February Food Challenge 2015

February Challenge:  

#12HourFast from Supper to Breakfast

First, your job is to continue to implement the January #peeclear challenge into your life.  Just because it’s a new month does not mean you throw away everything you have learned in Jaunary.  Remember water is the foundation to a clean eating lifestyle.

In February, we are adding another lean eating lifestyle habit that directly targets fat loss!  12 hours between your LAST meal of the day and your FIRST…why?  Because at roughly the 9 hour mark, when you are hopefully fast asleep, your body will start tapping into it’s fat stores for fuel.

There will be many days you will find this challenge easy because you will usually be fast asleep at this magical 9 hour mark…like the days you eat an early supper or you get to sleep in because it’s your morning off.

Be aware, accept, and embrace that not every day will be the same, though.  Some days your child’s evening events will have you eat later or you might need to work late.  Green light to eat dinner at 8pm and not skip an important meal!!  Don’t “save” your calories!  You will inevitably pay the next day with an insatiable appetite or crazy cravings.

One the evenings you end up eating “late” you will simply eat breakfast later than usual.  This carries it’s own set of considerations, of course, as some meals are easier to transport to work than others.  It’s okay to hit bumps on the road and learn to make adjustments the next go around.  Let go of the “all or nothing” mentality of the past.  The real challenge is to learn how these loose protocols fit into your reality and your RESULTS!

FURTHERMORE, for those who oftentimes feel the urge to eat right before bed, this challenge will encourage you to evaluate WHY since your next meal should come 12 hours later to tap into fat stores.  Remember, it’s not that eating at night is BAD necessarily but you do have to acknowledge the “why” of the hunger.

a.  Are you hungry?  Did you eat enough for dinner or did you try to under eat to “save” calories?

b.  Are you bored?  How do you replace boredom eating w/ another habit?

c.  Could your hormones be playing tricks on you?  Lack of sleep, menses, and/or too much stress all amount to a hormonal tornado!  Could you be overtraining, under sleeping, overworking?

d.  Can you “ride out” the craving?  Cravings hit a psychological peek at the 20 minutes mark.  Your urge will go down…if you can step out of intense urge for just a little while.

Choose REFLECTION over SELF LOATHING to seek answers as to WHY you feel out of control with bedtime eating.  Telling yourself you are fat and undisciplined doesn’t HELP you understand the cause.  Dig deep so you can take action!

Are you setting realistic expectations of yourself?

You are AIMING for a 12 hour fast.  Does this mean you are an undisciplined failure if you only get 11 hours in?!?  Of course not!!  You still got 2 hours of tapping into reserves!  Great job!

If 12 hours is good, does that mean 14 hours is better?  For OUR purposes, my answer is “no.”  Some people feel great after a 14-16 hour fast, but these are few and far between.  Intermittent fasting is trendy but that doesn’t translate into healthy.

What if I workout early in the morning?  

Well, this means you have extra detective work to do.

1.  Does your workout suffer with an empty stomach?

a.  No?  Then workout fasted.  You will need food shortly afterwards, though.  Do not allow yourself to get shaky or nauseated.  Your sugar levels are too low if this happens and that’s not sign of success.

b.  Yes?  Then try…

1. adding BCAA powder (Branched Chain Amino Acids) to your workout water.  This is a zero calorie way to fuel your workout.  Your body can turn BCAA into glucose quickly so you don’t “tap out” during a tough workout.  I do this often.  My favorite is Tri-Pep.

2.  If you prefer food then begin w/ a small amount of food and add as needed.  You are in control of what food you choose.  Some people do very well with a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt.  Others can’t take dairy.  Some people need a bit of fruit and others a bit of fruit w/ a small amount of fat like peanut butter.  You want to find the formula where your workout doesn’t suffer but you don’t feel weighed down by a heavy meal either.  You are ingesting the minimum amount of food needed to SUPPLEMENT the fuel you want to be using for your workout, i.e. your fat stores!

 As with our last challenge, your goal is to IMPLEMENT AND TWEAK so that you find that sweet spot where these habits begin to feel easy but also get you results!!