I have been intermittent fasting for over a year and I’ve had so many questions about how I intermittent fast and why I chose to do it! I started after seeing other people on Instagram doing it and got curious. So I did all the research I could and began the process. I wanted to know the risks, the benefits, the side effects, and everything about it before starting. After all the research and after seeing what it has done for my body; my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.
First off, you’re probably thinking “what is intermittent fasting?” There are different ways to do it, but I have chosen what is called the 16:8. Where 16 hours of the day you “fast” avoiding food, but can consume water, tea, really any 0 calorie liquid. The other 8 hours is my window to get my calories and nutrients in for the day. Almost everyday I start eating at 12pm and stop eating at 8pm (that time frame works with my schedule the best, but other people may choose to start earlier or later).
What are the cons and pros?
Let’s start with the cons. There are a few but honestly not many in my opinion.
- You have to wait to eat until your eating period. That could mean no more midnight snacks, no more eating right when you wake up. You wait.
- You shouldn’t intermittent fast if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, an athlete that needs to be eating constantly, or if you’ve had any eating disorders. It can trigger previous eating disorders such as binge eating or anorexia (If you have any health concerns or diabetes talk to your physician first before starting intermittent fasting)
- It could mess up your “social eating”. You have a late party where there’s going to be food but your eating time has ended? Oops.. you either extend and cheat a little, or use some major self control.
Now what are the pros? Get ready, because there’s a LOT.
- It allows your cells to repair and work on other parts of your body, such as removing waste material from your cells because your body isn’t focused on digesting food constantly.
- It lowers insulin levels which can lower your chance of type 2 diabetes.
- It helps reduce brain fog
- Your growth hormone levels increase which helps burn fat and keep/ gain muscle.
- From personal experience, I have had less cravings and 10x more self control then I used to have.
- Helps you’re immune system to protect itself from disease.
- Causes you to lose body fat and keep lean muscle mass
- Helps reduce inflammation in the body
- May improve blood pressure
- One of my favorite pros – it’s sustainable. I’ve been doing it almost everyday for about a year now, and I feel 100x better than ever
Every weekday I wake up at about 6 and I start drinking water. I try to get 3-4 water bottles in before I start my eating period, and I also will drink bcaas and green tea. You want to keep your body hydrated. Then at 12pm I start with a meal that’s higher in protein (if you can this should be the biggest meal of the day). In between 12pm-8pm I also track my macros for a couple reasons, but it mainly helps me make sure I’m not under eating or overeating. Just because you are intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you should be consuming high fat and high calorie foods–like shakes, burgers, fries, etc. There are people who lose weight from intermittent fasting without changing their diet.; However, you won’t be getting all the benefits of intermittent fasting with an unhealthy diet. Sorry but it just doesn’t work like that. If your’e going to do it, make sure you do it right.
- Start with a 10 hour eating period and work your way down to 8 hours
- If you’re feeling sick please eat! Listen to your body! If there are some days where you feel like you shouldn’t intermittent fast.. it’s OKAY!
- Set a scheduled eating time. Your body will adapt more if it’s used to a set schedule, rather than random eating periods.
I have linked a couple articles you should also read before starting intermittent fasting. Knowledge and motivation is key when it comes to achieving your personal goals!