Optimize your Health and Weight with Intermittent Fasting

By Dr. Kathleen Mahannah, ND


Intermittent fasting (IF) is a lifestyle or dietary approach that has gained more attention recently, and rightly so.  Studies are demonstrating promising health benefits of IF, including: weight loss, reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, enhanced cognition, better mood, and hormone balance.  Intermittent fasting alternates periods of normal food intake with extended periods (usually 16–48 h) of low-to-no food intake. This approach can take various forms, such as:

  • Feeding Window: You can only eat during a set period of time every day (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, for instance, which is a 14 hour fast).
  • Alternate-Day Fasting: This diet can take different forms: you can eat over 12 hours then fast for 36 hours; you can eat over 24 hours then fast for 24 hours; or you can eat normally over 24 hours then eat very little (about 500 kcal) over the next 24 hours.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: You fast or restrict calories for 24 hours, either at regular intervals (two days per week in the 5:2 Diet) or just from time to time.
  • Random Meal Skipping: You skip meals at random throughout the week.

During fasting, the body switches over to using fat as its fuel source; this is what helps to support fat loss during intermittent fasting.  Further, it appears that IF helps improve cellular repair, metabolism and rejuvenation.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

  • Supports weight loss: During fasting, the body switches over to using fat as a source of fuel.  Studies on humans who used IF for 8-12 weeks lost anywhere from 2.5-8% of their body weight (that’s up to 14lbs. in someone who weighs 170lbs.)
  • Reduces cardiovascular risk factors: Studies indicate that IF can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and inflammation (measured by C Reactive Protein) which are all associated with risk of cardiovascular disease.  Other studies demonstrate that people who fast have a lower chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Improve cognition: Animal studies have indicated that intermittent fasting can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, metabolic dysfunction, and cognitive dysfunction over the life span.
  • Improve hormone balance in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Women with this condition who use IF can benefit from normalization of the menstrual cycle, improved metabolism and weight loss.
  • Support mood during perimenopause: IF can be one part of the puzzle in supporting women suffering from perimenopausal depression and/or anxiety.

Keep in mind that IF is not for everyone. People with impaired glycemic control should speak to their Naturopathic Physician or GP before giving it a try.  Also, if you’re pregnant, underweight, younger than 18, or have a history of disordered eating, IF is probably not for you.

How to get started:

First, speak to your ND or GP to see if intermittent fasting is an option for you.  If it is, pick an IF routine that works best for your schedule and routine.  If you choose the ‘feeding window’ routine, start with a 14-hour overnight fast (ex. from 8pm to 12pm).  Try using an app like ‘Zero’ to help keep you on track and watch your progress over time.  During the feeding window, eat as you normally do.  Studies show that in fact, people do NOT tend to ‘eat more’ during the feeding window.  If you’d like some guidance as to what is best to focus on eating when you’re not fasting, speak to your Naturopathic Physician for guidance.


Learn more about Dr. Kathleen on her website (, connect with her on Instagram (@dr.kathleenmahannah) or find her at Innovative Fitness North Vancouver on Wednesdays and Fridays!



Nair, P., & Khawale, P. (2016). Role of therapeutic fasting in womens health: An overview. Journal of Mid-life Health,7(2), 61. doi:10.4103/0976-7800.185325
Horne, B. D., Muhlestein, J. B., & Anderson, J. L. (2015). Health effects of intermittent fasting: Hormesis or harm? A systematic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,102(2), 464-470. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.109553


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June 29, 2018

Burn-Out with Dr. Rory Gibbons

Dr. Rory Gibbons Explains Burn-out

Dr. Rory Gibbons Logo

Former IF coach Dr. Rory Gibbons talks burn-out & how to treat it.

Tired, stressed-out, heavier, moody and “just not the same as you used to be”? You are not alone. Burn-out is becoming more and more common among hard-working professionals that literally want to to do it all and be the best at it. So why is this happening and what can be done about it?

More often than not, people experiencing early onset burn-out, or burn-out altogether just think they need to suck it up.  If your car is running low on gas and hasn’t had an oil change for way too long, do you step on the gas or do you fill it up and give it some TLC?  Your fatigue and sluggish productivity is a sign that your body’s energy reserves may be running low.

In order to figure out why you’re tired, looking at physiological markers in your body such as blood quality, thyroid hormones, iron, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 can often be a great starting point. Sometimes by running a comprehensive hormone evaluation we can see how your body is producing hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone.  When you need more of the stress hormone cortisol, it steals precursor hormones that are destined for production of testosterone and estrogen.  Sometimes when these hormones are low fatigue (and a whole host of other symptoms) can occur.

By understanding the biochemistry of certain hormones, lifestyle and functional nutrition interventions can be used to improve energy and get you functioning at the top of your game. 

Fatigue is multi-faceted therefore treatment should be multi-faceted. In addition to determining why you are burning out, energy can be supported by specific dietary interventions.  Changes as simple as staying hydrated and limiting processed sugar in the daily diet have been shown repeatedly to improve energy levels.

Don’t forget about sleep.  Motivated entrepreneurs often sacrifice sleep for meeting deadlines and for going the extra mile for their valued client, however the most successful business people in the world can agree that proper sleep quality will  elevate your game.  Try to develop a night time routine that limits screen time (TV, smart phones and tablets) and if you really need to use a device, make sure you are using an app that changes the light being emitted such as “nightshift” or “f.lux”.  Blue light has been proven to suppress melatonin which we need for sleep quality and cell recovery.  Keeping with the routine, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily; this regulates secretion of cortisol and melatonin to when nature intended it to be released.

Nutritional treatments such as intravenous nutrient therapy and energy shots have both proven to increase energy levels with limited side effects.  Intravenous nutrient therapy provides essential vitamins and minerals that are being burned up fast during your more stressful times and has shown to be effective at elevating energy and mood, improving lung capacity, and boosting immune function.  The shots have been shown to improve energy, nerve function and brain cognition.  Both therapies take very little time, and often patients notice an improvement shortly after.  Efficiency is something high functioning people appreciate and there is nothing more efficient at getting nutrients into your body than intravenous therapy.


If you feel like this article relates to you, then you need to see me!  Visit to book online or simply call the clinic at 604-986-9191.

I am Dr. Rory Gibbons. I am a naturopathic physician practicing in North Vancouver and I can improve your level of energy, productivity, focus, and performance.  I understand that you’re busy and the free time you have you want to spend with family and friends, so I work hard to maximize your visit time by taking a thorough history and providing a comprehensive treatment plan.  If low energy is not a concern for you, I am also able to help by providing treatment that is simple, natural, and effective for the following:

  • Men’s health such as libido and testosterone-related concerns (lack of motivation, low joy of life, reduced muscle bulk, depression)


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April 24, 2018

You are not just a “Personal Trainer”: You are a Professional Training Coach

Professional training coach steps

A keen interest in health and fitness is just one of the key components to success as a Professional Training Coach.

There are not too many professions out there that require a person to get out of bed at 4:15am every morning. And when I first started at Innovative Fitness I’ll admit that the prospect seemed daunting. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that I would soon be WANTING to get out of bed every morning at 4:15am for the “Starting Bell” of the 6am training hour. Coming straight out of my university kinesiology program and right into a full time Professional Training Coach position as a complete “Green Horn,” I played sports, trained myself for years, and had developed a keen interest in the health and fitness field. But I soon discovered that success in the industry hinges on an interest and passion in one area above all others:


I had always considered myself and “People Person” but at the outset of my career I was unaware of how much that would help me in my professional as well as my personal development. My view of my job for my first 6 months to a year was that I was just “training people.” But, thanks to some incredible colleagues and mentors I had around me, I was educated on the principle that the key to this business is personal relationships. One of my all-time favourite “Pearls of Wisdom” from one of my university professors is: “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” Sure I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, and over the years I have taken a number of continuing education courses to increase my understanding of immense field of health, fitness and human movement (FMS, Movnat, RAD Roller, Perform Better, Etc). While all of these have added “tools to my tool box” as a trainer, a key piece of advice that I wish I had been given, that would be my first recommendation to any person considering a profession in the Personal Training industry is:

Learn to be a great Coach

At Innovative Fitness, we try our very best to differentiate ourselves from other “Personal Trainers” in the industry by referring to ourselves as Professional Training Coaches. As soon as I began making this distinction for myself, it ultimately changed the way I approach every day I come to work. Please don’t misunderstand me, in order to succeed in the health and fitness field, you NEED to seek out opportunities to further your education, and be on the cutting edge of what the best available approaches are to help your clients (or “members” as they are to IF) from a physical perspective. But “the physical” is only 20% of a person. The Spiritual, Emotional, Social, and Intellectual components of a person often far outweigh what is going on with them physically. And it is that “80%” that a great Training Coach can tap into. Three prominent figures in the in the Professional Training Coaching industry that have greatly influenced me in the past couple of years are Martin Rooney (, Lee J. Colan (, and Todd Durkin (, and all three publish great newsletters and resources on how to achieve greatness in the field of coaching.
As a veteran Training Coach of almost 9 years with Innovative Fitness, I’ve also experienced first-hand what sets apart the people who succeed within the company and those who don’t. If you are a prospective Training Coach, your success as an IF Teammate will depend in large part on your ability to do the following:

Jump in with both feet

– IF is not your “side hustle,” your “time filler” or your bridge between two things. You will never fully experience the greatness of what the company has to offer, or realize your OWN greatness potential if you are not fully committed to what you are doing every hour of every day.

Embrace the Culture

– At every IF location, we strive to create a culture of community, based on the principles of creating an unbelievable experience for every member, and delivering them incredible results. It is a “customer obsessed” culture, and great training coaches are just that!

Every hour is “Hour 1”

– As Training Coaches we are not robots, and we even get tired and bogged down with long work days and things going on in our personal lives. But “the show must go on,” and in a “customer obsessed” culture, members come first. And, for at least for the 1 – 3 hours they are at IF every week, every member deserves to feel like they are the “First Hour” of our day

Connect with people FAST!!!

– Through the consultation process, facility managers and sales managers do an excellent job digging into why people have walked through the doors of an IF facility. That being said, a great Training Coach will use this information to in an effort to make an instant personal connection with a member from the moment they walk into their first training session at Innovative Fitness. From a “Hello” at the beginning of their hour, to a “Goodbye” and a high five at the end of their session (*Note that these gestures are not just reserved for the person that a coach is actually training!), to follow up emails between their training sessions, as I’ve said before, the key to this business is personal relationships, and the ability for a coach to establish that relationship is vital for success!

If being more than just a “Personal Trainer” is something that you are interested in, I want to encourage you to stop into any Innovative Fitness location and speak with a facility manager about any and all available opportunities!

Yours in health,
Jeff Berger
Movement Trainer and Professional Training Coach
Innovative Fitness White Rock


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April 19, 2018

15 Inspirational Quotes to Help you Reach your Fitness Goals

15 Inspirational Quotes to Help you Reach your Fitness Goals

Fitness doesn’t happen overnight, and you also don’t just wake up one morning and decide to be fit. You have to wake up every morning and make that decision, for yourself, for your health, and for your overall well-being.

It’s a commitment, and like with all commitments, sometimes we waver and could use a little reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing; what the end goal is. If today happens to be one of those days where you’re feeling particularly tired or could just use that extra bit of motivation, these fifteen wise women and men have got you covered:


#1 “Every journey begins with a single step.”Maya Angelou 


#2 “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”Mahatma Gandhi 


#3 “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”Muhammad Ali 


#4 “Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t pretend that you do and, and some point, you will.”Venus Williams 


#5 “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”Tommy Lasorda 


#6 “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.”Jim Rohn 


#7 “The first wealth is health.”Ralph Waldo Emerson 


#8 “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”  —Tom Stoppard 


#9 “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”Earl Nightingale. 


#10 “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”Henry Ford 


#11 “In fitness there are no short cuts. It involves immense discipline and hard work.”Mahesh Babu 


#12 “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”Christian D. Larson 


#13 “Discipline is remembering what you want.”David Campbell 


#14 “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”Benjamin Franklin 


#15 “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”Mark Twain


Do you have a quote that inspires you to do better? Tag us in your answer on Facebook or Instagram!  



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April 4, 2018

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