High Intensity Intervals and Intermittent Fasting

Posted On: July 2, 2017

Those are the main themes in this last month of the BayFit Body Fat Loss Challenge!!

 

We are have all been working our little bums (and hopefully bellies) off the last two months.  We’ve cleaned up the diet, worked on portion control, and are now going to give our bodies a chance to really get into fat-burning mode!!!  In July, we are working with two secret weapons:

INTERMITTENT FASTING

Put the fork down!  Take a break from the constant noshing and nibbles and let your body burn, baby, burn.  For many of you this sounds scary.  But trust me, skipping an occasional meal is what humans are designed to do.  Heck even 2 generations ago there weren’t copious snacks sitting pre-packaged in the pantry to nosh on mindlessly.  People ate 2 or 3 square meals, and occasionally got too busy to deal with even those.

Have you ever slept in on a Sunday morning?  Congratulations, you intermittent fasted.  You likely had dinner by 8 or 9 the night before, slept in until 9 or 10 and voilà, at least 12 hours fasted.  Now, was that so hard?  Anyone, and I mean anyone, can fast 12 hours every single day.  Just notice what time you ate dinner, and don’t have breakfast until the same hour the next morning.  Simple.  That little 12-hour window gives your body a chance to have completely burned through any sugar in your system and start digging into your fat stores.  

For my men and post-menopausal women, I’d recommend you crank it up a bit more.  You have the luxury of not worrying how the food timing and intake will affect your sex hormones, so you get an added edge.  You can extend that fast from 12 hours all the way up to 16 or even 24 hours once a week.  If you are doing daily fasts, keep them more conservative, but a once a week all day fast (say lunch to lunch) is both easy and convenient, but will really help train your body to use fat for fuel instead of sugar.  

 

Here is a blog I wrote last year that explains all the reasons why you’d want to fast. 

And here is a breakdown on the various ways to do so.  

 

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING

The second secret weapon this month is intervals.  Just like humans are designed to occasionally stop eating, we are also meant to occasionally move very fast.  Random bouts of full-out exertion are a fantastic way to push your cardio and fat-burning potential to the next level.  Specifically, doing a short bout of intervals will increase your EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption).  This means the amount of energy your body burns even after the workout is done. With HIIT, you work for less time and burn fat for longer.  Who doesn’t love that?!

All you have to do is take 5-10 min 2-3x/week where you lay it all out there.  Make sure to be slightly warmed up first and try to pick exercises that are challenging for your heart and muscles.  Set a stopwatch or just watch a second hand and work at full capacity for 20-30 seconds.  Rest for 10-15 seconds.  Then repeat 8 times through.  You can vary the exercises or do all the same.  Up to you.  Also, remember that the exercise choices are relative.  What might be a horrifically challenging interval for one person, may not be for another.  So just make sure you feel like you’re going at least 80% of your max during the work cycles.

I wrote an article about why and how to do interval training here.  I even included a little video with examples of interval exercises you might try.

 

For those of you competing in our Body Fat Loss Challenge this Summer, you need to sign up for your follow-up scan in early August.  Here is a link to sign up at the studio on Aug 5th.  If you can’t make that one, please sign up for another date and place to see how far you’ve come!!!!

Yours in Health, 

Daniella

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