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The holidays are upon us. And that means carb heavy meals and delicious desserts. 

And after the stressful year that has been 2020, no one can blame us if we feel the urge to indulge in a couple of extra slices of pumpkin pie.

And while it’s totally normal. and somewhat even expected, that your diet and exercise routine may temporarily go out the window, the good news is that you can do intermittent fasting to minimize some of the negative effects of holiday season feasting.

Below, we’ll explain how intermittent fasting can help during the holidays, and also include a healthy pumpkin pie smoothie to satisfy your holiday cravings without going overboard on the calories.

How intermittent fasting works 

In case you’re not familiar with the concept of intermittent fasting (IF), let’s take a quick look. It works like this. You eat all your calories within a specific time window each day, the most popular being a 16/8 split.

What that means is you eat all your calories within an eight-hour window every day, and you fast for the remaining sixteen hours.

What that means is you eat all your calories within an eight-hour window every day, and you fast for the remaining sixteen hours. Your 16 hour fasting window also includes the time you sleep.

For example, your feeding window could be between 12 PM and 8 PM. After 8 PM, you don’t consume anything other than water, black coffee, or plain, unsweetened tea. Then you skip breakfast the next morning, and eat your first meal at noon.

That 12-8 PM window is just an example. It might not always be realistic, especially during the holidays, when you might find yourself staying up late with an eggnog.

But that’s ok. If you end up eating late, just start the 16-hour clock from when you consume your last bit of calorie for the day. So, if you stop eating at midnight, then don’t eat till 4 PM the next day.

Benefits of IF during the holidays

To some extent, by limiting the window when you eat, you automatically restrict the calories you can consume. Of course, if you consistently eat a huge surplus of calories in the feeding window, then you might still end up gaining weight. But most people find that by practicing IF, they can reach and maintain an optimal weight.

Intermittent fasting may also promote stable blood sugar levels, which would keep your cravings under control, further supporting your weight management goals. There may also be other benefits like increased growth hormone production, cognitive function, and better metabolism.

How you break your fast matters

To promote better gut health when intermittent fasting, you should pay attention to how you break your fast. Think of it as warming up your digestive system after it’s had a long (16-hour) break.

But it’s not just gut health. There are other benefits to collagen as well, especially as we age.

Try to consume nutrient-dense foods rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. One of the things you can break your fast with is collagen protein, which has been shown by research to improve the gut lining integrity.

But it’s not just gut health. There are other benefits to collagen as well, especially as we age.

Benefits of collagen protein

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in your body. It provides structure and strength to bones, joints, connective tissue, skin, and more.

As we age, the body’s ability to produce collagen decreases. Supplementing with collagen can help maintain optimal levels to support joint and bone health.

So, as you spend additional time in the gym jumping, running, and lifting weights to work off the extra holiday calories, a collagen protein supplement can provide that additional support to keep your joints healthy.

Of course, glowing skin and healthy hair are very nice bonus benefits as well.

When choosing a collagen protein powder, be sure to look for one with the least amount of additives. For example, Naked Nutrition’s collagen protein is sourced from European pasture-raised cows, and it contains zero artificial sweeteners or additives.

Here’s the healthy holiday pumpkin pie smoothie recipe to break your fasts and support your joint health.

Pumpkin pie smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Naked Collagen
  • ½ banana (frozen)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk (or another milk of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice

Instructions

First, add the milk to a blender and add in the scoop of Naked Collagen. Blend for a few seconds to mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth. 

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