When we look in the mirror, do we like what we see? Chances are, there are a few pounds we could stand to lose, but how can we easily lose those few pounds?!
Simple. I’ve been on the intermittent fasting method for a long time now. With barely any lifestyle change, it has helped keep me trim and feeling good. If you’re in the know, then you’ve probably heard of this and now is the time to give it a try.
Here are 6 tips where we’ll explore our Quest to Live Healthier, Feel Better, and making it super-simple.
1. Intermittent Fasting Made Simple
In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is going a period of time without eating, which means no calories consumption (only water and black coffee). I do a very easy 12 hours of no eating, which means whenever I stop eating at night (ex. 8PM), I don’t start eating the next day until 8AM.
The more popular way of is 16 hours not eating, and 8 hours of eating. Basically, that’s like skipping breakfast. You eat the same foods, nothing changes, except when you eat.
Here’s an entertaining article about how a normal guy does the method, which btw Hugh Jackman uses!
2. Intermittent Fasting for the Advanced
Ok, so you think you’re ready for a more serious understanding of this intermittent fasting, aka time-restricted diet? Besides the benefit of shedding a few pounds and therefore feeling better about ourselves, there are serious health benefits using science that I don’t really understand! To me, it makes logical sense that if your body goes without food for awhile, it goes into like a ‘Red Alert’ mode and sheds un-needed cells from our body, forcing it to run as efficiently as possible.
Fasting puts me in efficient mode? Heck yeah I’ll take that.
From the fantastic article The Truth Behind What Intermittent Fasting Does to Your Body by Alexandra Pattillo
“Insulin is a hormone that’s released when we eat, but it isn’t meant to be released all the time,” Tello says. “Intermittent fasting is simply letting your insulin level go down to basically normal so that you unlock your fat stores. So nobody’s going to lose any weight unless they get that insulin level down. Which is why eating very small meals throughout the day doesn’t really help with weight loss.” — Monique Tello, MD, MPH, a Harvard Medical School professor and internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital
“During exercise, there’s a stress on the cells. They don’t grow and get stronger and bigger during the exercise but during the resting period. So we think that with intermittent fasting — during the fasting period, the cells go in kind of a stress-resistance mode. And then when you eat, they’ve prepared themselves to quickly take up nutrients, proteins, and grow.” — Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and former chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging
Here’s a fantastic primer by Groom and Style that summarizes the major points of intermittent fasting, all the variations of it, plus the pro and cons.
3. A Better Way to Eat
On our quest to live healthier, live better, that obviously includes a better way to eat.
My rule of thumb: Can I tell where my food came from? In other words, do I know all the ingredients and how it naturally arises from the earth? If I don’t, then it’s probably not as healthy and I can gauge how much of that to eat.
Stated another way, follow Mozaffarian’s golden rule: “Eat foods that give rise to life.” Nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed oils, olives, olive oil and avocados all fit the bill.
Here’s another nugget of knowledge: If you decide to eat dairy, “the existing epidemiological evidence suggests full-fat dairy is associated with healthier outcomes than low-fat dairy,” he says. (Keep this in mind the next time you’re ordering a “skinny” skim-milk latte.)
Finally, what the heck are “superfoods?” It’s not a real designation or classification of foods, but rather a marketing ploy to get you to buy that food. Underlining it though, is that these foods do pack a higher nutritional punch — Berries, which are high in fiber; fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids (which helps prevent heart disease); leafy greens, which offer phytochemicals and fiber; nuts; yogurt; and cruciferous vegetables, which may help against some types of cancer.
4. Why Plant Based Diets are Here to Stay
You want to live healthier and better? Well, here goes a controversial topic — eat more plants, less meat.
There, I said it. So what’s your gut reaction? Did you shrug your shoulder so what, or did you think I’m one of those hippie, hipster, planet-saving people? Either way, read on and see if we can find a reason why that works for you.
And just FYI, in the course of researching this topic, I’m gonna try myself to be more plant-based.
Reasons why to eat more plants:
- Lose weight — Decades of research, show that a plant-based diet is effective for controlling or losing weight, improved physical and emotional health, and a multitude of health benefits: lower mortality, better cardiovascular health, prevention of type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Feel healthier — “You will be a healthier person. It’s anti-inflammatory, it’s fiber full. It’s going to be decreasing your cholesterol levels. Your digestion is going to improve,” Tello says.
- Do your part to help prevent climate change — Meat such as beef and lamb is particularly inefficient to produce, because livestock need lots of space to graze, and that land is often space that used to be covered with forests.
Objectively, is red meat bad for you? It’s important to make a distinction between different kinds of meat. For example, grass-fed and organic meat is nutritionally different than factory-farmed, processed meat.
5. Run for 10 minutes
Most of us don’t run for exercise because we hate it, or we find it boring. But here’s the thing: If we’re so busy with life and trying to stay as productive as possible, you really can’t argue with the fact that for just 10 minutes outside running, you’ll get a fantastic workout with minimal impact on your schedule.
That’s it, that’s my selling point. Running may still suck, but for just 10 minutes, you can get your healthy dose of exercise in and done with.
If you’ve been with me, you know I use the Headspace app to do my daily meditations. It also has a great section where they coach you while on a run, hosted by Nike trainer Chris Bennet. Big takeaways for me are:
- Give yourself permission to run smart, not hard.
- As you’re running, relax and run slower. This way you’re more likely to enjoy your run, and therefore more likely to so running again next time.
- This is a win. The fact that you’re even running is awesome. Doesn’t matter if it’s slow, fast, hard, easy, whatever. It’s a win simply because you’re doing it.
6. On-the-Go Solutions to Live Better
In this final journal about our quest to live healthier, live better, I’ll dispense with my easy tips. You’re welcome.
Quick tips to live better:
- Buy better snack bars — According to this article, RxBars are one of the best due to their simple ingredients. Therefore, avoid snack/granola bars with tons of sugars and ingredients.
- Also carry a water bottle — Once again, here’s my favorite.
- Keep workout clothes and shoes in the car — Get into the habit of keeping these in the car, so you’ll never have an excuse to not workout.
- Run while doing your errands — I literally mean, run from the parking lot to the store entrance.
- Going traveling? Hit up the local grocery store and pick up some healthy snacks. If you’re going to a conference or a work meeting, chances are they will only have donuts and cookies.
- The Truth Behind What Intermittent Fasting Does to Your Body
- You Asked: What High-Fat Foods Should I Be Eating? By Markham Heid
- CAN YOU EXPLAIN SUPERFOODS TO ME, AN AVERAGE GUY WHO WANTS TO FEEL SUPER WITH THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF EFFORT?
- Carbon footprint
- Is Red Meat Bad for You, or Good? An Objective Look
- Sakara Plant Protein
- How Eating Less Meat Could Help Protect the Planet From Climate Change
- How to get into running by getting into your head by Kelton Wright
- Your Guide to Intermittent Fasting by Rebecca Moses