With the fall season fast approaching, Atlantans are starting to see photos of colder weather comfort food popping up everywhere. Pumpkin spice everything will soon be here!
But along with those crisp cool days and colder nighttime temperatures comes a natural desire to eat more calorie rich, savory foods and sweets. And that, for many of us, can spell trouble in the form of unwanted weight gain.
Along with the additional stress and subsequent emotional eating brought about by the lingering pandemic, many people have not shed the pounds they usually do during the summer months. This, plus the additional weight most people put on during the winter months can be a recipe for disaster!
Our Hometown Hustle editor spoke recently with Ellen Britt, who in addition to two decades of medical experience as a PA (Physician Assistant), also holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and a Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Biology. Dr. Britt is an expert on the topic of intermittent fasting, sometimes known as time restricted eating.
She has been practicing daily intermittent fasting for over two years and has lost (and kept off!) over 35 pounds, which you can see from her before and after photo here, has made a huge difference in her life and health. Dr. Britt also coaches and consults with groups and individuals who want to bring a regular intermittent fasting practice into their lives.
Like many people, we just couldn’t imagine going hours and hours without food, so we asked Ellen just how difficult it is to get started. “First of all, intermittent fasting is not so much about what you eat as it is about when you eat it,” she explains. “Having said that, you can’t go out and eat three double cheeseburgers and chocolate cake everyday and expect to lose weight!”
She went on to say, “Intermittent fasting is NOT a diet, but a way of life. You don’t count calories but you eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. IF can be combined with any other food program that you like, from the Mediterranean diet to plant based, to keto to even Weight Watchers. The point is to eat as healthily as possible.”
We also asked Ellen to give us beginners a way to get going with IF. “Most people start out with what is known as a 16:8 pattern, which means fasting for 16 hours (including your sleep!) and eating your food over 8 hours. For most people this means simply delaying your first meal, perhaps until 11 am or so.”
“During your fast it’s important to drink on plain water, or black coffee or tea, unflavored and unsweetened. Flavors and sweeteners are out, even if they have no calories, as they can trick the body into thinking food is on the way and cause it to store fat.”
As Ellen also points out, IF is now widely widely accepted by the mainstream medical community as a safe and effective way to lose weight and keep it off. IF’s other benefits include prevention of Type Two diabetes as well as a reduction in your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and possibly even dementia.
Dr. Britt has a thriving free 1800 member Facebook group where you can get lots more information and support. Even though the group was begun for entrepreneurs who were interested in intermittent fasting, you don’t have to be a business owner to join. Just click here to check it out!