Monday morning rolls around and you promise yourself that today’s the day: TODAY you will start a new diet.
We’ve all been there …
You spent the majority of your weekend having fun.. And why shouldn’t you?! You work hard during the week and deserve you well earned time off. But treating ourselves well often comes hand in hand with ‘indulgences’ - evening cocktails, lavish brunches and late night meal delivery.
If this is what your weekend looks like, by Sunday night you’re probably feeling tired and heavy - and of course you’re looking for a diet reset.
My weekends used to look like this. In my past lives, when I went to University in Wisconsin and lived in NY, my social time revolved around eating out and partying.
But it came at an expense - I didn’t feel well. In fact in my early 20s I was the sickest I have ever been (I was always hungry, tired, nauseous and in pain). Over time I realized that the choices I was making - especially on the weekends - were making me sick.
Now my weekends look different than they used to. While I still really enjoy sipping on cocktails and going to brunch, I have begun to get more intentional about the choices I make.
- Instead of going bar hopping, I go to plays, concerts and host potlucks and game nights
- Instead of partying all day into the night, I now wake up early, go on a hike, check out the farmers market or escape LA for a day of adventure and exploration
While that might sound really fun for some of you, it might sound really lame for others. And the best part is? It doesn’t really matter. Because it’s what I enjoy doing - your happy list can look completely different than mine.
One of the biggest misconceptions about being healthy is that it requires a huge amount of sacrifice. But sacrifice is relative - connect with activities that make you happy and there’s will be no sacrifice at all.
What makes you feel engaged and excited? When we can connect with our higher motivators, it becomes easier to shift the perception of what it means to indulge. I find that doing this helps us release the case of the ‘shoulds’. For example, in doing this exercise you might remember that you love to dance - so instead of feeling like you ‘should’ go to the gym, you sign up for (and get super excited for) a hip hop dance class. Tapping into this side helps us make choices that are naturally more fulfilling.
This is the secret to long term success and avoiding that dreaded Monday diet (that let’s face it - never really happens).
But you’re probably still wondering - If I do f*** up and I now feel like crap - what can I do to have a quick ‘reset’?
The mindset piece is so important. I know I know - if you’re like me, you’re probably impatient to just have the actionable steps. But in order to feel like you’re not resetting every Monday, it’s essential to look at our bigger patterns and habits. So if you did that, take a minute to read the first part of this post.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) has been around for centuries and is trending recently because of its beneficial metabolic effects. IF is “time restricted eating” where you consume your calories within a limited time frame. The ‘fast’ takes place overnight and can be anywhere from 11-24 hours. The most common eating window is 8 hours - meaning you fast for 16 hours followed by 8 hours of eating.
For example, on a 16 hour fast, you would eat between:
- 10 am and 6pm
- 12pm and 8pm
- 2pm and 10pm
When we eat has a huge impact on our health and metabolism. Research shows that our bodies can handle food better during the day than at night. This is because we have a higher degree of insulin sensitivity during the day than at night - aka our sugar metabolism is more efficient when its bright outside. So even if you don’t dramatically change what you’re eating, thinking about your timing can have a huge impact on your metabolism.
IF also has a beneficial effect on the gut microbiota - the bacteria that live and regulate the health of our gut. The bacteria that live in the gut have their own circadian rhythm that is thrown off with overeating and an a fasting period helps to reset it as well as reducing total body inflammation.
This type of time restricted eating helps to reduce energy intake, improve muscle coordination and improve overall sleep quality.
Seems like a win / win for everyone.
Let’s Do This
IF isn’t meant to be done every day. One to three non-consecutive days per week is enough to get its benefits.
If a 16 hour fast feel like a long time for you, start with where you’re at and slowly work your way up to a 16 / 8 time frame. For example, if right now you’re doing 9 hours in between dinner and breakfast - begin to stretch it out to 12 hours and then gradually increase your fast time.
Here’s what IF can look like in practice:
Breakfast (10:00 am) - Sweet potato scrambled eggs with spinach and kimchi
Lunch (1:00 pm) Wild salmon with arugula and artichoke salad topped with tomatoes, bean sprouts and avocado
Snack (3:30 pm) - Apple slices with almond butter
Dinner (6:00 pm) Warmed veggie bowl with spaghetti squash, broccoli rabe and turkey meatballs
Take what make sense to you and leave the rest! I would love to hear how it goes.
Intermittent Fasting is not appropriate if you are underweight or have a history of disordered eating.
Please note that this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.