Everything You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting Over Christmas
This article couldn’t be any simpler to write because virtually nothing changes over the Christmas period. Yes, there may be times where you overindulge, but on the days where you aren’t indulging, you continue to fast in precisely the same way you have done previously.
Let me explain why:
Firstly, I want to tell you how the 2 Meal Day is different from other fasting methods. The two most popular methods at the moment are the 5:2 and the 16:8.
The 5:2 involves eating “normally” for five days of the week and on two days you only eat 500 or 600 calories. It has been incredibly popular and successful but for most people, the two calorie counting days are incredibly restrictive and challenging. People usually follow the 5:2 until they lose weight and then go back to eating normally after. On top of that, it isn’t technically fasting (depending on how you eat those 600 calories).
The 16:8 protocol involves breaking your day up into a 16 hour fast with an 8 hour “eating window”. It can be followed every day since there is no calorie restriction. This is method is how I initially started my intermittent fasting journey.
The issue with both of these methods is the focus is on the wrong thing. By focusing on calories or time periods you never learn to listen to your body and understand what it needs and when it needs it.
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Why The 2 Meal Day is different…
By skipping one meal, you are getting a 16 hour fast, but the focus is on eating when you feel hungry, not because the clock tells you to. This slight change in focus makes a MASSIVE difference. It becomes a way of life rather than something you do in the short term to get you to your weight loss goals.
I follow The 2 Meal Day every day because of how it makes me feel, I am full of energy I never feel hungry, and I stay lean effortlessly. I regularly eat out with friends, and I love food – there are no feelings of restriction or deprivation, or I wouldn’t do it.
For any lifestyle change to become consistent over time, it needs to be flexible. This is why The 2 Meal Day is so powerful. It teaches you to listen to your body better which is empowering so you can fit it into your life how you see fit.
Some weekends you may have a family breakfast or social event, some mornings you might wake up tired and hungry – this is OK. On those days, you should eat breakfast and not have any feelings of guilt associated with it.
Fasting over the Christmas period should not change, there might be some days you have breakfast with family or friends, but this happens throughout the year.
Now that I understand my body and hunger better if I eat a lot of food (which happens a lot) I naturally feel less hungry the next day, so I often do a longer fast. Five years ago, I would have woken up and eaten breakfast because “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
Fasting teaches you not to be scared of having an empty stomach and having an empty stomach promotes some profound positive changes in the body.
Do not confuse this message with binging on food one day and “starving” yourself the next day thinking this will help you lose weight. All I am saying is, learn to understand your body better and go back to your usual way of eating on the days that you don’t have social breakfasts or massive Christmas lunches.
I am heading to the French Pyrenees for two weeks over Christmas. I will be drinking good quality beer and eating home-made Christmas treats – enjoying every bite! I will continue to train and follow The 2 Meal Day. Nothing else needs to change.
Christmas only happens once a year. Don’t waste your time getting hung up on negative emotions and guilt.