This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.
Over the last year, I’ve seen tons of articles and videos, about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting, also known as Time Restricted Feeding. Every time I look online, I discover some new fad diet that everyone raves about for a short time before the interest fizzles out, which is why I initially dismissed intermittent fasting as just another popular craze that was destined to fade. Since I started reading Always Eat After 7pm: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion and implementing the meal plan into my life, I decided to give intermittent fasting a shot.
What I’ve learned is that intermittent fasting is not just another restrictive diet, it is a method of patterned meal consumption or cycling your eating during specific time periods. In my last post, I mentioned that research shows that breakfast is not actually the most important meal of the day. “Going without breakfast is part of intermittent fasting (IF), also called time-restricted feeding (TRF). IF is a pattern of food consumption that cycles between fasting and eating in specific time periods. There are various ways to do it; one of the most common is the 16/8 protocol, which involves 16 hours of fasting—typically done overnight—with an 8-hour window in which to eat each day.”
I’ve always been a snacker and I eat something every hour or two from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Whether it’s oatmeal, fruit, or even something less healthy, like mac and cheese, I’ve always enjoyed munching on different things throughout the day.
The thought of limiting the times that I was allowed to eat would be a big challenge for me. So when I first started Intermittent Fasting, I set an eating pattern for myself of 14/10, I allowed myself to spend 14 hours fasting and gave myself a 10-hour time window to eat. I practiced 14/10 for only 3 days before realizing that I wasn’t pushing myself enough, so I switched things up and started the 16/8 schedule.
When I started intermittent fasting, I didn’t restrict my diet, I only restricted the times that I ate, so all foods were fair game. I fully expected to spend my mornings irritated and hangry while intermittent fasting, but even though I’ve been skipping breakfast, I haven’t been hungry in the mornings so far.
Results & Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Research published by the University of Illinois asserts that intermittent fasting can reduce the caloric intake which can lead to weight loss. But, like I said before, good health is much more important to me than losing weight. I’ve never been overweight, but there are predisposed health problems that run in my family that I would like to avoid, which is why the overall health benefits of intermittent fasting are what I like to focus on. That being said, I still have to admit that one of my favorite results of practicing intermittent fasting is seeing how my body has changed. Because I purposely avoid scales, I haven’t weighed myself in quite awhile so I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight, but I’ve noticed more definition in my abs even though I haven’t been working out more than I usually do.
There are also many other impressive benefits of intermittent fasting, that I’ve experienced so far. I’ve been feeling more rested because I haven’t been waking up in the middle of the night due to my stomach growling.
In the past before I started the Always Eat After 7pm plan, I didn’t always feel hungry in the morning or have the desire to eat breakfast, but I would eat breakfast anyway just because I believed that it was the most important meal of the day. Shortly after eating though, I’d feel full, tired, and want to climb back in bed. Since I’ve been skipping breakfast, I don’t feel lethargic in the mornings anymore because I’m not weighed down by a morning meal. I have so much more energy which has led to a secondary benefit of being more productive in the morning!
There are several other impressive benefits of IF, such as:
- Natural increase in growth hormone levels without exercising
- Increased metabolic rate and fat burning
- Lowered risk of diabetes & insulin resistance
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved heart health
Just to name a few!
Intermittent fasting really stands out when you examine the effects it has on blood sugar, hunger, and metabolism. It is said that intermittent fasting can combat insulin resistance, this is helpful to your health because it reduces your risk of having diabetes according to the book. As an African American, reducing my likelihood of having diabetes is important to my goal of improving my overall health and preventing disease since statistics show that African Americans are twice as likely to develop type II diabetes. Improving my heart health is especially critical for me because my mother died of a heart attack at the age of 50. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Heart disease and type II diabetes are lifestyle illnesses that can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle which is why I appreciate the knowledge that I’m learning from the Always Eat After 7pm book.
My Favorite Recipes from the Book
Joel Marion’s Always Eat After 7pm program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of reasons for resistance by giving a meal plan along with meal plans and simple recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:
Chili Loaded Baked Potato
I love this recipe because it takes less than 30 minutes to cook and it tastes delicious. The meal is filling, but light.
Oatmeal Protein Smoothie
I eat a lot of fiber-rich foods which is why oats are a staple in my diet. Adding ginger and cinnamon gives the smoothie a kick!
Turkey Burgers with Butternut Buns
Turkey is leaner than beef which is why turkey burgers can be a bit bland compared to beef burgers. However, the recipe in Always Eat After 7pm is packed with flavor and the butternut buns are super healthy.
Since I’m not the best cook, I like cooking simple meals. The caramel chicken is probably my favorite recipe in the book because it was tender, sweet, and I was able to make it with fewer than 10 ingredients.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Everyone that knows me knows that I am a cookie junkie. I have a cookie just about everyday. The cookie recipe in this book is low in calories, but still sweetly satisfying.
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