• Serena Marie RD

The Twelve Hour Fast



Okay guys. Sometimes I teach based on science and sometimes I speak from the heart.


Today we are doin' a little bit of both. Intermittent fasting (IF) has a lot of awesome science behind it which I discussed in this guest post for Krasey Fit Beauty.


But I simply am not a fan of IF. I think it promotes disordered eating and I think it makes it really difficult for athletes to get enough nutrition to recover their hardworking bodies. Fasted workouts need post-workout nutrition. Tired bodies may need more fuel 24 hours after a hard workout and if hunger strikes during a "fasted window," I think its important for an athlete to eat. So anyway - no, I do not like intermittent fasting. I like teaching you guys how to use food to recover like a boss, stay fuller longer and burn fat while running like an olympian.


But... the twelve hour fast. Ahhh... that I can get behind. Ya know why?? This is a trendy way of saying "Don't eat junkfood after dinner." And that is totally valid. Most of the time, post-dinner snacks are not feeding hunger but used to soothe stress, emotions or boredom.


If ya don't need it, don't eat it.


So yes, not eating for twelve hours, otherwise not eating after dinner and until breakfast is TOTALLY healthy AND an awesome way to combine the purported benefits of IF without introducing restricting. Intermittent fasting for 12 hours (aka - sleeping instead of eating late at night) may contribute to weight loss, reduce the chance of getting cancer, and prevent heart health or diabetes.


So, guys. Don't get nuts. Don't fast for 16 hours. Just finish dinner, wash your dishes and put the food away. Eat breakfast twelve hours later. And that's that.


Need help stopping the late night snacking?!


Let's talk about it.


Before you eat dinner, put the leftovers away. It will stop you from picking on leftovers while cleaning up the kitchen or taking seconds when you're not really hungry.


Keeping junk out the house helps, but I think its better to truly wean yourself off the junk to break the habit. If you get a craving, set a timer for 20 minutes. Tell yourself if in 20 minutes you still need a snack, then you can have one. Simply setting this timer helps give yourself some time to sit back and truly decide if you want to snack.


During the twenty minutes, try doing something else to relax. Cuddle a heated blanket, read a book... here's a weird one: lay against the floor with your legs against the wall. Its so relaxing. I swear. Clean your closet, give yourself a manicure, foam roll, color. JUST DO SOMETHING that you usually do not do while snacking (ie. if you usually snack while watching TV in the living room then don't just sit in the living room watching TV while waiting for the twenty minutes to pass).


I promise you that this will work and will make that 12 hour fast A BREEZE... and it will HELP you feel better, more energized and more awesome.

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©2017 by Serena Marie RD. Images by Ralf Graebner