Intermittent fasting is having a period of time fasting from food every day. Timings are somewhat flexible, but usually fall within a 12 to 16 hours range.
The benefits of fasting:
- Using up excess stores that your body may have collected during the day.
- Reducing caloric intake.
- Creates healthier eating habits, by reducing evening snacking.
- Better sleep.
- Rest for digestive organs.
- Weight loss.
The list goes can go on and on and includes mental clarity and improved creativity.
I have been intermittent fasting for two weeks now and yes, I notice a difference already.
I was getting concerned about my eating habits again as over the summer, we were so off schedule and routine that I couldn’t seem to get myself back on track with good habits. Which is not a good plan for a diabetic. Then I dealt with depression and seasonal change issues with my mood and mental clarity, so things didn’t improve too much in the fall. However, a couple of weeks ago, I got myself back in line and am doing much better. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m now doing Crossfit regularly, and having an exercise routine does wonders for keeping health and wellness top of mind, even when you’re not at the gym.
I intermittent fast for roughly 16 hours. In general, we eat supper at 6:00pm, so I eat breakfast at 10:00am. This helps immensely with controlling and even eliminating evening snacking. I need to consider that if I eat again at 8:00pm, then I would need to wait until noon to have breakfast, and that just doesn’t work for me.
Naturally, the first few days take a bit more effort and commitment, but once you get through a few, it becomes much easier. It’s only been two weeks and I already don’t miss snacking, I don’t even think about it. In that time, I’ve only had one exception. My body was giving me legitimate hunger signs and I felt that I should feed it, so it was a snack at 9:00pm of a handful of raspberries and a tablespoon of pecans. Which I ate in the dining room and then returned to my “no food zone” oasis. (See my post from a few days ago for details about “no food zones.”) I didn’t wait until 1:00pm to eat breakfast. That just doesn’t fit my lifestyle, plus I was hungry in the morning. AND it would have thrown off my whole schedule. So exception made, no guilt had. I say all this as a reminder to be flexible and kind to yourself.
I have noticed in two weeks that:
- I appreciate not eating in the evening. I get more accomplished on other projects.
- I feel better, lighter.
- I sleep better.
- I’m proud of myself for meeting a goal and sticking with it (yep, only two weeks in, but I’m still in it!)
- I feel better in the morning. (Disregarding sore muscles from Crossfit, like my shoulders, right now as I type this, OMG…)
- I’ve lost weight. I can also credit Crossfit and just eating better in general.
- I’m in a better mood. I feel like my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) symptoms have lifted. (Naturally, Crossfit and eating better in general will also being helping here.)
Who should not fast?
Those who are undernourished should not fast. People who are underweight should not fast. And not everyone thinks of this, but even people who are overweight and don’t eat properly, are better to learn to add in clean and whole foods to improve their overall nutrient intake and make sure their body is well nourished, before considering any sort of fasting routine.
Remember – I am not a doctor. I’m a holistic nutrition student, and I share information that I have studied and how I apply it to my own life. Not all methods are for everyone. Consult your doctor before trying fasting.