Feed or Fast?

eat it up  Recently, a client asked about intermittent fasting.  “Do you think it’s a good idea?”  My reply was “that depends.”

I’ve read some of the literature on fasting as a way to curb appetite, and of course lose weight.   I’ve also seen some conflicting programming on this topic.  There is a school of thought which believes you should eat within an hour of getting up.  Conversely, there are those which believe you should tighten your window of eating.  According to this, breakfast should be somewhere between 11am and 12pm.  Your last meal should be no later than 5pm.  While neither of these approaches represent a real fast, they may hold some promise for those struggling with weight.

MY TAKE ON FASTING

I’m not convinced this is for everyone; especially if you are taking insulin or on an oral diabetic agent.  If you must take medication with food, again, I don’t think this is your option.  My own delve into this however, taught me a few things.  One insight was this:  as children we are taught to control bowel and bladder.  These are base functions; and there are many a time we put off using the washroom at the first sign of urgency.  Appetite is also a base function.  And yes, often we cannot eat when we want.  If we can though, is it possible to delay that desire?  It is, and can be a teaching tool as well as an exercise in mindful eating–as opposed to the mindless eating many of us indulge.  Controlling an appetite can be likened to controlling bowel and bladder.  Though you may not have thought about it that way (or wanted to), they are both an exercise in self-control.

CONTROLLING AN APPETITE; A METAPHOR FOR TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE?

Maybe.  I’m not a psychologist.  So this is purely my perspective.  From what I’ve seen there is a link.  More to the point, I believe once there is a change in consciousness, a change takes place in your life.  However, you have to start somewhere.  For those New Year New You believers, know that all the exercise gurus and personal trainers online, in person, or on DVD, will do nothing for you–until you REALLY WANT IT.  Really wanting something involves sacrifice, introspection, and cultivation.  Many of us have in some form or another, wanted to further our education. What did that involve?  Staying up late, even though you had to work the next day?  Saying “no” to a splurge, maybe even what seemed like a necessity, at the time?  Perhaps parties, bridal and baby showers passed you by.   The list could easily go on.   The introspective part of you may have questioned your decision.  Yet if you persisted and really wanted your aspirations, you cultivated–you nourished your desire.  Hopefully you saw it come to fruition.  Again, the question had to be “How bad do I want it?”  And it had to go beyond the New Year New You cliches.

So whats my take on intermittent fasting?  It’s a tool, like anything else in your weight loss toolbox.  Again if you are on medication, diabetic, or have any questions, you should check with your nurse practitioner or MD.  However, experimenting with what makes you full, keeps you fuller longer, or simply asking yourself “do I need one more bite?” are part of the introspective process.  Yes this takes time to cultivate; and involves a bit of self-sacrifice.  You are making an investment.  But just like education, once you have it, no one can take it away from you.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working out isn’t working…press reset

dancer in white  This post originated in August of this year.  It was titled “My favorite reset cleanse.”  Intermittent fasting or “cleansing” has become the latest technique in battling the bulge.  In my opinion, nice and easy does it.  So this is my version of a “cleanse.”

Cleansing can be a vital component in revitalizing your life, your lifestyle, and yourself.

In my last post “Detox 360–body work,” I discussed intermittent fasting.  It is a segway into my favorite “reset.”

SLOW AND STEADY

I’m sure you realize by now, I am not a proponent of a cleanse that doesn’t encompass lifestyle change.  It is why my series is entitled Detox 360, starting with “Clean up your act….”

Yet I do believe there are benefits to hitting the “reset” button.  Your body (for the most part) is quite proficient at digesting, synthesizing, and eliminating food and fluids.  This doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a break.  Hard hitting cleanses coupled with fasting, which induce runny stools and flatulence, isn’t my idea of giving it a break.  It can upset the ph balance in your body, and wreak havoc with blood sugar levels.  Therefore taking your body from meals, to heavy fluids, to finally H20, I believe is a better alternative.

CHOOSE YOUR WAY

This cleanse can last a day or a week.  There are those who make it last longer, by decreasing what’s on their plate, a little at a time.  Know you can shorten or lengthen at your discretion.  If you are diabetic, take medication requiring food, or trying this for the 1st time, consult your medical professional.

Begin with eating a meal you normally consume. Your subsequent meal should be lighter in nature.  Your next should consist of an opaque juice, such as V8 or a blend.  Lastly, you end with only H20.

If you are doing this over the course of a week, remember your meals should progressively become lighter. You then transition to opaque fluids to ever clearer ones, until you reach your H20 phase.  It is essential to keep yourself well-hydrated, once you begin with fluids only.  What does that mean?  Your urine reflects your hydration status; therefore it should be clear, slightly to moderately yellow.  Anything dark is telltale for inadequate hydration.

How long do your fluid only days last?  For me, it is not longer than 1-2 days.  My H20 day is just that–one day.  Again, this is not meant for everyone; especially if you are diabetic or taking medication requiring food.

BRING IT BACK

Your H20 phase doesn’t spell the end of your cleanse.  It is only the “reset.”  It is a reset for your body; but also for commitment and perspective.

Just as the cleansing process was a subtle yet steady progression, so is the reversal.

Starting with clear lighter fluids, you gradually progress to opaque or heavier ones, then to soup (can be thicker or creamed), then to salad/veggies, then a meal.  Again, this can be stretched out for as long or as short as you like.  My last “add back” however are heavier carbs like potatoes, breads, and pastas–then my animal proteins.  You may choose to go with meat first, then your carbs.  This is your body, your cleanse.

I realize for “detox purists,” this is not their idea of a cleanse.  Far from being one of those, is why the post is entitled “my favorite cleanse.”

THE BENEFITS

This is a the pause button for my mind, as well as my body.  It forces me to make a commitment, stick to it, and remember that I made this choice.  After concluding this regimen, I not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but find I am consciously engaging in meals.  I chew my food more slowly (without really trying), savor each bite, and unconscious snacking all but disappears.

For me, this cleanse gives my digestive system the break it needs.  It doesn’t send me sprinting for the bathroom, play “hill & valley” with my blood sugar, or leave me incapacitated to complete a workday.  Yes, there is an adjustment period.  In comparison to some detoxes however, the side effects are marginal.

Have a favorite detox or cleanse you would like to share?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

My favorite “reset” cleanse–Detox 360

dancer in whiteCleansing can be a vital component in revitalizing your life, your lifestyle, and yourself.

In my last post “Detox 360–body work,” I discussed intermittent fasting.  It is a segway into my favorite “reset.”

SLOW AND STEADY

I’m sure you realize by now, I am not a proponent of a cleanse that doesn’t encompass lifestyle change.  It is why my series is entitled Detox 360, starting with “Clean up your act….”

Yet I do believe there are benefits to hitting the “reset” button.  Your body (for the most part) is quite proficient at digesting, synthesizing, and eliminating food and fluids.  This doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a break.  Hard hitting cleanses coupled with fasting, which induce runny stools and flatulence, isn’t my idea of giving it a break.  It can upset the ph balance in your body, and wreak havoc with blood sugar levels.  Therefore taking your body from meals, to heavy fluids, to finally H20, I believe is a better alternative.

CHOOSE YOUR WAY

This cleanse can last a day or a week.  There are those who make it last longer, by decreasing what’s on their plate, a little at a time.  Know you can shorten or lengthen at your discretion.  If you are diabetic, take medication requiring food, or trying this for the 1st time, consult your medical professional.

Begin with eating a meal you normally consume. Your subsequent meal should be lighter in nature.  Your next should consist of an opaque juice, such as V8 or a blend.  Lastly, you end with only H20.

If you are doing this over the course of a week, remember your meals should progressively become lighter. You then transition to opaque fluids to ever clearer ones, until you reach your H20 phase.  It is essential to keep yourself well-hydrated, once you begin with fluids only.  What does that mean?  Your urine reflects your hydration status; therefore it should be clear, slightly to moderately yellow.  Anything dark is telltale for inadequate hydration.

How long do your fluid only days last?  For me, it is not longer than 1-2 days.  My H20 day is just that–one day.  Again, this is not meant for everyone; especially if you are diabetic or taking medication requiring food.

BRING IT BACK

Your H20 phase doesn’t spell the end of your cleanse.  It is only the “reset.”  It is a reset for your body; but also for commitment and perspective.

Just as the cleansing process was a subtle yet steady progression, so is the reversal.

Starting with clear lighter fluids, you gradually progress to opaque or heavier ones, then to soup (can be thicker or creamed), then to salad/veggies, then a meal.  Again, this can be stretched out for as long or as short as you like.  My last “add back” however are heavier carbs like potatoes, breads, and pastas–then my animal proteins.  You may choose to go with meat first, then your carbs.  This is your body, your cleanse.

I realize for “detox purists,” this is not their idea of a cleanse.  Far from being one of those, is why the post is entitled “my favorite cleanse.”

THE BENEFITS

This is a the pause button for my mind, as well as my body.  It forces me to make a commitment, stick to it, and remember that I made this choice.  After concluding this regimen, I not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but find I am consciously engaging in meals.  I chew my food more slowly (without really trying), savor each bite, and unconscious snacking all but disappears.

For me, this cleanse gives my digestive system the break it needs.  It doesn’t send me sprinting for the bathroom, play “hill & valley” with my blood sugar, or leave me incapacitated to complete a workday.  Yes, there is an adjustment period.  In comparison to some detoxes however, the side effects are marginal.

Have a favorite detox or cleanse you would like to share?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.