About a month ago, after reading the research about it, I started doing intermittent fasting for the health benefits and to have the experience of doing so. I wrote about it on a recent post here, but basically, you select an 8-hour window and only eat in that window. Outside of that window, I did have coffee (with almond milk and coconut oil) and drank a lot of water. The science behind the thinking is that by fasting, your body will have to burn fat cells and will also regenerate white blood cells thus boosting the immune system.
HOW IT WORKED
Um, yes I do, thank you!
I selected the window 10-6pm or 11-7. Sometimes it was 9 hours or I had to eat earlier. If it was 8am and I was starving one morning, I ate breakfast, thus sometimes it was alternating days and that still worked out fine. I found it hard to wait to eat until later in the morning since I am an early riser and in the first week or two, I was really hungry – it definitely took time for my body to adjust. Drinking coffee really was key and helped to start off the day and the water drinking did as well! For the first meal, I still did a breakfast, and lunch ended up being later. My typical schedule before doing this would be an early breakfast, a snack and later lunch around 2pm, and I was used to the habit of not eating after dinnertime, which I think is really helpful. On days where I felt ravenous, I made a protein smoothie using only water, drank a wheat grass shot, or broke the fast earlier if needed! I did read Dr. Axe’s article about alternating days for women, and I felt like there was some flexibility.
In the morning, I usually drink a protein smoothie and almond butter mixed with superfood powder, or a grain bowl with fruit. Most of my water intake is in the morning. Below are some breakfasts.
For lunch, I typically have a salad or leftovers, and dinner is usually similar with some roasted vegetables.
In between, I snack on homemade granola bars, nuts, nut butter mixed with superfood powder, a smoothie, fruit, and gluten free crackers or seed crackers and hummus. The key is that you are not eating less, you are eating the same amount in a smaller window. Because of the smaller window, you might end up eating less, but it should be about the same as normal. Additionally, since you are eating in a shorter window, make healthy choices to optimize your nutrition.
While my goal was not to lose weight, I ended up losing about 3-4 pounds getting back to a weight that I hadn’t been since college! These seemed like stingy pounds that I could have done without and this change really helped dropped them. My body fat percentage didn’t have huge changes but it went from 20.8% to 20.2%. All around I felt more lean and strong. Benefits that I noticed were less bloating and gas, and eventually more energy, though it did take a few weeks to really get into it. I think that I will continue to do it with some flexibility. Do you participate in intermittent fasting? Do you think that you could do it? What questions do you have?