Meal Planning for Intermittent Fasting

Meal Planning for Intermittent Fasting
With intermittent fasting you typically only eat one meal per day. It’s important to pack as much nutrition as possible into that one meal, by combining lots of healthy foods with just enough indulgence to keep you going until the next meal comes around. That’s why it is important to have everything on hand to prepare a balanced meal when dinner time rolls around.

The best way to insure that happens is to plan your meals ahead of time. If you’re already familiar with meal planning you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quick and easy the process of planning and preparing your meals becomes when you’re only cooking once per day.

Intermittent fasting is a great way to improve your health and lose weight, but when you’ve been fasting all day, it’s easy to undo all the good you’ve done if your daily meal consists of junk food and sweets. Instead, make an effort to eat a healthy and balanced meal. Fill your plate with plenty of salad and veggies, healthy fats and a good source of protein Then round it out with a few treats you’ve been looking forward to all day. This way you can indulge in a handful of potato chips or a small slice of cake instead of ravenously finishing up the whole bag or way too much cheesecake when it’s time to eat.

Here’s how I go about planning my meals. I start with a healthy main dish. That could be grilled chicken, fish, a steak or even a burger. Soups or a bowl of chili are favorites in the winter time. I may even fix my favorite pasta dish every once in a while. Next I plan on having a large portion of steamed veggies or a big salad along with another side dish if needed. That’s what goes on my meal plan and everything I need for the week goes on my shopping list. This makes it easy to shop. I know I have everything in the house to cook my healthy meals at night.

Of course a few treats for dessert are fine as well. If your main goal is to lose weight, you want to stick to low carb options with your main meals in general and treats in particular. Dark chocolate, dill pickles and smoked almonds in moderation are all good choices. If your body can handle the natural sugars, some fresh fruit is another great option. Sliced bananas topped with a little heavy cream or whipped cream are a delicious treat.

You might find it helpful to plan in your treats and desserts as well and only by a few small things. Not having a lot of food, particularly anything you tend to crave, is a good way to keep temptation to cave at bay when you’re fasting during the day. Of course it will also keep you from overindulging when it’s time to eat.

Give it a try and see if planning and prepping your meals ahead of time makes it easier for you to stick to your intermittent fast.

Check out more of my blog here: https://cathrynknock.com/blog 

Breaking Your Fast

Breaking Your Fast
There’s A Reason We Call It Breakfast - How to Break Your Fast

We talk about breakfast all the time. And if you believe your mom, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It isn’t but that’s a topic for another day. For now, let’s talk about the word itself and its origin. When you break it down its break - fast, or breaking your fast. It’s the meal you eat to break your fast and when you think about it, we all fast a little each night. We make it for 10 - 14 hours without food from the time we eat dinner to the time we eat breakfast.

And breaking your fast is an important part of any fast. It doesn’t matter if you’re intermittent fasting or doing on a long traditional fast. Eventually you need to break it and start eating again. And what you eat makes a difference depending on how long you’ve been fasting.

BREAKING YOUR INTERMITTENT FAST

This is the easiest fast to break. You’ve only gone without food for a few hours, basically just pushing back breakfast by a few hours. Or maybe you’ve fasted for a full 24 hours with nothing but a little Topo Chico to sustain you. In either case there aren’t a lot of rules to follow.

Just make sure you don’t eat too fast when you start your main meal. Take it slow and give your body a chance to tell you when you’re full. Since you’ll be skipping some meals it’s also important to pack all the nutrition into the meals you do it. Start with plenty of veggies, add in a quality source of protein and then round it out with the foods you’ve had on your mind while you were fasting.

If you’re sticking to an intermittent fast to lose fat, limit the carbohydrates and sugars in particular as much as possible. You don’t want to cause your insulin to spike and load up your liver with glycogen that you have to burn through before your body can shift back into fat burning mode.

BREAKING A 36-42 HOUR FAST

If you are fasting for longer periods, you also want to start things slow. Break your fast with a cup of broth or some thin soup. Stick to a salad next and slowly start to introduce more solid foods.
Even during a relatively short fast, your digestive system starts to slow down. You don’t want to overwhelm it with a bunch of hard to digest food. Start slow and listen to your body.

Breaking your fast the right way will make sure you get the best benefits possible from your fast and it allows your body to adjust to food in a painless and healthy way.

Check out the rest of my series at: https://cathrynknock.com/blog

5 Tips To Help Distract You From Food During Your Intermittent Fast Time

5 Tips To Help Distract You From Food During Your Intermittent Fast Time
5 Tips To Help Distract You From Food During Your Intermittent Fast Time

Intermittent fasting isn’t hard to do, but we all have days that are harder than others. As a general rule of thumb, the first few weeks will be the toughest to get through. After that your body (and your mind) will be used to not eating during your fasting hours.

That said you’ll occasionally have days that are tougher than others. Most of the time it’s little mind games we play. We tell ourselves that we are hungry, not feeling well, bored, sick, and we just need a little food to make it all better. And those thoughts are enough to get the hunger pangs started.

The key to getting through those days is to distract yourself until it’s time for your next meal. Here are five tips to help you do that.

TIP #1 - STOP STARING AT THE CLOCK

The first thing you need to do is to stop staring at the clock. Time moves much slower when you’re watching the seconds tick by. Don’t even allow yourself to look at the time. Go do something else. Anything!

Get some work done, call a friend, go clean the bathroom, or walk the dog. It doesn’t matter. But whatever you do, don’t look at the clock for a good long while.

TIP #2 - MAKE A CUP OF TEA OR COFFEE

The ritual of making a nice cup of coffee or tea can calm and center you. Take your time and make it last. Then curl up and enjoy that cup. Not only will it help you pass the time, it also fills your belly and that may be just what you need to make it through those last few hours until it’s time for breakfast / lunch.

TIP #3 - GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

Sometimes one of the best distractions is a change of scenery. Go get out of the house. Run some errands, head to your local park with a blanket and a good book, meet a friend for coffee or just head into the back yard for some gardening.

TIP #4 - LOSE YOURSELF IN A GOOD BOOK OR MOVIE

Do you have a book or audiobook that you love? How about a Movie or Netflix Series? Find something you can lose yourself in and use it as a last resort distraction for those days when you can’t get anything productive done or you’re ready to relax and make it through that last hour or two of your fast.

TIP #5 - EXERCISE

Last but not least, get some exercise. Go for a walk, head to the gym, practice yoga, or dance to a Zumba DVD. It doesn’t matter. Not only will you pass the time while burning more fat but, exercise also releases endorphins that will make you feel better.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Do you have some ideas of your own? What’s your favorite way to distract yourself before it’s time to eat again?


What is Ketosis?

What is Ketosis?
What Is Ketosis

One of the reasons intermittent fasting works so well for weight loss is because of a process called Ketosis. If you have ever been on a low carb diet you know that ketosis is a good thing.

If you’re a diabetic, you may confuse it with something called ketoacidosis which is a serious health issue and not something to take likely. If you are diabetic, this is definitely something you should address with your doctor.

Ketosis on the other hand is a good thing. It means your body is burning fat for energy. When that happens, ketones are released as a by-product. They can give you a bit of bad breath, and they are flushed out through your urine. For the bad breath I recommend a drop of a dietary safe Peppermint essential oil. Holler if you need me to help you get your hands on some.

Burning body fat for energy and ketosis are natural processes. If your body has a mechanism for storing body fat, doesn’t it make sense that it also has one to access the energy stored in those fat cells as well? Going through periods of famine has long been part of our human history and the reason we store fat so well in the first place.

Fasting and eating low carb are two great ways to get your body into ketosis and burning fat. That’s why both of them are so effective in helping you lose weight. And if you really want to supercharge your fat loss, combine the two.

It’s easier to do than you may think. Fast for 16 hours per day (let’s say from 7pm when you finish dinner until 11am the next day) and then stick to low carb food during your feeding hours.

Ketosis has one big side effect that will help you stick to your weight loss plan. After fasting and eating low carb for about 3 to 4 days you’re deep into ketosis. And then something amazing happens. Hunger and food cravings simply go away. Ketosis is one of the best appetite suppressants I’ve come across and it makes sticking to this way of eating so much easier.

As insulin goes down and ketones go up, your body also starts to release more adrenaline and human growth hormone. Both of those work together to give you plenty of energy and keep your metabolism running high. You won't feel tired or sluggish after the first few days. Instead you’ll have more energy and you may even want to head out for a little fresh air and exercise (gasp). Now that’s what I call a powerful weight loss combination. And it all starts with Ketosis.

Check out more of my IF series on my blog at https://cathrynknock.com/blog..  

How to Get Ketosis Going

How to Get Ketosis Going
How To Help Your Body Get Into Ketosis Faster During Your Fast

When you fast your body starts to switch from burning primarily carbohydrates for energy to burning body fat (which is why fasting is such a great way to lose stubborn body fat). When you’re switching to burning fat, you go into ketosis which are flushed out in your urine.

The switch from burning sugar to burning fat isn’t always easy. For some of us it has nasty side effects like headaches, body aches and feeling tired and nauseous. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, does it? The good news is that the effect is very temporary and over the course of a couple of days you’ll feel much better.

There are, however, some things you can do to speed up this process and ensure that you have fewer or even none of the yucky side effects. Those symptoms by the way are sometimes called “keto flu”. Don’t worry, it isn’t an infection or illness… it can just feel like you may be coming down with the flu.

So let’s talk about how to avoid this tough transition period. Instead of jumping from your regular diet straight into a fast or a very low carb high fat diet, take a week to prepare your body. It will be time well spent and don’t be surprised if you find yourself losing weight and feeling better during this time.

Start by cutting out all sugar and limiting how much fruit you eat. That alone will help, but you can take it even further. Give your body a few days to get used to the lack of sugar, then start to cut back on other carbohydrates starting with refined carbs in things like pasta, pizza, bread and even white rice. Instead eat plenty of fresh veggies, meat and some healthy fat.

This will help prepare your body to switch from burning carbs and sugars for energy to using fat - body fat in particular to keep your energy up and keep you moving. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids - preferably calorie free ones, and definitely no soda or juices. This will help you stay hydrated and it will alleviate things like headaches from sugar withdrawal.

Don't be surprised to notice a nice side effect of preparing your body for fasting. You’ll be losing weight and feeling better as you wean your body off sugar and refined carbs. If you ask me, that alone is worth getting your body ready for fasting and ketosis.



How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Live Longer

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Live Longer
How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Live Longer

There’s been a lot of talk about intermittent fasting and the health benefits of fasting. There’s even been some research that suggests that fasting can help us live longer. I’m sure you’ve heard about the study of mice that were put on a very calorie restricted diet and they tended to live much longer lives. (we however are NOT setting out to specifically calorie restrict!!!!)

There are even people who stick to very low, strictly plant based diets in an effort to extend their lives. They function on the least food possible; being very careful about what they eat to make sure they get the most nutrition possible from the least amount of calories. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Does that mean you should be starving yourself? Absolutely not. From what I’ve read, you can get many of the benefits of fasting and low calorie living with intermittent fasting. Some interesting things happen in your body if you stop feeding it three meals and several snacks per day.

Here’s the thing. It isn’t natural for us to have a constant and steady supply of food at all times. And it really isn’t natural to have carbohydrates and sugar constantly in our body. That’s what’s causing weight gain, excess body fat, obesity, metabolic syndrome and eventually diabetes and a slew of health issues.

There are a couple of positive things that happen in our bodies when we go back to the old famine and feast ways of eating. A lot of it has to do with insulin. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that insulin has a lot to do with diabetes and obesity. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in converting sugar and carbs into body fat. On the flip side, we can’t burn body fat as long as insulin levels are high. Instead our metabolism shuts down and we crave sugary food until we give in and feed the insulin monster.

An effective way to cut into that vicious cycle is to simply fast. By fasting even for a few hours, we give insulin levels in our body a chance to go down and we can start to burn body fat for energy. It takes about six hours of not eating before insulin levels will start to drop. Do you see how eating three meals and a few snacks in between can be a problem and add to the obesity epidemic we’re facing?

Fasting helps us start to burn body fat and helps us reverse the negative effects of being overweight. That alone is a plus, but the benefits don't stop there. When we don’t eat, human growth hormone levels start to rise in our bodies. Plus our cells are busy starting to do internal repairs and our body releases adrenalin to keep our energy up. It only makes sense when you think back to our hunter and gatherer days. When there was no food, we needed a way to stay in shape so we can go out and find food. Fasting actually helps us keep in shape and thus helps us live longer and healthier lives.

We may not understand all the internal mechanisms and everything that’s going on yet, but don’t you think it’s worth a try. You may live longer and even if you don’t, you’ll feel better and have more energy to boot.

Which picture below do you want to be? What kind of 85-year old? One who is fit and having a great time in their golden years, or one in an assisted living facility?
 Fit at 85
OR
Needing a Walker and Helper?

I know what I choose!  

You CAN have it too.  Book a call with me today to find out how.Book A Call!

The 16/8 Method: You Can Go Without Food for 16 Hours

The 16/8 Method: You Can Go Without Food for 16 Hours
The 16/8 Method: You Can Go Without Food for 16 Hours

One of the easiest ways to fast is to simply cut out food for a big part of your day. This works particularly well when you have a busy day full of things to do and you need to be able to continue to work hard and stay on top of your game. The idea is simple. You fast for 16 hours per day and fit two meals or a meal and a snack into an eight hour period.

16 hours may seem like a long time, but when you figure in the fact that you spent about 8 of those hours sleeping, it doesn’t seem as daunting anymore. Most of us eat dinner a few hours before we go to bed. That adds a few more hours to the clock. If you are also one of those people that can’t or don’t eat breakfast first thing in the morning, you’re all set. Fasting for 16 hours will be easy-peasy for you.

If you are a breakfast eater and typically wake up hungry in the morning, I promise you that it won’t take you long to adjust to making do without food for the first few hours of the day. Try this. Make yourself wait for an hour or two before you eat. An easy way to do this is to just have black coffee while you get ready in the morning. Keep busy and make yourself wait until you get to the office before you eat. After a week, push your breakfast or first meal back by another hour. Keep going until you can comfortably fast for 16 hours or longer at a time.

Before long you will find yourself consuming only two meals per day. And don’t be surprised if you only eat once as you get used to intermittent fasting. One large meal in the late afternoon or evening along with a big cup of black coffee or tea in the morning is a comfortable way of fasting and eating for many.

Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day and you don’t need to eat three to six times per day to keep your energy up… that kind of thinking leads to the obesity epidemic we’re facing today. Intermittent fasting may just be the solution we need to reverse it.

Did you know I have a course that helps you learn how to intermittent fast safely and effectively and helps you break through diet mindset that has been holding you back by giving you one-on-one and group coaching sessions?  Well, I do.  

Are you ready to get started? Book a call and Find Out Moretoday!


Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)

Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)
Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)

There are several different ways to intermittent fast. Many people follow a time restricted eating (TRE) approach. These are the 16/8, 18/6, 19/5, 20/4 approaches where the first number is the number of fasting hours and the second number is the number of hours of feasting.

Yep, we call it feasting, because as you go along you will find that you will gravitate toward higher quality foods. We call the feasting time our "window". Another common term in the IF community is "window worthy". You'll start to look at food differently and rate it on if it is "window worthy" and if not, you'll find it is super easy to just not eat it.

I used to think Chinese food would always be window worthy. But the last time I ordered from my normal restaurant I was so disappointed. And here's the thing. The food was the same it has always been. But I'm different, and what tastes good to me now has drastically changed.

The biggest change - I used to love flavored coffee creamers in my coffee. Now they taste exactly like what they are - liquid chemicals.

Don't worry if this hasn't happened for you yet. Every body is different, and when you notice changes may be different than when I noticed changes.

Just keep with it. The results in the long run will be well worth it.

Haven't started an intermittent fasting lifestyle yet?  Do you need more information?  Check out these two books that literally changed my life: Delay, Don't Deny and Fast. Feast. Repeat.

I also have a coaching practice where I walk with you every step of the way to help you.  Book a Discovery Call with me today and let's find out if this way of life is right for you.  

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in.        



Diet? Fork That!!!!!

Diet?  Fork That!!!!!
Hello friend. You might have seen a blog post I did several months ago titled "My Foray in to the World of Intermittent Fasting and Hypnosis - Oh My!" where I explained that I had jumped in to the intermittent fasting world and was going to see where things went.

Well, here I am, 9+ months later and it is going great!!!! Like I seriously could not be happier with my results. To date I have released 58.2 pounds, and a combined 33 inches in my hips (7.5"), waist (8.5"), bust (8.5"), thighs (5"), calves (2"), and arms (1.5").

And I’m not done yet. I have a bit of weight left to release before my daughter’s wedding next April and I have no doubt I’ll hit my goal and be confident in my mother-of-the-bride dress!!!  Here's a great comparison photo with today on the left and my before photo on the right.  Can you see a difference?  Maybe I should have measured my face!!!!! :-) 
And I did this without giving up the foods I love and without buying any bottles of pills or supplements, gross shakes and pink drinks, expensive pre-packaged Frankenfoods (you know the ones that really cannot be called "real" food), and no crazy exercise regimens (in fact I just barely started exercising again), and I actually saved money in the process!

And the non-scale victories have been amazing. My acne is not an issue for the first time since puberty (I'm 50), my energy levels are off the charts, my brain fog is gone, my joints no longer hurt, and my knees no longer sound like Rice Krispies when I walk. In fact, the joint pain and crackling knees got better within about 2 weeks of starting.

It has literally been the best thing I have ever done, and it is so F&$%ing easy. It is a lifestyle that I will never stop because it works, and I feel so much better than I ever thought I would.

I am one of those people who loves to share what I am doing with the world and this is no different. In fact, after friends were commenting and asking what I was doing I decided I could benefit others by sharing what I did and helping others break free from the yo-yo dieting world too. So, I created a course and a coaching program to do just that.  We have a private Facebook group and group and one-on-one coaching where you get lifetime access.  Yep, you pay once and I'll be your coach forever.  

So friend, are you ready to finally get off the diet rollercoaster, cut the strings on yo-yo dieting once and for all, and take back your L*IF*E? I sure hope so.  

Book a call with me today and let’s see if this is right for you.  

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I also have a free Facebook group where I share tips and tricks on how to live a life of balance, growth, and purpose while still being a real person.  We call it Oatmeal, Not Quite Granola - because hey, we can't all be perfect.  Check it out HERE!  

Check out this post explaining the basics of intermittent fasting: https://cathrynknock.com/blog/17932/what-is-fasting-

What Is Fasting?

What Is Fasting?
What Is Fasting?
There are quite a few different reasons why you may be considering a fast. Often our first step into fasting is ordered by the doctor for a particular test or medical procedure. Or maybe you’ve read about the health and spiritual benefits of fasting and are interested in giving it a try.

By definition fasting is willing abstinence from food and drink. Different people fast differently. Some will take a little food or nutrition in the form of juice; others will stick to only water, black or green tea, or black coffee during for the duration of their fast. I personally do what is considered a "clean fast" meaning I only have water, black coffee or green tea, and nothing else during my fasting window.  Because you are either fasting or you are not.  

Fasting for Spiritual Reasons

Fasting has a long tradition in all major world religions. The idea is that the removal of food and with it the worrying about food preparation helps you turn inward. Fasting is used as a way to meditate, pray and get closer to a higher being based on your faith.

In Christian faith, fasting is used as a tool to atone for sins and bring us closer to God. Quite a few Christians will fast for 40 days during lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter). In other faiths - Native American and yogic traditions come to mind; fasting allows the person to reach a higher level of spiritual awareness and is used to gain visions. No matter what your faith, your soul and mind can benefit from a fast.

Fasting for Health

There’s been a lot of talk in the alternative health industry about the benefits of fasting. The basic idea is that if we abstain from food for a period of time, our bodies move energy from processing the food we eat to maintenance mode. The idea is that when food is scarce, our body does everything it can to keep us in good shape to go out and hunt and gather.

Without food in your system, your body shifts to burning fat for energy, resulting in fat loss. This shift away from burning sugar for energy also helps with insulin levels and certain types of fasting (in a controlled environment under the supervision of your doctor) can help reverse diabetes. In addition, fasting has been shown to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. There is even healing on a cellular level going on.  It's called autophagy, and we will discuss this in future posts.  

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a particular type of fasting where you go for long periods of the day without food, but end up having one or two meals. In essence you’re extending the period of time you usually go without food (while you’re sleeping) by several hours to give your body a chance to switch into fasting mode with all its health benefits.

Unlike traditional fasts where you go without food and most drink for three or more days, intermittent fasting still allows you to eat during a smaller window in your day. Other forms of intermittent fasting have you fast for one or two days per week, eating normally the rest of the time. Either method is a good alternative to traditional fasting and often easier to do and maintain will going on with our everyday life.

Next time we will learn more about some of the different ways to fast (and I'll share more about my favorite).  

Check out this blog on how I got started as an intermittent faster and my first experience with hypnotism. 

Ready to learn more and see if how intermittent fasting can improve your overall health, help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, and increase your energy?  Book a Discovery Call today!!!

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