Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It’s also one of the latest trends blasting the internet. While I am usually the first to jump on new fitness, wellness, and fashion trends (I found out the hard way that overalls are not for me), when it comes to diet fads, I choose to steer clear. However, the more I read up, the more interested I got, especially when I read about some of the insane benefits that intermittent fasting can have on your overall health and wellbeing. So, I decided to give it a shot.
I first heard about intermittent fasting from Allie Janszen’s faster way to fat loss program, which you can sign up for it here
if you’re interested. Allie suggests incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily routine, but research shows that you can reap the benefits by practicing the technique even just a few days a week.
The “16/8 Method” seems to be the most popular and beneficial. You concentrate your eating into a 8 hour window, and then you then fast for 16 hours consuming just water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea. The benefits aren’t just weight loss, but also cell regeneration and repair. Turns out that when we eat, our bodies are focused on digesting the food in our system. When we are constantly eating every time we feel the slightest pang, this is what our bodies focus on the majority of the time. What happens when your food is all digested is magic. Your body turns to areas that need repair- damaged cells, and stored energy in the form of fat.
Other Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Include:
Significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels
A drastic increase in human growth hormone (a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans and other animals)
Calorie restriction and fat loss
Metabolic health benefits (it can improve various different risk factors and health markers)
The potential of increased longevity. Studies in rodents show that it can extend lifespan as effectively as calorie restriction
Protection against diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.
What I found to be most challenging was going into an intense morning training session on an empty stomach. I got dizzy often and definitely didn’t perform at my usual intensity. Because of this, I adjusted my days to fasting on non-training days, or on days where I am working out in the afternoon instead of the morning. You can also play around with the time of day that you fast. I personally like waiting until 11am or 12pm to eat, then wrapping up my eating around 7pm or 8pm. But, if you know you have a date night or dinner with friends planned for 7:30pm, or you are a big breakfast person, you can adjust it according to your lifestyle to make it more manageable.
What I like most about it is that it has really made me mindful of my snacking. Since you only have 8 hours to eat, you gotta make it count by filling up with your daily nutrients. I found that after eating all my veggies, proteins, and carbs, I was so full and didn’t have room in my 8 hours to snack on junk.
Have you tried intermittent fasting yet? We’d love to hear more about your experience, and any advice you have for those looking to incorporate it into their routine.