The last week of Shake Up November is upon us.  If you will recall; my intentions in creating this challenge was to shed some light on whether or not breakfast is really the most important meal of the day, the difference between “shaking it up” and juicing, the nutritional breakdown of a typical American breakfast, to share recipes and encourage you all to get some quality nutrition in your bellies to start your day off strong, and to create an eBook with shake recipes – But…there’s still one topic I’d like to cover.  Intermittent Fasting and whether or not it’s right for you.

Last week Monday I wrote about how, what, and when we eat has an affect on our hormones; which can directly affect how efficiently our metabolism is working.  Keeping in mind that each person is different, composed of different genetics, some sleep/rest more than others, some exercise/train harder and more frequently than others…this is why it’s so hard to convince the general population that just because you read about a new diet/fitness trend on the internet and that “it gets you results quick and easy” it may not be right for you.  The general rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.

First, I know plenty of people who follow and intermittent fasting protocol and have great success in eating this way, their energy levels are great, they sleep well, they don’t have unusual cravings, and are able to maintain desired leanness and lower levels of body fat.  

However, before embarking on an intermittent fasting journey you may want to consider these few points to see if it’s right for you.

You need to be reasonably healthy and hormonally balanced before your body can properly adjust to intermittent fasting.
Skipping meals raises the stress hormone cortisol.  If you are already stressed aka: already have higher levels of cortisol, overly stress your body in the form of high intensity training or over-training, intermittent fasting could have double-damaging affects vs. positive ones. Also, if you have any signs of adrenal fatigue and or thyroid dysfunction you may need time to regulate all of the above before trying intermittent fasting. 

Dr. Kalish on Intermittent Fasting: “It’s very hard for a person to have normal energy and to burn fat when their metabolism is basically broken. The more dysfunctional your cortisol is, in a sense, the more damaged your metabolism is”.

Dr Jade Teta on Intermittent fasting: “Stress reactions involve more than cortisol, and any negative stress reactions as a consequence of fasting involve more than cortisol.  An over-exaggerated adrenaline and cortisol response can lead to muscle wasting in some, as well as hunger, energy fluctuations, and severe cravings that will derail any diet.”

It can lead to disordered eating patterns; an “all or nothing” binge mentality.
I jokingly say that I intermittent fasted for years; denying my hunger, going hours without eating, etc.  Except people called it disordered eating.  But in all seriousness, if you’ve had a history of a preoccupation with food or disordered eating habits, intermittent fasting could unintentionally re-trigger them.  

It can also cause people to binge on unhealthy foods and drinks during their “feeding hours” which can easily encourage over-eating habits because after all, you’ve been going for 8-16 hours without food, testing your will power, and when it’s actually time to eat unless you are a experienced at intermittent fasting, most likely it’s an “anything goes” type feast.  

Lastly, it could lead to over-consumption of caffeinated products, appetite suppressants or fat burners to stave off hunger.  
Again, all of the above: excessive caffeine, appetite suppressants and fat burners have the potential to increase heart rate, cause the “fight or flight response”/raise adrenaline levels and send the body into a stressed state.  This combined with the stress of going several hours without eating can have a negative hormonal response which could cause your great intention of intermittent fasting to backfire.

I encourage you to read more about the protocols, pros, cons before embarking on your journey just as I hope you would with any new routine you might want to try.  Here are a few links to help you research more:

How to: Intermittent Fasting – Mark’s Daily Apple

IF Diet: Why It’s Not the Weight Loss Fix You Think It Is – The Metabolic Effect

The Kalish Method

Finally…….without further adieu: this week’s Shake Up November Challenge winner of V23 Pump & Shred apparel is: Chelsea! Congrats, I’ll be contacting you to send you the loot.

Next week’s grand finale giveaway is a 2 lb bag of Stronger Faster Healthier chocolate Recovery protein and a 10-class pass to Tetra Fitness! I’ll be drawing 2 different winners for this one based on who interacts the most this week!  LEGGO!!

Want the recipe to the “Incredible Hulk Energy Smoothie”? Check out my Instagram account.