So many of you have sent me messages about intermittent fasting. So I thought I would put a blog post together on my experience with it, as I love it and highly recommend you all try it out. It’s great if you want to lose weight or maintain your current weight.
I have never been a huge fan of eating during the day, so intermittent fasting seemed perfect for me. I have spent years having breakfast on and off, lunch I never really ate and if I did it would be a binge. If I didn’t it meant I would get home and stuff my face till bed. Not ideal, no wonder I was a porky.
I have seen a lot on social media but never really knew much about it. I just thought you didn’t eat.
I have fasted in the past for religious beliefs and trust me it’s hard! You can’t even have water until sundown. I’m not here to get into full details of intermediate fasting though, this is simply my experience with the method.
So what is intermittent fasting? Basically you have a time limit when you fast and then have a time period were you can eat from.
There are a few variations 12:12, 5:2 method just to name a couple. I went with the 16:8 so basically I don’t eat for 16 hours and then eat for 8. Sounds bad right? Not at all, you don’t eat in your sleep after all. Most people sleep 7-8 hours a night, so that takes care of half the fasting anyway.
The thing that attracted me most to intermittent fasting is the fact it’s not like other ‘diets’ where you are restricted or told what to eat.
Reasons why I wanted to intermittent fast:
Reduce dairy intake: I am addicted to full cream milk and am always trying to reduce my milk intake, but when you’re in the office a latte x 3 is all I want. Milk bloats me, and by the time I get home my gut is huge. When intermittent fasting you can have black coffee and tea.
Become a mindful eater: I don’t eat much during the day. I would tend to go home and just healthy binge so to speak and eat right up till I went to bed, which wasn’t great to sleep with a stomach full.
Maintain my weight: I downloaded an app called Body Fast which is free. I highly recommend using this when trying intermittent fasting for the first time, it gives you great pop ups on your phone that are super cute reminding you when to stop eating or to start eating. There is also more options on there like a coach but I believe there is a fee for that.
With the 16:8 I would choose to start eating at 1pm as that’s my lunch break and stop eating at 9pm. But if your lunch break is at 12 you can adjust the time to suit your lifestyle. 8pm is a little early for me to stop eating, I need that extra hour which is why the 1pm breaking of fast works better for me.
I have been fasting for months and have seen that:
- I sleep better #Hallelujah
- I am not as peckish (around my period I am)
- I can still eat carbs at dinner (I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you are trying to lose a significant amount of weight, but as I am trying to maintain it, my food choices are a little more relaxed)
- I love the stomach I wake up with, it looks so defined like I do AB workouts (I do none). My stomach is so flat in the mornings (at night I am a little more bloated from eating which is normal
- Less cravings
- Improved mental clarity and concentration
- Weight and body fat loss
- Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
- Known to benefit type 2 diabetes
- Increased energy
- Improved fat burning
- Increased growth hormone
- Lowered blood cholesterol
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (potential)
- Longer life (potential)
- Activation of cellular cleansing (potential)
- Reduction of inflammation
I have not put on any excess weight over the last few months (I do go up a 1kg at night but that is normal, the next day I am back to my current weight)
The hardest part for me was giving up milk and my morning latte, but I soon got used to black coffee and actually love a black coffee now.
I do the 16:8 Monday to Friday and relax a little on the weekends as I like to have endless cups of coffee with my friends or family. It’s a little treat I think I deserve. I can’t wait for that first sip Saturday morning.
Weekends are hard though, if I go out to dinner my reservations are always 7.30-8ish or we have friends over so it’s a little harder to stick to, but I still try and be mindful with what I eat.
On Mondays I find that I am super bloated and feel sluggish, so I think I will be sticking to the 16:8 method 6 days a week and taking the Saturday off. I just hate how I feel on the Monday.
If you’re after more detail on what foods you can eat, drinks to drink and benefits of intermittent fasting I highly recommend checking out https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting or my new favourite Youtuber Sam Ozkural here
Have you tried intermittent fasting? Would love to know your thoughts.
Words Zerin Hassan / Post editing by Sarah Jane Bell