Hi guys! Today I want to talk about a topic that is relatively new in my life: Intermittent Fasting.
A lot of you might ask yourself, “what is intermittent fasting?” and don’t worry, you’re not alone! Intermittent Fasting is when you select a time window to eat your food in. I am no expert in this, so if you want extensive information on this, I recommend reading this great article, or do some research on your own! There are lots of articles out there, and if you’re anything like me, you LOVE reading articles like this! I will break it down to you as I would to one of my friends, which you are, so here we go.
When you intermittent fast, you are fasting for typically 16 hours, and eating for the remaining 8 hours. By fasting, you are allowing your body to have time to burn fat, which apparently you cannot do in the fasted state. Per the above article, author James Cleer states the following:
“When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.”
That is one of the reasons that people choose to do IF; to burn fat.
I of course want to burn fat, but the main reason that I gave it a go was because I was contemplating starting a 6 week program that was based on intermittent fasting. Before I signed up for the program, I decided to give it a test run on my own, because there was no way that I was going to sign up for a program if I didn’t know going into it that my body and mind could handle intermittent fasting.
Now I had heard of Intermittent Fasting before, but I never had any interest in it whatsoever because I am always hungry, and waiting to eat until 11 or 12 sounded insane to me. For that reason, I didn’t have any desire to try it. I gave it a shot, and you know what, it was so much easier than I thought it would be.
I started by breaking my fast around 11, which really wasn’t incredibly hard. My mornings at work go by very quickly, so it was relatively easy for the time to fly by in the mornings. I eased into the eating window, and began by eating in a 8-9 hour window. For example, I typically ate between 11 am and 8 pm.
Intermittent fasting has been a lot easier than I expected, and in the 2 ½ weeks of eating this way, I have only had to break my fast before 11 once. If I am ravenous, I am going to eat. Just because I eat from 10:30-8 doesn’t mean I lose. It means I listened to my body. By drinking my water, BCAA’s, and chewing sugar free gum when my mouth is bored, I can easily get through my morning.
Almost always I break my fast with my favorite meal ever: overnight oats with peanut butter. I actually usually eat this as dessert too, just because it’s so good!
There are some mornings where I’m looking at the clock and just waiting for it to be 11 because I want that meal, not because I’m hungry yet. That’s been my only struggle so far with it, and that’s what I’ve been working on overcoming. There have been days where I’ve broken my fast at 11:30 or 12 simply because that’s when my body told me it was time to eat. I have an eating window, but I never feel restricted with it.
I still consume all of my calories, or try to at least. There is dieting with intermittent fasting, in fact, most days I feel like I’m eating a lot more than I am, but that’s just because you’re eating everything in an 8-9 hour window. I aim to eat 1,800 calories, and most days it’s a struggle!
What I really like about intermittent fasting is that YOU get to choose your eating window, so if you work the night shift, your eating window can reflect that. You can break your fast at anytime that works for YOU. Some fast from 11-7, others from 1-8, or 3-10, although how you can wait to eat until 3 pm is beyond me haha. Also, some choose to fast 6 hours, either because they’re not hungry or because they want a shorter eating window.
At the end of the day, this is working REALLY well for me and I am very happy that I gave it a chance. If this is of interest to you, I highly recommend reading the above linked article (it’s very in depth), or browsing different websites for their take on the subject.
Remember, what works for some doesn’t work for others.