Intermittent Fasting Experience
At the moment I am not doing Intermittent Fasting, but I did for six months though. For me, the reason to start the fasting diet was actually just a test. How do I like not having breakfast and not eating after 8 o’clock? Although there are a lot of different opinions about intermitting fasting, a year ago I wanted to see for myself if it really worked. According to different studies it could have benefits, such as increased metabolism, decrease in inflammation and decrease in insulin levels. Not everything is proven and it is not known if it work for the longtime. However, a year ago I thought, why just don’t give it a try?
I didn’t continue with Intermittent Fasting because I went back to live with my parents. Now I have to adapt again on how we eat at home. I’ve noticed that it’s better for me now to eat intuitively, only eating when I’m hungry. But Intermittent Fasting helped me a lot with this (intuitively eating). But let’s start at the beginning, because what is intermittent fasting exactly?
Basically, Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. So, it does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. There are numerous techniques you can follow to do intermittent fasting. I did the variant where you fast for 16 hours every day, and restricted your eating to an 8-hour eating window (16/8 method). So, in this period I was only eating between 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the fasting period no food is allowed, but you could drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages.
When I started I was a little bit nervous to be honest, because I am a real breakfast queen. The first week it took a lot of getting used to not having breakfast. Normally I ate my breakfast around 7/8 o’clock and now it was suddenly moved to 12 o’clock. It’s so in my system to start with a bowl of oatmeal that I had the feeling that I had much more time in the morning. I got out of bed the same time, but now I didn’t have to make my breakfast. Hello, longer time to sleep!
But that’s also what I like about intermittent fasting, because you can decide for yourself how you want to fill in the diet. I didn’t eat my first meal until noon, but if you want you can also have breakfast at 11, if that is just a little bit more in line with your lifestyle. At that time I lived in Venlo and often ate late dinner, so it was better for me to eat my first meal as late as possible. In my case, most of the times I took my breakfast at noon, but sometimes I didn’t manage to keep to it and then I ate a little earlier. There were also days when I just wasn’t hungry at noon and so I had breakfast a bit later. Just listen to your body!
After 2 weeks I was already used to my new lifestyle. In the morning I was very productive and even more energetic than usual. I also experienced that I was not that hungry anymore and appreciate food so much more. Besides, I experienced a lot of bloating before, but when I started with intermittent fasting I didn’t feel like a pregnant woman anymore. YES.
Officially 8 p.m. was the limit after which I wasn’t allowed to eat anymore, but because it’s so flexible I was able to eat a bit later now and then. Imagine if I went out to eat, then I could already adjust my window on this. When I first started I was really strict. I was only eating in my window of time (12-8). I used intermittent fasting as a great strategy to not eat during social events where you’re going to be tempted by a lot of tasty, but not so healthy food. I just need to stop with eating at 8. For me this was really helpful, because you can not say ‘Ok, only 1 wine’ because we all know what is going to happen afterwards. So, after 8, water and cola zero were my best friends. However, I also like parties and sometimes I just wanted to enjoy a wine or beer after 8. So, sometimes if I had a party than I just made an exception. And that’s no big deal at all! You have to be able to enjoy life and you can pick it up the next day as you like. You need to remember that intermittent fasting is a long-term lifestyle so you gotta do it in a nice way so you still enjoy doing it and that it remains feasible.
What I also noticed during the intermittent fasting was that my skin became much smoother. I still had problems with the annoying pimples, but when I was doing intermittent fasting I suddenly got a nice even skin. Bonus!
Besides, you’re going to appreciate the food so much more. Because you start later with your breakfast you will be much less hungry during the whole day. I noticed that sometimes I had to eat, not because I wanted to, but because otherwise I didn’t get enough nutrients. And that’s the thing that doesn’t make intermittent fasting suitable for many people either. The fact is, you eat less. But you have to get all your recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is therefore very important, if you do not have knowledge of this, to discuss it with your dietician before starting the fasting diet.
Of course, there are also some other difficulties. One of the things what I experienced as most difficult is that you always need to prepare your food for the day. You don’t eat until noon, so chances are you’re at work or somewhere else. Another difficult thing is when you have a social activity and you don’t know when you have time to eat, therefore, it could be that your fasting period will be disrupted. However, you can always change your time window and that makes intermittent fasting very flexible.
Overall I liked it very much, but it need to fit in your lifestyle, so it doesn’t work for everyone. Like I said, I’m currently not doing Intermittent Fasting, because it doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle. Still, it has given me to appreciate food much more and only eat when you are hungry. Before I did Intermittent Fasting I actually had fixed times when I ate my breakfast, lunch etc. But now I only eat when I’m hungry and I feel much better about that. I still try not to eat anything after 8 o’clock, and I like that very much!
Again, before you start fasting let your dietician inform you well, because it is not suitable for everyone.
Have you tried intermittent fasting before? I would love to hear about your experience. And if you have questions for me about intermittent fasting, don’t hesitate to ask and let me know in the comments or private message (what you prefer).