Chances are this isn't the first or last time you'll be hearing about intermittent fasting. It's the current trendy weight loss method, and it's exactly what it sounds like: fasting for a certain amount of hours per day and eating in between.
While in theory it might sound like a semi-shady way to lose weight (are we the only ones who think it sounds dangerously close to unhealthily obsessing over your eating habits?), there is a method to its madness.
"To sum up what IF is, it is not a diet; it is a habit of eating," Simmons says in her video. "Intermittent fasting is when you fast for a period of time, and then you break your fast and you eat."
While the exact hours of fasting are usually different for everyone, she chose to eat for 6 hours out of the day and fast for 18 — meaning she didn't eat until after her workouts around 1 p.m.
By the end of the five days, Simmons said she turned into a fan of intermittent fasting, and even chose to continue for five more days. Ahead are all the benefits she saw while intermittent fasting!
It blasts fat — without losing muscle mass
While five days isn't enough time to see physical results, Simmons says it's a legit way to burn fat and build muscle at the same time.
"IF has proven to be an amazing fat loss tool and if done correctly, you can keep all your muscle mass," she said.
"As you're eating throughout the day, your body is constantly relying on that food you're ingesting as an energy source, taking that glucose — that's what's getting you through the day. IF is a fasting period so when the food is gone and there's no food to rely on for that glucose, it starts attacking the fat that is already stored in your body and using that as glucose."
My body is reacting so crazy well to intermittent fasting AHHHH so well that I'm out here showing my lower stomach hello ??♀️ who this? YES OF COURSE I'm making a YouTube video about my experience!! But for now... I created an insane leg workout with mucho HIIT for my girls that are trying to cut, shape up, etc. while keeping muscle mass. You can find the link to that video in my bio (no surprise there tho lolz) Okay yes I know I don't do posts like this often so I hope it's okay and you'll still love me and accept me as I am okay mucho love v much love you xo #gymsharkwomen
You'll shed those lbs
This one is obvious. Because your body is attacking its stored fat and using it as energy, you're going to see a difference on the scale. That is, as long as you're timing your workouts to be immediately before or during your eating periods (and you're getting enough proteins and carbs post-workout). It's still super important to get those nutrients in after a workout, so make sure you're planning your workouts for when you can actually eat.
Simmons did say that she felt a little light-headed and tired at times while she was working out, but luckily IF permits you to drink zero-calorie BCAAs (branch chain amino acids in supplement form), which she says "really helped out with that."
It's super convenient
Simmons says that the highlight of IF, aside from how good it made her feel by day five, was how convenient it was. Think about it: Most weight loss plans call for three to five smaller portioned meals throughout the day, with tiny snacks in between. But with IF, you're only eating three larger portioned meals — which makes it pretty damn easy to plan for your calorie and macro budgets.
"Something that I'm loving about this is the convenience," Simmons said. "The convenience of waking up and not having to worry about making food, and the convenience of making three large portioned meals rather than six throughout the day."
"Hitting my macros while intermittent fasting is so much easier than when I'm eating five to six meals. Because instead of planning out my macros into five or six meals, I can split my calories in three ways and then I can easily create three meals, even throw in some snacks on the side."
Plus, because she was still meeting her calorie and macro counts, she didn't feel like she was shortchanging herself when it came to eating.
"I'm not starving, I feel really good," Simmons said. "I really thought me feeling starved was going to be an issue, but because I'm getting all my calories in, I'm feeling good — I'm feeling fire!"
She even said that she didn't get her first sweet tooth craving until the very end of day four.
Say goodbye to bloating
By day five, Simmons felt good enough to show off her physique for the camera.
"You're not gonna start burning a million pounds right away, right? But I think you'll slowly start seeing changes in your body. For me the biggest change by the end of the week, which is something I struggle with so much: bloating. [...] On day five, my body and my stomach felt so tight. I didn't feel so bloated and watery."
For Simmons, who says she genetically stores all her fat in her stomach, the tight belly feeling was a sign that she knew IF was working. "I just feel so much tighter and a lot less bloated."
Fast forward to five days after her experiment, and Simmons had continued to intermittent fast for five extra days. And surprise — she still felt awesome.
"I don't feel restricted, I don't feel like it's a diet, I don't feel like there's rules I have to follow."
Sounds like intermittent fasting might be a good long term weight loss strategy after all – if you can handle fasting until the middle of the day, anyway. And if you can't, it's no big deal. There's nothing wrong with good old healthy eating and exercise.
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