Well, I did say that I wanted to be completely transparent about my life, and part of that means talking about topics that I am hesitant to talk about, and ones that may raise some eyebrows. But, it’s part of me.
Given my previous and on-going battle with food, I am a person who practices intermittent fasting. I have been intermittent fasting for close to two years now.
I skip breakfast every morning. I will have coffee with a little bit of almond milk and some stevia, but nothing more until around 11 a.m. On the weekends, I will try to extend my fast until 1 p.m. Despite the time I start eating, I will usually have my last snack around 9:30 p.m.
Granted it’s not the largest fasting window, it’s still 14-16 hours of fasting per day.
For me, it isn’t about losing weight. For me, intermittent fasting is about having a healthier relationship with food while controlling my fears of overeating.
Let me break it down for you. For as light as I am, I eat… a lot. But I also eat healthy foods that make me feel good and fill me up. If I ate unhealthy foods at the amount that I consume food now, I would be severely overweight. Also, as I used to be hungry all the time, if I ate the first thing in the morning, I would be hungry again in a few hours and would probably overconsume yet again.
With intermittent fasting, it helps me to wait until my body is hungry and not my mind. It helps me to be able to eat more enjoyably later on in the day and before I go to bed.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
First of all, just know that intermittent fasting is not a diet plan. Most of the time, it actually requires the same amount of calorie consumption, just within a smaller window of time.
Let’s say you follow a 16:8 schedule. This means that you would fast for 16 hours of your day (so 7 p.m. to 11 a.m. the following mornings), then consume all of your daily calories from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Those times may look different for everybody, or maybe the schedule itself may look different. You can do what I do and do 14:10 (14 hours of fasting and 10 hours of eating), or 18:6 (18 hours of fasting and 6 hours of eating).
As far as appearance goes, intermittent fasting is one of the best strategies to shed some unwanted fat. This is because, during your fast, your body will look for fuel to help perform bodily functions. It’s going to look for the easiest source within the body to break down and use for fuel. Well, that source is fat. So, during your fast, your body is essentially going to eat the unwanted fat of your body and use it as fuel to keep it functioning.
The body is truly miraculous.
What Are Some Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
But why would anybody want to practice intermittent fasting – especially somebody who is already slim, fit, or in overall good health?
There are many health benefits of fasting – fat loss isn’t the only one.
1. Intermittent fasting helps to control blood sugar and blood pressure.
For starters, intermittent fasting helps to promote blood sugar control. I have personally experienced this benefit. I used to get light headed and even faint because my blood sugar was all out of wack. But since implementing intermittent fasting into my life, I haven’t fainted once.
Once your body gets used to fasting, it’s actually a great way to flush out toxins from your system. If you aren’t consuming anything for an extended period of time, not only are you allowing food to digest properly, but you are also letting your body get rid of the toxins from the foods you ate the day before.
2. Intermittent fasting makes your day easier.
It’s true. You are going to be cooking less as you are consuming fewer meals, you are going to be saving money as a result of not eating out more than three times per day, and eating can sometimes be a stressful process – especially if you are dieting. Have you ever tried to eat 5 or 6 meals out of Tupperware containers throughout your day? If you are trying to lose weight, oddly enough, eating can become somewhat of a chore.
But with intermittent fasting, you don’t really worry about that. It brings the joy back into eating. Instead of restricting yourself 5 or 6 times a day and still feeling hungry despite just having eaten a meal, intermittent fasting will let your body tell you when it’s full. All of a sudden, eating becomes more enjoyable again and doesn’t feel like a chore.
3. It helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Studies surrounding this theory are still in the early stages, but so far results seem to be looking good. Not only is this due to the fact that intermittent fasting helps to shed fat and promote healthy blood pressure levels, but it’s also because it helps your body get rid of toxins from the foods we eat and the drinks we consume. Let me tell you something about modern-day food quality, even if you think you’re eating healthy, odds are that there are still a lot of unhealthy toxins in the foods you are eating.
4. Intermittent fasting is easier than dieting.
It’s easier than dieting because you are still enjoying foods that you actually enjoy.
The reason why most diets fail is due to the fact that they restrict you and leave you feeling hungry. Very rarely will do these meals ever leave you feeling satisfied. And it’s an ongoing battle with your mind because you don’t need to eat, but it’s a habit to eat at a certain time so your mind tricks you into thinking you’re hungry.
With intermittent fasting, you only eat when your body is actually hungry. And since you eat all of your food within a smaller window of time, you’re able to eat larger meals, which will ultimately leave you feeling more satisfied. That and you just don’t spend as much time worrying and thinking about food.
Overcoming Hunger Kicks
Yes, the first few days are miserable as your body is so used to eating at a certain time. But again, it’s important to remember that your body isn’t necessarily hungry, but your mind tries to trick you into thinking it is.
Once you learn to overcome the hunger strikes during the first few days, intermittent fasting can actually help you to feel more energized and productive as your body isn’t having to expend energy trying to digest it. Contrary to popular belief, some of my best and most intense workouts have happened while I was on a fast.
Before You Go
Science has proven time and time again how good it is to practice intermittent fasting. It can help you lose weight, gain muscle, and just help to detox your body from all of the chemicals we often feed it.
If you haven’t tried intermittent fast yet, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and the health benefits are too good to miss out on.