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How to Track Intermittent Fasting

Why This Wellness Expert Says You Should Skip Keto but Try Intermittent Fasting

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Minna Lee is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and lifestyle blogger, and she's also the founder of a health food company, Live 24k. If she has the energy to take on all of that, you know she must be doing something right. With her eyes on wellness innovations, Minna helps her clients figure out what trends are worth it and which ones to skip. When it comes to two recent nutrition trends, Minna suggests giving intermittent fasting a try but skipping the keto diet. Minna says waiting long periods between some meals can help improve energy and metabolism, and she knows exactly how to measure this success with the help of the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

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There are various ways to do intermittent fasting, but most approaches boil down to this: instead of watching what you eat, watch when you eat. When you intermittent fast, you eat during a few concentrated hours of the day and don't eat the rest of the day. Minna notes that the most popular method is the 16-hour fast. In this case, you would finish dinner at 8 p.m. and then eat again at 12 p.m., essentially skipping breakfast. She says you can still drink water, tea, or similar liquids that don't have calories. "It's recommended that you start slow with this and begin with even a 12-hour fast to ease your way in," she says, adding that you can go for 16 hours once you feel comfortable. She also recommends limiting this to two to three days of the week initially and adjusting from there.

Instead of watching what you eat, watch when you eat.

So what are the upsides, besides not having to make time for breakfast during busy mornings? "Intermittent fasting can help with things like insulin sensitivity, sleep quality, and energy stabilization," Minna explains. "With better energy levels and insulin sensitivity, you can push more during your workouts and recover more efficiently with better sleep, which can lead to a more efficient metabolism," she says, outlining the benefits. These positive changes can also help you use carbs for energy, instead of turning them into fat storage. Recent research has shown that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss, and of course that's not the only reason to try it. Better sleep and energy sound pretty great, too, and quantitative data from your Samsung Galaxy Watch can confirm the benefits to your overall health.

"Intermittent fasting can help with things like insulin sensitivity, sleep quality, and energy stabilization."

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You should simply feel better when you try intermittent fasting, but sometimes we want to see our personal progress in stats and numbers. "Data is the tangible way to see how you're doing," Minna says. With tools like the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Minna can track her progress in one place. Using the watch's water tracker, Minna marks the amount of water she consumes throughout the day, which is key since staying hydrated is important during intermittent fasting. She can also manually input her calories to keep track of what and when she's eating, or simply take a photo of her food using Bixby Vision on the Note 9. The technology will determine the calories of what you're eating and add them to the Samsung Health app on your phone. With the watch, Minna sets reminders for eating and fasting periods, so she can take her mind off of it. In addition, she tracks her sleep and stress to see how it impacts her overall health. "Technology gives us feedback in a way that was not possible before. You can use it as a barometer to keep you on track with your goals so you don't fool yourself into thinking you're doing more or less of something than you actually are," Minna stresses.

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If you've heard about intermittent fasting, chances are you've also considered trying the keto diet. Another low-carb, high-fat diet, keto promises weight loss by triggering your body to use ketones produced by the liver as energy instead of carbohydrates. Minna says go ahead and skip this wellness trend. "Frankly, I am not a proponent of ketogenic diets for the general population," she admits. "I believe they should be used with specific people to address specific health concerns, but it should not be used as a weight-loss tool first and foremost." Instead, she recommends simply cutting out processed foods and the standard low-fat "American diet" foods we're surrounded by.

Minna notes that for women, it's important to use intermittent fasting as an occasional tool to achieve the specific benefits. "It's not a sustainable option long-term for most women," she points out, "as it can affect your menstrual cycle and hormonal health negatively if done to an extreme with constant 16-hour fasts." Like most things in life, moderation is key.

Using Data to Keep You Motivated

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"Technology gives us feedback in a way that was not possible before."

"As a former athlete, it's most fun for me to compete against myself, and the watch's stats can certainly provide me with the ammo needed to do so," Minna admits. Using the watch, she can evaluate if intermittent fasting is helping her energy by timing her runs or monitoring her resting heart rate when she's doing enough self-care and stress management. The possibilities for intermittent fasting to improve your wellness are diverse, and the watch will help you measure all of it.

Intermittent fasting has been around for quite some time, primarily utilized by athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone needing to manage their body composition for performance. "When used correctly and safely," Minna says, "it can be effective in helping people regulate their blood sugar, sleep, mental clarity, and more." Minna thinks of intermittent fasting less as a trend and more as a proven tool that has been given a shiny rebranding. "Personally, I do not recommend any type of diets or things that promise a quick fix," she says. Minna believes fad diets are distractions from being able to tackle the root foundations of any underlying hurdles. Because once the diet is over, then what happens? Instead, she believes this: "Educating yourself with the help of the data on proper nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle is the key to achieving a healthier life."

How to Track Intermittent Fasting Success

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Photography: Tawni Bannister; Art Direction: Samara Grossman; Prop Styling: Kristin St. Clair; Wardrobe Styling: Andi Nash; Production: Cassie Doyle; Hair and Makeup: Carrie LaMarca

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