Hello Fasting Friends! Time to talk about food….eating window, feasting, choices, habits, cravings, “addictions”….okay, maybe not all of those things in one short article, but at least food (and cravings).

I have come to realize through the process of Intermittent Fasting (and my lengthy daily research) that one big reason I never lost weight (or kept weight off) before (aside from controlling grehlin, the hunger hormone, which IF does soooo well!) is that I always wanted to “have my cake and eat it too.”

Bear with me….I know that sounds simplistic. After all, that is what we have all wanted. To be able to eat what we want and still lose weight.

That is why I began IF in the first place.

I heard that I could eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight.

After four decades of dieting, could I have finally found the protocol that lets me eat whatever I want and still lose weight? Glory!

And there is some truth to that (way more wiggle room in food choices than any other approach I’ve ever done!)….and as I said repeatedly in my IF Journal Broadcast (#43), I will never NOT fast….controlling my food the way I am able to now is a gift that can only come from IF, I honestly believe.

(In the broadcast I tell a sad tale of this—-we need to hear leptin (the hormone that says you have enough fat on your body so stop eating), but we can’t….and the ways to fix this poor “radio transmission” is through dieting/eating right and exercise. Yet, if we could do what it takes to fix it, we wouldn’t be in the state we are in now….aghhh….Intermittent Fasting fixes that leptin signaling for us. I will never go back!)

But the brain has its own ideas…..and fasting helps me help my brain hear leptin, so I can stop eating better than ever before.

It isn’t perfect, but it is soooo much better than any other time in my life—I actually HEAR the satiation hormone tell me to stop!

So how can we help our brains hear leptin signals better and better?

Here is what I have found to help me hear leptin better:

1) Fast….seriously….fast 16-20 hours a day without calories. This is the number one thing we can do.

Fasting reduces insulin. Reducing insulin helps us hear leptin. Period. It is the best way to hear the sweet leptin song!

(Check out my free IF webinar for answers to your 10 IF Questions!!!)

2) Fast consistently……if you need a longer eating window for a special occasion, take it….but don’t NOT fast. Just make your fasting window shorter that day.

Going completely off and on from fasting puts you in a perpetual state of hunger! Miserable!

Every time we “take a few days off” we essentially have to start over in reducing stored glycogen and burning through circulating glucose—so we are back to the hangries just like the first couple of weeks of IF!

Adjust your time. Only fast 14 hours one weekend if you have special occasions…but do not go off!

(Can’t fast long enough {enough days in a row} to get fat adapted and feel great—check out my month-long course! It is turning “fasting failures” into success stories every single month!)

 

3) Open your eating window with real food.

Have a treat later if you want. Eat pizza with the family if it’s that day. But start with real food. Real food helps us hear leptin sooooo much better!

 

4) Eat fibrous, watery foods.

This doesn’t affect leptin as much as it is grehlin (though any less sugary/more real foods help with leptin because of the lessening of insulin spikes).

Grehlin is the hormone that tells us we are hungry. It is released from the top of the stomach (like a guard looking out into our stomach and hollering whenever the stomach gets a little low!). Fill that stomach up with water, fiber, and foods that are bulkier and more watery.

5) Eat protein!

We stock up on Greek yogurt, chicken breasts, turkey, ham, roast beef, peanuts, peanut butter, eggs, and cottage cheese–our favorite protein sources.

Protein is the most satiating macro nutrient for its calorie punch. (And rumor has it you can boost your metabolism a little eating protein as well!)

6) Don’t drink calories.

Leptin doesn’t even see the liquid coming….no signal…no satiation. Limit coffee calories to under 100 each time so that you are not putting so many liquid calorie directly into your system!

7) Exercise—movement helps us hear leptin better.

(More on this later….but for now, I do know that when you hear leptin well, you want to eat less, eat more real foods, and move more.)

8) Less grazing!

Eating at pre-determined times and then stopping will help us hear satiation hormones way better than eating during our entire eating window.

9) Don’t overfill your stomach because you didn’t “get” to eat something yet that day. 

No need to have the “last meal” mentality….you can have that food later. Fasting helps us with stomach distensibility. It helps us stop the expansion of our stomachs from eating too much too often. Your stomach will feel full more quickly (especially with fibrous and watery foods). Be glad for it…and have that dessert the next day!

10) Follow an 80/20 approach–80 percent healthy, real foods and 20 percent treats or whatever you want.

As you space out your treats a little and have fewer non-real foods, you will crave them less and less. Leptin loves real food!

 

Love and hope,
Donna

P.S. Learn more weight management and health hacks in my FREE Calories In/Calories Out Game–and five video series with cool gameboard! 🙂

 

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