thing is to get started, and most of all, prepare to wow your family as you enjoy your bread! #FeastWithoutFear While I make rolls, you may want to make loaves of bread. As I said, experiment, and see what you come up with! Now, looking back, I don't know what I was so afraid of. If that lovely woman featured in the Air episode of Cooked can make bread on her living room floor, *I* can make bread, too. And, so can YOU.
Sometimes we will come across people who have been doing IF for a while, yet they experience very slow weight loss or even no weight loss at all. They may think that IF “isn’t working.” While it’s true that they may not yet be seeing the weight loss they were hoping for, is IF “working”? And, if so, what is happening?
Let’s take a look at some of the latest research into what may be happening in our bodies when we fast. After reading about these new and exciting studies, you will realize that weight loss is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fasting! And, the benefits that we can’t see on the outside are actually the most important for our health and longevity.
For each of these titles, click on the title itself to go directly to the article that reports the research. I have given you a brief summary of each, but to learn more, you can (and should) go straight to the source. I am not a research scientist, nor do I play one on TV.
Are there any proven benefits to fasting?
Johns Hopkins, Spring/Summer 2016
Dr. Mark Mattson's research shows that fasting improves neural connections in the hippocampus and also protects our brains against the accumulation of amyloid plaques. Benefits of fasting include fewer signs of depression, improved memory, and an increased ability for our brains to ward off neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
In pursuit of healthy aging: Intermittent fasting may be center of increasing lifespan
Harvard, October 2017
As we get older, the mitochondria of our cells lose the ability "to process energy over time, which leads to aging and age-related disease." Researchers from Harvard are beginning to understand how intermittent fasting promotes healthy aging by enhancing the plasticity of our mitochondrial networks. This should lead to a reduced likelihood of developing age-related diseases, which would increase lifespan.
Intermittent fasting leads to significant weight loss, slows aging
University of Florida, April 2018
Researchers at the University of Florida performed a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on fasting. In their paper, they examine both time-restricted eating (the eating window approach) and various alternate daily fasting strategies (the up/down day approach). In their analysis, they describe how fasting allows our bodies to shift from burning glucose for energy to obtaining energy from fatty acids and their byproducts, ketones. When the body flips this metabolic switch, we are able to access fat stores while preserving lean muscle mass. Also, fasting "may optimize physiological functioning, enhance performance, and slow the aging and disease processes."
Fasting boosts stem cells' regenerative capacity
MIT, May 2018
As we age, our intestinal stem cells lose their regenerative abilities, and it takes longer for the intestines to recover from infection or injury. Biologists at MIT found that a 24-hour fast can reverse age-related loss of intestinal stem cell function. In this study, they found evidence that "fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat." As a result of the metabolic changes, they saw enhanced function and cellular regeneration.
Longer daily fasting times improve health and longevity in mice
National Institute on Aging, September 2018
Scientists found that "health and longevity improved with increased fasting time, regardless of what the mice ate or how many calories they consumed." This study was performed on mice, and the mice who ate one meal a day, which was the longest fasting period examined, "seemed to have a longer lifespan and better outcomes for common age-related liver disease and metabolic disorders." Yes, these were mice, but the researchers are hoping to expand the research to other animals and then eventually to humans.
Researchers identify molecule with anti-aging effects on vascular system
Georgia State University, September 2018
We know that as we age, we become more susceptible to diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Vascular aging plays a significant role in this process, as the vessels become sensitive and more subject to damage over time. Researchers at Georgia State University found that the body produces a molecule during fasting called beta-hydroxybutyrate (involved in ketogenesis) that promotes cell division and prevents cellular aging within the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels of our vascular system. They believe this may help us keep our blood vessels young.
Fasting boosts metabolism and fights aging
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, January 2019
This study is exciting, because it wasn't done on rats or mice...but was actually conducted with humans. In this study, four volunteers participated in a 58 hour fast, and researchers took blood samples at specific intervals: 10, 34, and 58 hours into the fast. (Yes, this is a small sample size. Yes, it is still exciting.) Over time, and in all four subjects, scientists were able to identify "44 metabolites that increased during fasting, some of which increased 60-fold." Overall, they found a boost in metabolic activity, increased mitochondrial activation, and higher levels of antioxidants, which they expect would reverse some of the effects of aging. Next steps will include repeating this study with a larger sample.
Exercise, fasting help cells shed defective proteins
Harvard, February 2019
As we age, our cells lose the ability to dispose of "junk proteins," and this can lead to the accumulation of "misfolded proteins, which clog up the cell, interfere with its functions, and, over time," lead to "the development of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as amytrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's." Researchers at Harvard found that both exercise and fasting (even for brief periods) enhanced the cells' ability to dispose of these junky proteins that cause diseases.
So, if you are one of the people who started IF for the weight loss (Gin raises hand), you should now understand that fasting is so much more than a way to drop pounds and sizes. I genuinely believe that almost all adults could benefit from some sort of intermittent fasting regimen. Remember: at the core, fasting truly is the health plan with a side effect of weight loss. Even when we can’t yet see the results outwardly, the latest research on fasting, health, and longevity should thrill us, as we begin to understand that amazing things are likely going on within our bodies. Not everyone who does intermittent fasting will be a size 2 or fit back into their jeans from high school, but everyone can benefit from the time our bodies spend in the fasted state.
And, here’s something else to think about. Once you truly embrace IF as your healthy forever-lifestyle, and disconnect from the thought that it’s a temporary diet to help you lose a certain number of pounds, you can exhale and relax into it. Once you do, you realize you have the rest of your life to tweak your IF regimen to find approaches that will allow you to eventually release the excess weight you may be holding onto. And, as you do, never lose sight of the fact that you’re reaping all of the health benefits along the way.
Fast on, friends!
You are probably reading this because you are an intermittent faster, you are interested in intermittent fasting, or because someone you know and love has suggested that you look into intermittent fasting as a lifestyle. Good news! You are on the cutting-edge of the biggest health and weight loss trend to come along in decades. If you want to know more about the science behind intermittent fasting and some of the amazing health benefits related to intermittent fasting, check out my 2017 blog post and this follow up 2018 blog post. In fact, intermittent fasting is the health plan with a side effect of weight loss, and you can be confident that it is not only healthy, it's total FREEDOM from all of those "diets" you may have tried and quit over the years. Intermittent fasting is NOT a diet, in fact: it is a lifestyle.
So? Why do I say that in 2019 intermittent fasting is mainstream? Keep reading!
I first began dabbling in intermittent fasting ten years ago in 2009. Unfortunately, I was VERY intermittent in my approach, so I didn't really ever give it time to work before I quit and raced on to something else. Ten years ago, I'm not even sure people were calling it "intermittent fasting." I read Brad Pilon's "Eat Stop Eat" and Dr. Bert Herring's free Fast-5 ebook, but that was pretty much it. I was still in my "try all of the crazy diets" phase, and intermittent fasting seemed to fit the bill. Whenever I tried to explain the concept to anyone, they looked at me like I had lost my mind. The world wasn't ready. *I* wasn't ready. So, it's not a surprise that I never did find success with intermittent fasting in those early days. I also hadn't discovered the life-changing magic of implementing a clean fast (explained in this blog post), so it all just seemed SO. HARD. and also a little bit nuts.
Fast forward to 2014. I topped the scale at 210 pounds, which was obese for a 5' 5" woman.
Thankfully, I gave intermittent fasting one more shot in 2014. My whole story is in my #1 Amazon best-seller, Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. In that book, I explain how you can design an intermittent fasting lifestyle that will change YOUR life, the way intermittent fasting changed my life and the lives of tens-of-thousands of intermittent fasters from around the world.
I lost over 80 pounds by using various intermittent fasting techniques, and I have kept off the weight (and continued to get leaner) over the years. I started a few different Facebook intermittent fasting support groups (as of today, the last day of 2018, we have about 140,000 combined members from around the world) and began mentoring others as they changed their lives by adopting an intermittent fasting lifestyle for themselves. To hear some of their amazing stories, you can listen to my podcast, Intermittent Fasting Stories, on the website linked here, or through your favorite podcast app.
As people changed their lives with intermittent fasting, one concern still rose to the forefront for many: how do we explain to others what we are doing? What will people think?
Good news! Over time, the tide has turned. As you can imagine, I LOVE to talk to people about intermittent fasting. These days I have noticed that more and more people have heard about it when I bring it up. Most people have seen a magazine article, or a news snippet, or perhaps they have a friend who has had great success. Now when I mention it, more people have heard of intermittent fasting than have NOT heard of it.
And, if that weren't enough, I have two pieces of evidence that will convince you that intermittent fasting is, indeed, mainstream.
First, it's the rise of "intermittent fasting" products. Remember the low-fat craze of the 1990s? We knew it was big-time when every food product boasted that it was "fat free". Well, yesterday I was scrolling through Facebook, and I saw an ad for a new bar that you can "eat" while you are doing intermittent "fasting." After I stopped laughing (How gullible do they think we are? Eating isn't fasting.) I realized that the rise of these products is a very good sign! You can always follow the money to see what is on-trend. So, when they start making "food" for "fasting" you know there's a large market. (Side note: promise me you won't fall for it. Repeat after me.... Eating isn't fasting. Eating isn't fasting. Eating isn't fasting.)
The second exciting piece of evidence is more scientific, and it should thrill you. In the 2018 "Food and Health Survey" (linked here) conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, they reported that 36% of consumers claim that they follow an "eating pattern" of some sort. Of those following an eating pattern, guess what the TOP self-reported eating pattern was? If you guessed "intermittent fasting," you are a winner! (Side note: you're still a winner even if you didn't guess that, because you are here learning about intermittent fasting. And, if that doesn't make you a winner, I don't know what does.)
On page 26 of that survey report (linked here), there is a graphic showing all of the most-reported eating patterns. You can see intermittent fasting there at the top. A full TEN PERCENT of the participants following a structured eating plan reported that they were doing intermittent fasting, more than any other diet/eating pattern. It's higher than Paleo. Higher than gluten-free. Higher than vegetarian/vegan. Higher than Keto. Whoa! Mainstream, baby.
So! Now you know: intermittent fasting is no longer in the shadows. It's so mainstream that it's the #1 self-reported "eating pattern" of the past year and the marketers are ready to sell you fasting bars for your fast (promise me... NO!... eating isn't fasting). For those reasons, you can live the lifestyle with confidence. You don't need to hide what you are doing or lie about it. You don't need to feel embarrassed or like you need to keep it to yourself. Say the words "intermittent fasting" to others with pride. If they react critically, look at them with a surprised look and tell them that you can't believe they haven't heard of it yet, since it is everywhere. No need to feel defensive or nervous.
And, remember that if people have questions, you don't need to have all of the answers, and you certainly do NOT have to spend your time defending what you do. Nope. If you find that someone is still giving you a hard time about intermittent fasting, or if they say it isn't "healthy," lend them your copy of Delay, Don't Deny and tell them you'll be happy to discuss it with them once they have read the book. I'm happy to explain it to them on your behalf. And, if they aren't willing to learn, you can release their thoughts from your mind. YOU know what you are doing. YOU know intermittent fasting is the health plan with a side effect of weight loss, and YOU are confidently living the intermittent fasting lifestyle.
So! Bring it on, 2019. We, the intermittent fasters of the world, are mainstream. We know it, and you know it. We are ready to #ShareWithoutFear and #ChangeTheWorld.
This post is all about the question: does a sweet taste really cause an insulin release? What does the science say? I have some links at the end of this blog post that you can go to in order to draw your own conclusions. Please do, in fact. I will always believe that it is best to examine the science yourself rather than blindly believe what I say about it.
If this is the first you are hearing about this concept, and you aren't sure why it matters, check out my blog post about the importance of a clean fast. It is located here. Personally, I believe the key to long-term intermittent fasting success is the clean fast. I've experienced it both ways, and the difference is night and day.
The “sweet taste and insulin” debate is one of the biggest sticking points for many people, and there are people out there who ridicule the concept completely. I actually got a comment today on my coffee blog post from a guy who tried to prove to me that the science shows sucralose (Splenda) is actually fine during the fast, because it doesn’t raise insulin. He had a study (his study is linked here) that “proved it”. Well, I went to his link and read his study, and the sucralose was administered through something called “intragastric infusion.”
What does that mean? The sucralose was inserted DIRECTLY INTO THE STOMACH. That is what “intragastric infusion” means.
So, what did we learn from that study? If you would like to insert sucralose directly into your stomach through intragastric infusion, this study shows it’s absolutely fine to do that. Indeed, it does not appear that will cause you to secrete insulin.
The elephant in the room is that in real life, we are NOT inserting anything directly into our stomachs. We drink beverages through our mouths, and we taste them. In the insulin response theory, it’s the TASTE of the sweetness that is the problem. All of the studies that I link in my books and blog posts about insulin release relate to the sweet TASTE of something you ingest tricking the brain into thinking that you need insulin to handle whatever sweet thing you are consuming. According to the sweetness/insulin response theory, the body doesn’t understand that it’s actually a zero calorie sweet taste. The body is ready for the calories it associates with sweetness, hence the insulin release. Clearly, inserting something directly into the stomach bypasses the taste receptors, which is what the study about intragastric infusion illustrates.
This is such a confusing topic for many, and this is why: as with MANY topics, you can find studies (and resulting opinions) that contradict one another. That’s right! You can find studies that show there IS an insulin response to sweet tastes, and you can also find studies that show there is NOT an insulin response to sweet tastes! I could “prove” there is NOT an insulin response to you by referencing some studies that came to that conclusion, but I could also “prove” there IS an insulin response by selecting other studies that determined the opposite to be the case. This is called “cherry picking” data: only looking at information that agrees with what you believe to be true, and ignoring any that don’t match what you believe.
So, what do we do when faced with contradictory information? Of course, I personally want to err on the side of caution. If there is a possibility something is going to cause me to release insulin during the fast, I am going to avoid it. Trust me. NO ONE wanted to have Stevia during the fast more than I did. I searched and searched for a rationale that would allow me to keep it in my coffee. Once I decided to eliminate it, it changed the way I experienced intermittent fasting and made the process truly effortless.
Here are some links if you want to dig in for yourself. Note: “CPIR” stands for “Cephalic Phase Insulin Response”.
1. This one, from 2008, was performed on humans (not rats), and it is the one that finally convinced me to drop the stevia: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18556090
*Key takeaway: “A significant increase of plasma insulin concentration was apparent after stimulation with sucrose and saccharin. In conclusion, the current data suggest that the sweeteners sucrose and saccharin activate a CPIR even when applied to the oral cavity only.” Even if I read ten studies that had a different outcome, this one would make me stay away from anything sweet during the fast. Better safe than sorry.
*This is a rat study, but it is fascinating because: “The non-nutritive sweetener saccharine elicited CPIR. However, starch, which is nutritive but non-sweet, did not elicit CPIR although rats showed a strong preference for starch which is a source of glucose. In addition, we studied whether CPIR was related to taste receptor cell activity. We carried out the experiment in rats with bilaterally cut chorda tympani nerves, one of the gustatory nerves. After sectioning, CPIR was not observed for sweet stimulation. From these results, we conclude that sweetness information conducted by this taste nerve provides essential information for eliciting CPIR.” What that means is that when the scientists cut the nerves from the tongue to the brain, and the rats could not TASTE the sweetness, there was no insulin release. It was related to the taste only.
*Key takeaway: "The results indicate the presence of a significant CPIR in a subset of individuals with overweight or obesity after oral exposure to sucralose, especially when present in solid food form." Don’t miss this important conclusion: while the beverage form had a smaller insulin spike than the food form, there still was an insulin response to the sweet beverage.
*Key takeaway: “obese subjects exhibited significantly greater CPIR than normal-weight subjects.” This implies that when you are overweight, your body has MORE of an insulin response than someone of normal weight.
*Another rat study. Key takeaway: “We conclude that saccharin (through taste) appears to elicit parasympathetic (insulin release) and sympathetic (HGP increase) reflexes in lean and obese rats. These taste-induced changes in plasma insulin and glucose turnover are exaggerated in the obese rats and may participate in obesity and in insulin resistance of the overall syndrome.” Again, the obese animals had a HIGHER insulin response than the lean ones.
Those last 2 studies imply that if you are overweight, you need to be even more careful than others about what you ingest during your fast. I think that is important to understand.
In conclusion: you are an adult, and you are making your own decisions here. I will continue to believe that if you are looking for the best possible results from an intermittent fasting lifestyle, you want to avoid all sweet tastes during the fast. Yes, I cherry-picked the studies that support my conclusion and I didn't link to any that imply that the sweet tastes are a-okay. But, if you want to err on the side of caution, that is what you would do.
Not everyone is going to agree with my conclusions, and I’m okay with that. Remember, there are groups of people who still believe the earth is flat, and that scientists are lying to us with the whole “earth is round” nonsense. Boy, do I wish I was kidding. https://www.livescience.com/24310-flat-earth-belief.html If we can’t come to 100% consensus on the shape of the earth, then I’m pretty sure the complex issue “does a sweet taste cause an insulin response” is never going to be “settled” for everyone. (Spoiler alert: I do believe the earth is round. Thank goodness.)
And for everyone who remains unconvinced about sweet tastes and insulin: I would like to issue a challenge to you. Fast clean for at least two weeks, with nothing but black coffee and unflavored/unsweetened still and sparkling water. Then, reintroduce whatever it is that you believe is not a problem. Pay attention to how you feel. I’ll be very surprised if you don’t notice that the fast is notably easier when you fast clean. That’s what most people discover, and it is what I found personally. Try it and see! What do you have to lose?
It's that time of year again: New Year's Resolution time! After the ball drops and the confetti settles, there is one resolution that usually tops everyone's list, and I am sure you know what I mean:
THIS IS IT! This is FINALLY the year I am going to lose the excess weight and get healthy! YES! I am going to find the latest and greatest new diet, and I am going to follow it like a champion! 2018 will finally be my year!
With your resolution in mind, it's time to head to the bookstore and peruse the diet books! Of course, when you get there, you find that the NEW diet books look an awfully lot like the OLD diet books. Sure, they have been repackaged and reconfigured, but most of them tell you which foods are dietary heroes and which are dietary villains, and as long as you follow their (probably complicated) plans, you can achieve weight loss nirvana! They tell you what to eat and what NOT to eat, and they generally have phases and meal plans, with a "fabulous" recipe section. Of course, you'll be sick of these phases and meal plans in a couple of weeks, and you'll long for whatever foods you have restricted. Over time, you'll gradually drift back into your old dietary patterns, and the diet is over. Hey! There's always next year! Maybe 2019 will finally be your year!
What if it is a lot easier than that? What if, instead of the latest and greatest NEW diet, we look back in time to a practice that has been around for so long that most people have forgotten it? Let's go back to the time of Hippocrates, also known as "the father of modern medicine." He lived from around 430-360 BC, and is famous for this quote:
"Everyone has a physician inside him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness." --Hippocrates
Instead of a fancy new diet that promises to help us Lose 12 pounds in 12 days! Or Drop 3 sizes by Next Tuesday!. why don't we look to the practice that has been a part of every major religion and culture for millennia. Let's look to the natural healing force within that Hippocrates was talking about: fasting.
Did I lose you there? Stick with me. I get it: the word "FASTING" carries with it a lot of emotional baggage. You may be picturing emaciated monks or teenage girls with eating disorders. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. An intermittent fasting lifestyle is not a life of dietary restriction and eating disorders. It's actually one of the healthiest things you can do for your body, and it's a lifestyle that will bring you true FREEDOM from dietary constraints and restrictions.
It's important to understand: I'm not talking about extended water fasts where you aren't eating for days at a time. In an intermittent fasting lifestyle, you eat every day, and you get to enjoy all of your favorite foods with no guilt. Fun fact: you ALREADY fast every day! It's true! From the moment you finish eating at night to the moment you eat breakfast the next day, your body is in the fasted state. Congratulations! You are already a faster and didn't know it. All you have to do to adopt an intermittent fasting lifestyle is to extend your daily fast further into the day. You push back your "break-fast," and then, you eat without guilt. That's where the dietary freedom comes in. My first book (which explains how to live an intermittent fasting lifestyle) is called Delay, Don't Deny, after all! "Don't Deny" is a big part of it.
So: when you think of fasting, you may have certain concerns right off of the bat. Do any of these come to your mind?
"Fasting?!?!?! You are putting yourself in starvation mode!"
"Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!"
"You must eat 6 small meals per day to keep your metabolism from shutting down!"
Guess what? Not ONE of those statements is true!
Before beginning an intermittent fasting lifestyle, the important first step is to educate yourself on the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Read, read, and read some more, until you are confident. Watch videos. Listen to podcasts. The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is one I highly recommend, and that's probably because I am one of the co-hosts (yes, that is totally why.) Of course, I also think you should read Delay, Don't Deny, my book about Intermittent Fasting. You can order the paperback from Amazon or Barnes and Noble online, or download the e-book from any of your preferred e-book retailers or platforms. In Delay, Don't Deny, I go into all of the details about how to live an intermittent fasting lifestyle. I also tell my weight loss story: I lost 75 pounds back in 2014-2015, and I have been effortlessly maintaining the loss since March of 2015 (and even getting leaner over time...what "diet" does that for you?) Since 2015, I have also been the administrator of a Facebook intermittent fasting group, watching tens of thousands of members shed pounds and get healthier. Some of their success stories are found in Delay, Don't Deny, and others are found here on my website. Take a look and get inspired!
So, are you intrigued? Let's get educated!
Many of us begin intermittent fasting for weight loss, but IF is about so much more than just weight management. Even if you never lost a pound, I am convinced that IF is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. One year ago, the biggest news in the intermittent fasting world was without a doubt the announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine. As written in the press release, Yoshinori Ohsumi "discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components." What stimulates autophagy? Fasting, of course!
Rather than try to explain all of the benefits of autophagy myself, I am going to share some links that will take you to videos and/or well-written and easy to understand discussions about autophagy, so you can learn about it yourself. Click here to view a video that explains the process and benefits of autophagy, even though it is a bit dry and science-y. The article available here explains many of the benefits of autophagy in straightfoward terms, and this is a powerful quote from that article: "Autophagy is a process of cellular recycling that effectively removes old, damaged, and faulty equipment in our body, potentially stopping cancer, insulin resistance, diabetes, infections, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, inflammation, and even aging." WOW. Who wouldn't want those benefits? With a list like that, I think you would have to be crazy NOT to try intermittent fasting, personally. You can read Dr. Jason Fung's take on autophagy here, on his blog at Intensive Dietary Management. (His explanations are always my favorite.)
Notice that I led with the health benefits of intermittent fasting, because I want you to have that first and foremost in your mind. IF is healthy, and fasting has powerful anti-cancer, anti-Alzheimer's, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits. Even if you never lost a pound, it is worth doing for the health benefits alone. BUT--is it crashing your metabolism, as critics warn? Are you putting yourself in danger of slowing your metabolic rate, resulting in long-term damage to your metabolism and eventual weight gain? Fortunately, the answer is NO.
This study is often cited by intermittent fasting experts, and I included it in Delay, Don't Deny, as well. From the study: "Resting metabolic rate (kJ/min) was significantly increased after 36 h of starvation...but was not significantly different from the 12 h value after 72 h." Don't be alarmed by the use of the word "starvation" in that quote, because they are referring to periods of intermittent fasting from 12 to 72 hours in length. Nobody ever starved to death in 12-72 hours. When you analyze that quote from the study, you see that they found that metabolic rate INCREASED after 36 hours of fasting, and at 72 hours, the metabolic rate wasn't lower than the metabolic rate measured after 12 hours. Metabolic shutdown? Clearly not! On the contrary--at the 36 hour mark, metabolic rate was UP. Take that, "you're going to shut down your metabolism" naysayers!
This article does a nice job summarizing much of the thinking surrounding intermittent fasting and metabolism. Of course, as usual, the most entertaining analysis of intermittent fasting and metabolism can be found on Dr. Fung's blog at Intensive Dietary Management. His classic post is found here (with an accompanying photo of George Constanza, in all of his glory), and Dr. Fung explains how IF not only protects your metabolism, but it can also help reverse metabolic damage brought on by following calorie-restricted diets in the past. This is really important to understand: not only are you NOT tanking your metabolism through IF, you can actually repair damage brought on through other dietary approaches. Keep in mind--this isn't always a fast process (fasting pun, right there...) If you have been following a restrictive diet long-term prior to starting an IF regimen, expect weight loss to be slow or nonexistent for awhile. You could even gain weight at first, until your body has a chance to heal metabolically. No one wants to hear that, but you should be aware of the possibility if you are a long-term dieter.
1. Fasting is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body! As I shared, fasting stimulates autophagy. This is how your body naturally takes out the cellular trash, and the more I read about it, the more I believe that it's one of the most powerful things you can do for your health.
2. Intermittent fasting is great for your body metabolically. Rather than slowing your metabolism, which we find in diets that promote long-term calorie restriction, IF has metabolic benefits you miss out on when you follow typical diet recommendations. (I'm looking at YOU, "eat less/move more"...) You can even repair metabolic damage brought about by long term restrictive dieting through fasting, though it takes time.
It's important for you to realize that intermittent fasting is not some radical new fad diet that is here today, and gone tomorrow. It's an ancient practice that is seen all around the world and in every major religion. In intermittent fasting, you're not being asked to go 40 days and 40 nights without food; with most intermittent fasting plans, you are eating until you are satisfied every day, and most people find that it's a lot more enjoyable than trying to eat tiny meals spread throughout the day. Once you adjust, it's actually easier than typical diet plans. This is one of those things that most people don't believe until they try it for themselves.
There's also one more exciting benefit to intermittent fasting that seems to be universally true: over time, your body will direct you to eat "healthier" foods, and many of your junk-food favorites actually lose their appeal. It's pretty magical, and I discuss it in the blog post found here. No one tells you what to eat or avoid, but you naturally gravitate to healthier choices. Win-win! If you do want to make better food choices but aren't sure what foods are "good" and what foods are "bad," you may be interested in my second book: Feast Without Fear. In it, I explain how our bodies are all different, and that there really are no one-size-fits-all dietary plans. Instead of ME telling you what you should eat, you learn how to figure it out for yourself. The foods that work best for me may not be the foods that work best for you, and vice versa. It's pretty empowering to know that YOU are in charge, rather than some sort of diet guru who doesn't live in your unique body.
As we enter 2018, I hope you will embrace my mindset: no sparkly new diet needed! Instead, discover the practice that is as old as time and yet still as effective today as it always has been: intermittent fasting. Learn how to Delay, Don't Deny and then Feast Without Fear! When you do, you will truly reach the dietary freedom you have been searching for!
Gin Stephens lives in Augusta, Georgia, where she has been following an intermittent fasting lifestyle since 2014. In addition to writing the #1 Amazon best-seller Delay, Don't Deny and the follow-up book Feast Without Fear, Gin is host of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast and co-host of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, along with fellow intermittent faster and author, Melanie Avalon. Check out www.intermittentfastingstories.com and www.ifpodcast.com or search for the podcasts through your favorite podcast app.