How Intermittent Fasting has Changed My Life

It’s a buzzword (buzzphrase?) right now – Intermittent Fasting. People are posting about it on social media and fasting guides can be found just about everywhere. If you’ve been curious to know what it’s all about, read on.

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There are two main, popular types of intermittent fasting. Type one is the weekly, or 5:2 method. Each week, you fast for one or two days; typically spaced out. It’s often recommended that you still consume about 500 calories on fasting days, in addition to water. Type two is the daily, or 16:8 method. Each day, you fast for 16 hours and allow yourself approximately an 8-hour window of time where you can eat in moderation.

Here is my experience:

***Disclaimer: I am not licensed to provide medical advice or prescribe individualized dietary regimens. All information in this post is purely from my own experience, and you should always check with your doctor before beginning any major dietary changes.***

I’ve been doing intermittent fast for about 4 months. It started on accident when I forgot to eat breakfast one day. Even without breakfast, I still didn’t start feeling hungry until lunchtime anyway, and I wasn’t sure if it was just a fluke, so I tried it again, and again, and again… and that’s how I started the 16:8 intermittent fasting technique.

Fast-forward 4 months, and Intermittent Fasting has changed my life.

Food Obsession

woman at restaurant cooling pizza slice by blowing on it
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Before Fasting:

I thought about food all the time. I’d start thinking about my next meal even as I was finishing my current one, and once I started eating, I couldn’t stop myself until the food was gone. Even if I ate a huge meal for lunch… I’d still be as hungry as ever for whatever was being served up for dinner.

Now:

Now that I’m fasting, I still enjoy food immensely and look forward to my meals, but I have a better sense of whether I’m actually hungry, or if I just feel like eating out of boredom/habit. I’m also better at managing my portions, and am able to focus at work, even when my the person in the cubicle next to me has some delicious-smelling Chinese take-out for lunch.

Sugar Crashes

Donuts and sweets shop display case
Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pexels

Before fasting:

I had intense sugar cravings, and when I fought those the cravings, I would develop headaches, muscles aches, and mood swings – and if I went more than 3 or 4 hours without food, I’d start to crash. I’d get shaky, nauseated, and light-headed. 

Now:

I can go many hours without food before I start to feel fatigued. I no longer have to carry “emergency snacks” with me in anticipation of a “crash”.

Weight Fluctuation

glass scale with blue measuring tape
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Before Fasting:

I go through phases of physical activity. For example, I might enjoy 10 months of daily workouts (my “fit phase”), then suddenly, there will be 2 or 3 months where my only exercise is light yoga, walking, and an easy jog here and there – what I call my “lazy phase”.

Now:

Before I started fasting, I would gain so much weight when I went through a “lazy phase”, and I’d wind up bloated and wearing too-tight pants. While practicing fasting, I have maintained and even lost some weight, even when in a “lazy phase”.

Flavor-Resistant Palette

Woman eating McDonald's french fries on an outdoor bench
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Before fasting:

I ate so regularly that I was never truly hungry, so I always wanted super sweet, salty, and fatty foods to entice my palette.

Now:

Now that I space out my eating enough to have a true, healthy appetite, everything tastes amazing – raw carrots, broccoli, or green beans; plain oatmeal and unsalted nuts. Since these healthy foods now taste absolutely wonderful, I don’t need as much junk food to satisfy my munchies.

Bananas, oranges, and red and green bell peppers in a bowl
Photo by Manuel Joseph form Pexels

These are just 4 changes that I have seen. I’ve also noticed clearer skin, fewer headaches and muscle aches, and increased energy.

I’d also like to mention that even when I’m practicing intermittent fasting, I still listen to my body. If I really feel like I need to eat during the 16-hour fasting portion of my day, I will eat something.

***Disclaimer: I am not licensed to provide medical advice or prescribe individualized dietary regimens. All information in this post is purely from my own experience, and you should always check with your doctor before beginning any major dietary changes.***

Here are some resources if you want more information:

Web MD Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting 101

 

Would you ever try intermittent fasting? Let us know what you think – comment below!

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