Frequently Asked Questions
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is a way of life (WOL) that has become more popular over the past several years.
It is a time restricted eating pattern, using a “clean” fasting window of time that allows your body to use the stored fat on your body as energy/fuel while burning that stored fat off your body. Allowing you to shrink in size, while maybe not lose as much “weight” on the scales.
What is CLEAN Fasting?
A clean fast is when you are drinking ONLY black, unflavored coffee; unsweetened tea and/or plain water (sparkling/bubbly okay) during your fasting window. If you chew a piece of gum, pop a cough drops in your mouth or put just a little bit of creamer in your coffee, you are breaking your fast and starting your eating window. Any calories digested will break your fast!
What are these windows you talk about?
You have a fasting window, which we call a CLOSED window – you are closed for eating and drinking caloric beverages. This can be for 16 hours, 18 hours, 20 hours of the 24 hours of time we are given each day.
Then you have an eating window, which we call an OPEN window – you can eat and drink whatever you choose to during this time period of the day. It makes up the other hours in the 24 hours we are given each day.
So, 18:6 means I fast 18 hours a day and eat within a 6 hour window (it can be from 12 pm – 6 pm or whenever is my favorite times to eat). If I have a 20:4 eating pattern that means I fast for 20 hours of the day and eat for only 4 hours.
What I love about this WOL is that I don’t have to have the same eating pattern every day and I don’t have to consistently eat during the same hours each day.
I could never FAST, I’d starve, no way, no how…or could I?
I thought this same thing when I first was introduced to IF. But we all fast every day even if we don’t realize it – while sleeping – so you probably are at least doing 8:16 right now – sleeping 8 hours and eating from 7 am – 11 pm or 12:12 – finishing your evening snack at 8 pm and having breakfast at 8 am. Imagine, if you could just stop eating after dinner (lose the evening snack) at 6 pm and then skip breakfast or push it a little later each morning till 10 am – you are now in a 16:8 eating pattern. You are fasting 16 hours and eating for 8 hours each day. When you think about it, do we really need to be eating more than 8 hours a day?
How does fasting really help me lose weight?
When you fast (usually over 16 hours) your body has used up all the food/drinks/calories from the food you consumed that day for fuel to maneuver your body & it’s functions. Once that fuel is gone, there is a switch that turns to the fat on your body to use as the fuel. The longer that switch is on…the more fat will be burned up on your body (thus the shrinking phenomena). You need to figure out your own body and what are the optimal times for you to fast to lose weight – if you are used to eating 14 hours a day cutting back to 8 hours may cause you to lose weight. You will always want to tweak what you are doing to reach your goals.
Why join Measure Me Life?
It is proven that being a part of a support group can help you succeed at whatever you are trying to accomplish. We are a FREE online and in person support group for intermittent fasting. There are daily interactions on our website. We held our first monthly in person meeting on December 29, 2019 and meet in person monthly in Louisville, Kentucky. Finally, we offer weekly FB Live meetings “The Tabby & Abby Show” on Sunday nights at 7 pm EST within our private FB group. Search for us “Measure Me Life”
Do I have to use an APP to fast?
Absolutely NOT! But our MML friends have found that it does help for accountability purposes. Not only does it help you remember when you started fasting, but it also keeps track of your weekly ketosis hours (fat burning phase) and your total hours fasted. The data is great for figuring out how you may need to “tweak your times” to get the most effective results from your fasting windows.
There are many apps to chose from in your app store and eventually we hope to have our own MML app. But until then, several of us use the LIFE Fasting Tracker app – we also have a “Measure Me Life” circle that you can join to fast with us. If you would like to use the LIFE app, click on this Life Fasting Tracker YouTube video for instructions on downloading the app, creating your profile and joining our circle.
Is there a DIET plan I need to follow while fasting?
No, you can choose to eat whatever diet you choose to while fasting. Some of our fasting friends have chosen to use the fasting WOL along side a keto diet or using WW or even just delaying and not denying. Delaying means you may have to delay some of your favorite foods or drinks for a time until you reach your weight loss goals.
Do I have to exercise while fasting to lose weight?
Actually, NO! There have been many fasting friends who have lost a significantly amount of weight without any type of exercise. Now, with that being said…your efforts will pay off more and quicker if you do combine fasting, eating healthy and exercise. It is also best to exercise during your fasting window. I know you may think you won’t have enough energy since you are fasting, but trust me …it is invigorating to exercise while in a fasted state! Try it and let me know your thoughts.
How much weight can I expect to lose the first week?
Don’t expect to lose ANY weight the first week. It will take your body a bit of time (that is different for EVERYONE) to adjust to fasting. You may not see any movement on the scales or even movement in the wrong direction the first few weeks. But please TRUST THE PROCESS, your body is making changes and the scales will eventually catch up.
How long will it take to reach my weight loss goals?
Who knows? It depends on what your goals are 10 lbs, 50 lbs, 100 lbs? It depends on your fasting window lengths: 16 hours, 18 hours, 20 hours consistently. It depends on how healthy you are eating in your eating window. So, there is no answer to how long it will take to reach your goals. YOU need to set realistic goals and tweak the process as you realize what works for you and what does not! But please, please, please give this new WOL at least 6 months wholeheartedly of your life to settle in and see what it can do for you.
How does maintenance work?
Once you reach goal, you just continue fasting as you always have each day. This WOL is much easier to maintain your weight loss OR at least not gain it all back (and then some)! When you are in weight loss mode, you really do get used to fasting each day and it is much easier to maintain than other diets we have tried.
What are other resources you should check out on fasting?
Always check with your primary care physician to make sure fasting will be a healthy choice for you! If you get a green light, check out a couple of these books – either a hardcopy from Amazon or listen to it on Audible:
Gin Stephens – “Fast, Feast, Repeat” and “Delay, Don’t Deny”
Dr. Bert Herring “The Power of Appetite Correction”
Jason Fung “The Obesity Code”
James Clear “Atomic Habits”
Graeme Curry “The Fasting Highway”