I recently started doing IF, although this week has been the first official one, in which I seriously tracked the 16 hours — and the first one in which I did it while being fully back into my usual routine. I had a lot of benefits, which I am going to explain in a while, but also a few unpleasant experiences. On the average, I can happily say fasting is a good option for me at the moment, as it helps me in the areas I am weaker. For this reason, I am going to do it for one more week and see where it takes me.
What is IF?
If you google IF or intermittent fasting, you will find with more expert words that is basically a way to include fasting in the daily routine, feeding yourself in a window of 8 hours of your choice while not eating for 16. Most of the people do either 8am-4pm, or 12pm-8pm. I did 1pm-9pm because my timetable was better set this way. I would personally love to be able to do the first option, but I usually train later in the day, so at the moment it would be counterproductive. This method is regarded as incredibly beneficial in losing weight, reducing inflammation & bloating, supercharging your brain, memory and focus. I tried it mostly to reduce bloating.
How I felt?
On a general level, I felt less bloated, less likely to fall asleep at midday classes and leaner. When the guy I’m dating saw me after just one week he told me I was actually lighter than last week which was actually a nice thing to say — except that it was very probable that he was just more trained and could lift me up easier. Since I hate the scale and I have no intention of jumping on one, we will never know the truth. BUT, despite the scale, I believe there are a few non-scale victories worth underlining: one of my favorite pair of pants fit larger than usual, another one fit so bad as it was too large! However, I also felt weaker some mornings, I had nausea the first few days — and sometimes I still do, either first thing in the morning or around 11am. Sometimes I really thought about breaking the fast way earlier and the night I had dinner out I fasted for 15 hours, as I had a couple of glasses of wine after dinner, once the app was already counting. Still, I felt better. It helped me avoid late night sugar craves, it helped me concentrate for longer hours, it helped me stay accountable.
- Obviously the NSV (non-scale victory) of fitting in every clothes largely as I was less bloated
- Having no sugar craves after dinner — or the first few days, I did not give in
- Being more conscious about the food I put in my body (after long fasting hours, I tend to opt for some nutrient-dense food)
- Drinking more water
- Concentration levels higher than usual
- Giving stability to my eating habits, learning to differentiate between real hunger and emotional hunger.
- Nausea in the morning, as I LOVE breakfast and my body had hard time forgetting it (I guess it will never completely forget it, and we are going back to the breakkie regime once I go back home and can have someone cooking eggs for me — and will try to shift to the 8am-4pm).
- Missing a social moment — I live on campus so in the morning everyone has breakfast in the kitchen, we talk and we stay together. I missed that. I still need to get used to the no breakfast, so I actually tried to avoid staying in the kitchen in the morning, not to have further craves.
- Worrying too much about hitting the 16 hours goal
- Non-tolerating black coffee first thing in the morning, but managed to drink it after a cup of tea and a few glasses of water.
I haven’t made up my mind completely about whether IF is the right path for me. I will keep it up on workdays, while trying to be more flexible during the weekend. I will keep you posted on how it goes!
Have you ever tried IF?
Have A Safe Journey!