If you know my dear friend, Anji, YOU LOVE HER!! She is one of the most kind and thoughtful friends that you will ever meet. She is an amazing runner and athlete. Not only has she run many marathons, but she has completed a couple of 140.2 Ironman’s and several Half IM’s. Anji has spunk that is just SO FUN and always has a smile on her face. She is an RN and works at our local regional hospital and is very knowledgeable about many things, including diet. Today she is sharing part of an eating lifestyle that has worked for her. This post is different from other Friend Friday posts, but I think you will find it very informative and interesting. Thanks so much for sharing with us today Anji! Love you, girlfriend!

My name is Anji Stephens. I am a wife, a mom to two little boys, and a dog! Most people who know me know that I love running, biking and almost anything active!

This last year, a friend at work introduced me to a new eating pattern known as Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent Fasting works for me but I don’t know if it’s for everybody. Peg is a wonderful friend and running partner and because she has invited me to, I am happy to share what I have learned on her amazing blog!

The first time I heard of Intermittent Fasting, the only word I heard was “FASTING” and the only thing that went through my brain was “NO WAY….I LIKE TO EAT”! However, as I learned more about this style of eating, I learned that not only would I still get to eat my three meals a day including snacks, but I didn’t need to cut calories….YEAH!

So, exactly, what is Intermittent Fasting??? Basically, it is an eating pattern, NOT a diet. Without being too scientific, it is bunching your meals into a shorter time period during the day. The theory behind Intermittent Fasting is that your body cannot burn fat when it is in a “fed state”. It takes approximately 12ish hours after your last meal to exit the fed state and enter the “fat burning state”.

My day of eating would go something like this….I would eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in a 8 hour time period and then fast for the next 16 hours. Therefore, after the first 12 hours of fasting (mostly done while sleeping), my body would enter the fat burning state. The next 4 hours prior to eating again, I was burning fat.

Why did this work for me? Being a marathon runner, it can sometimes be hard not to gain weight during marathon training. I am not sure why this is, but I always blame it on the fact I am hungrier when I exercise more. So, in the past, I would try to cut back on calories while training in hopes not to gain weight. This would always prove disastrous. I felt like my health, energy or running would suffer. With this style of eating, I was able to drop a few pounds as well as inches while eating enough calories to sustain me for marathon training.

There are many things I loved about Intermittent Fasting. I loved that I didn’t have to count calories and I could still eat delicious food! I could still eat carbs..YUM! (which is necessary for running). I dropped inches and still had energy to train and run a PR (personal record) marathon! I also found myself drinking more water (which I did a lot during the fasting period)!

In the research that I have done, I have found that there are a number of health and hormonal benefits with Intermittent Fasting. I did not discuss these on the blog, however with a quick search on the internet, you will find an array of health benefits to further entice you to enjoy the benefits of an empty plate and a tall glass of water, Yummm….I’m stuffed!

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