Updated: May 27, 2020
The Fall Intermittent Fasting Challenge starts on Monday, September 23 - right in time for the ACTUAL start to fall! (It's as if I planned it that way or something...)🎃🍁🎉
If you're an OG #AENpeeps, then you have your eating window sorted out and you're ready to jump into the Challenge! But if you're new to Intermittent Fasting, you may be wondering what the actual BEST time is to start and end your fast in order to see best results. The 12pm-8pm window gets thrown around a lot, but is it actually the best?
Today, I'm breaking down the details of the ideal Intermittent Fasting schedule so that you can achieve your wellness goals during the Fall Intermittent Fasting Challenge!
Is There a BEST Time?
In order to help match the natural circadian rhythm, you want to aim to have your eating window be as close to daylight hours as possible. Of course, this will change as we shift into Fall when the days get shorter, but aiming for the majority of your meals to occur during day time will also help to reduce eating too close to bed time. Sleeping slows down your digestion, so ideally you want to have your last meal of the day 1-3 hours before bed in order to process/digest the food you have eaten. This is also going to be different if you have a night shift schedule for work. Head over HERE for tips from one of the AENpeeps who uses the 21 Day IF Program with night shifts.
What about 12pm-8pm?
That's one of the most common windows I hear thrown around. I've also even heard talk that you aren't doing Intermittent Fasting UNLESS you have that specific window. This is not true. You can (and SHOULD) make your window fit your schedule. The best eating window is the one that is most sustainable to your lifestyle. See the next tip for how to find a window that works best for you.
How to Determine Your Window
The easiest way to determine your window is to figure out when you typically finish eating dinner by and count backwards from there. For example, if you are typically done eating by 7pm, then you would count 8 hours backwards from 7pm to determine the start of your window - in this case 11am. For example, I typically finish eating around 6:30pm, so my window is 10:30am-6:30pm. As the 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program discusses, you don't necessarily want to start off with a 16 hour fast, so your window may initially be larger. Your window may also change as you figure out your schedule and what works best for you - this is all part of the experience and encouraged! Remember, if you can't stick with it, then it doesn't matter how "perfect" the Program is because it doesn't fit YOU. Which leads me to my next point...
Don't Forget to Be Flexible!
This is something that is heavily emphasized in the 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program. In order for any protocol to work, it HAS to work with your schedule and lifestyle. That's why implementing window shifting and easing into a 16 hour fast is crucial to fit the health and wellness benefits into your long term lifestyle. You can get details on window shifting with the video below as well as further details in your 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program.
Now that you have your eating window sorted, let's get this Fall Intermittent Fasting Challenge started!! If you haven't joined in yet, head over HERE for all the deets you need! Cheers to 4 weeks of AMAZING food, boosted fat burning mechanisms and support from the entire AENpeeps!!
Let's DO THIS!
Autumn Elle Nutrition