Let me preference this post by saying Intermittent Fasting is not a diet. It is not a quick fix. It is not magical. Some of the benefits may be magical and some may experience fat loss, but in my opinion, it should be looked at as a lifestyle choice, not a diet.
So, what is intermittent fasting?
“Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.”
Read more from Healthline here.
After complaining of being bloated for a week and extremely fatigued come 3 PM, my husband (who has a Sports Nutrition Certification, and who has been doing IF for a while now, suggested I give IF a try). He was shocked when I said “okay,” and started to implement it the next day. I’m the kind of person who wakes up at 6 am STARVING, so I was a little hesitant but also super curious to see if I could experience all the amazing benefits that my husband, Patrick raves about. I was a tad bit worried because if I don’t have a big enough breakfast with my coffee, I get shaky, irritable and almost dizzy… like a major drop in blood sugar. BUT because IF can actually help regulate your blood sugar levels I thought “what the heck!”
The typical IF window is 16:8, 16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating. I know that sounds crazy but you’re most likely sleeping for half the fasting time. I chose to start with 15:9, not too much of a difference but because I am used to eating lunch at 11am, I wanted to keep that the same, but in order to do 16:8 I would need to stop eating at 7pm, and that’s just not realistic for my life. So, I adjusted it to fit my schedule and here’s how it goes:
-I stop eating a 8pm ( we eat dinner between 5 and 5:30pm so this gives me enough time to digest and still have a night cap, usually a banana/apple and nut butter).
-We go to bed around 9:30 (I’m not hungry when I go to bed at all… actually the first night I was but that was totally my mind playing tricks because I knew I wasn’t going to be eating for a long time, lol.)
-I wake up anywhere between 6 and 7am and have a tall glass of water followed by one cup of black coffee. The first 2-3 days I woke up pretty hungry, which is normal for me, but around day 4, that started to decrease, especially after I had my coffee and water. One thing I noticed was that I was consuming A LOT more water in the mornings because it’s pretty much the only option. Hydration is KEY, y’all! I also noticed I woke up so much more focused, energized and productive!
-Between 9 and 9:30am is when I noticed I would start to get really hungry, but what was interesting was that I never felt shaky, irritable or dizzy like I used to in my rushed mornings. After the first 2 days, I learned that having a sparkling water at this time was just the added kick I needed to make it to lunch–just make sure it has 0’s across the label because once you break your fast, you can’t tease your body or your blood sugar levels will get crazy!
-For the first few days, I would literally get my lunch out at 10:59 and count down the last seconds, and now, I don’t pay it as much attention. You want to be sure to break your fast with a balanced meal. Again, don’t expect to be able to break it with just a protein bar and go about your day. That’s why some days I have to adjust my times based on my teaching schedule to ensure I’m able to fit in a full, balanced meal when I’m ready to break.
And then I go about the rest of my day as normal. I’ve always been a snacker, but lately I’ve noticed that I’m eating bigger meals and less snacks. And for me, I’m trying to consume the same amount of food in my eating window because I don’t want to drop any weight. Bu the idea with IF is that once you burn through your stored carbs + sugars, your body taps into your stored fat and that’s why people start to drop weight. It’s also accelerated when you do fasted cardio. I’ve been able to do spin, yoga, barre and strength training workouts all fasted and have been fine. Definitely hungrier after but not at all dizzy or shaky.
That’s pretty much the break down of how I incorporated IF. Now, this is just my experience. I am not a DR. nor am I qualified to advise you to do this, so please always consult your health care provider before switching up your routine, especially if you have health-related issues.
To recap, here are the major benefits I’ve noticed so far:
-More sustainable energy throughout my day
-Less bloating (still bloating more than normal though)
The benefits have been amazing so far, and all this is just after 7 days. I’m going to continue to do it because I am loving the way it makes me feel.
I hope this was helpful and if you have further questions, please reach out to me. You can also stay up to date on my Instagram… I share everything on there, lol 🙂