Fasting – say what?!

The latest craze in the health community is Intermittent Fasting and of course we had to find out more. Just in case you would like to try it out.

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Kelly Stegen is a pro when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. She’s the creator of Kelfit Lifestyle (now kellystegen.com), an Intermittent Fasting specialist as well as a pregnancy and breastfeeding expert. The mom of two is also an ISSA Qualified Sports and Fitness Specialist and Nutritionist specialising in nutrition and has coached clients to be the best version of themselves all over the world. “I have battled with my weight my whole life. After trying every diet under the sun, battling with anorexia and having a baby where I picked up 30kg, I decided enough is enough. In 2009 I watched my first fitness show and decided that I also wanted to be on stage. I then started my fitness journey. It took me 12 weeks to transform my body and I have never looked back,” Kelly says.

Why intermittent fasting?

“I am not a huge believer in fad diets but two years ago I was introduced to Intermittent Fasting and as a coach I was very open-minded to try this new way of life/pattern of eating. It took me two years to get it right and find the magic with IF – and I lost 8kg and maintained my goal weight ever since. I truly believe this is a life-changing way of life and can help women with eating disorders and obsessive eating patterns, it is relaxed and just so easy to follow if done the right way. I did a lot of studying on this topic and developed my own programme of IF which I started introducing to my clients in February this year. My clients have had enormous success on the programme and I am very happy with how the ladies’ and men’s bodies responded to it,” Kelly added.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (sometimes referred to as IF) is an eating schedule which alternates between fasting and feeding. A time window where eating is allowed is set whereafter you are only allowed to consume food during that period. The rest of the time is spent fasting – meaning NO food is allowed. But, as with everything in life there are a few rules key to make this a healthy and productive health choice for you.

“For example, you may eat only between the hours of 10am and 6pm, or 12pm and 8pm …whatever suits you – the levels range between beginner all the way to expert. IF is not a diet in the conventional sense, but rather, a pattern of eating – a lifestyle,” Kelly explains.

What are the benefits?

“Intermittent Fasting has potential benefits for your metabolism, disease prevention, cellular repair and psychological well-being. Studies have also shown it can help with depression, anxiety, stubborn fat, hormone issues and more,” Kelly says.

It’s also the perfect choice for someone who does not like to eat breakfast and feel they are disciplined enough to give IF a go. “It is so much easier than the conventional 5 meals a day diet, it is really nice food and IF promises a lot of benefits, not just weight loss. It is also good for your mood, skin, sleeping patterns and hormones, and there are so many benefits to doing IF,” Kelly adds.

It is based on the 16:8 hour principles for beginner level and 18:6 hour for intermediate level.

“It really helps people who also have high cortisol levels and stubborn fat deposits that they cannot get rid of (by lowering cortisol and balancing hormones). Because your body learns to utilise fats for energy and not carbohydrates it helps to control your hunger pangs as well,” Kelly adds.

The potential benefits of IF include:

Improved mental clarity and concentration.

Weight and body fat loss.

Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels.

Reversal of type 2 diabetes.

Increased energy.

Improved fat burning.

Increased growth hormone.

Lowered blood cholesterol.

Let us help you put all this into a practical and productive plan. Many people are re-discovering this dietary intervention. It can carry huge benefits if it is done right: weight loss, increased energy, reversal of type 2 diabetes and many other things.

“At Intermittent Fasting Online I will guide you on what can be drunk during your fast, what to eat in your eating window and more. If this is something that you feel you would be disciplined enough to do… getting started is quick and easy and we have a few plans to suit every lifestyle and budget. IF has really changed the composition of so many of our clients bodies – they are loving the IF lifestyle!” Kelly says.

More about IF as explained by Kelly:

What type of foods can one eat when doing IF?

The plan is based on low carb/ higher fat… carbs are kept low but not cut out completely. We also work in one refeed day per week to keep metabolism firing.

Can you still drink fluids when fasting?

Yes, you may drink all teas, coffees as long as they are black or made with a dash of fat-free or almond milk, no more than 1/2 cup of milk in the fasting period, and to be drunk neat or with 1-2 sweetener or xylitol.  Water is obviously allowed freely during your fasting period.

Is the diet very strict on Intermittent Fasting?

No – the diet gives you many options and you can still eat out while doing IF. It is a complete way of life and very do-able. We refer to it as a “pattern of eating.”

“Some people believe in eating whatever you want in your eating window – this is not the case. You need to eat enough protein, veggies, good fats and a select number of carbohydrates – that’s where someone like me comes in – a coach can teach you what you need to know. A lot of people try and do Keto – doing Keto is super hard and trying to keep your body in ketosis even harder. My plan is so easy to follow and the food is delicious,”
Kelly explains.

What if you like eating breakfast?

Then you just change the fasting window, you eat breakfast and eat for 6 to 8 hours and then continue your fast after that so you would skip dinner. You would need to decide if breakfast or dinner is more important to you and base your feeding window around that.

Do you have to count calories on Intermittent Fasting?

No, we don’t count calories at all… it is a way of life and you listen to what your body needs. We fuel our bodies correctly with the right amount of nutrients.

Doesn’t Intermittent Fasting slow down your metabolism?

Surprisingly, research suggests that the effect of Intermittent Fasting has the same or less negative effects on metabolism compared to traditional dieting. The reason why many think Intermittent Fasting improves metabolism is due to less loss of lean body mass and greater fat burning.

How much weight can you lose while IF?

It is entirely dependent on your body and how strict you are. Fasting for 16 to 20 hours a day can help you safely lose 1-2kg of fat every week. While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it happens that’s really cool. Losing weight with Intermittent Fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day. This is dependent on how your body responds and how much weight you have to lose as well.

For more on Intermittent Fasting or to join contact Kelly and her team at www.kellystegen.com.

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