(IF) … to most this is recognized as the word if but to others this capitalization means Intermittent fasting. A form of fasting that focuses on cycling between eating and fasting to yield a plethora of health benefits. Before going into more detail I’d like to point out (as usual) that I am not a nutritionist or dietitian and all results are from my own experience. Moreover, some research has been done to write this post for you guys as well as consulting with a plant-based nutritionist.
I decided to write this post after a little over half a year of IF because of the results that have come over this period. I do not see this as a diet but more a way of life, liberating you from the normal conventions of three-plus meals a day counting carbs, protein, etc. It allows for more productivity throughout the day with a lot less stress. Furthermore, there is no wrong way to fast which provides relief or at least for me in conjunction with no restrictions. I will tell you that just like any new skill it is difficult at first but over time gets easier.
When my friend told me about this, it seemed so abnormal. Thus all types of questions came to mind, Why would someone fast for non-religious purposes? Is there any real benefit? Does it have to be every day? Personally, it sounded like a way to justify starving yourself to save money/ lose weight. To avoid overwhelming me, She chose not to answer all my questions. Instead, she challenged me to jump right in as she educated me little by little. To this day I am grateful for this approach instead of being lectured about the ins and outs.
The First Few Days
My first day was very difficult, to say the least, my stomach ached, I was in the bathroom a lot from all the water in conjunction with skipping midday lunch. Yet, it felt nice not to be worried about what to make for breakfast or lunch, amongst the weird energy boost rushing through my body. The temptation to break my fast early lingered in my head the next day like my mind was testing me. On the third day, I decided to do some research in hopes of settling my mind. Everything that I read talked about all the benefits like better cell repair, lower insulin levels, reduction of heart disease amongst many more. After reading this I felt like there was no turning back. The benefits were just too good to pass up.
I believe that we should all create a WHY when it comes to life choices, not only does it help guide but it makes it apart of our core. Moreover, serves as a strong foundation that can be built upon. That leaves no room to second guess or retreat.
For me, my why started as a want to learn more, a personal challenge to do something out of the ordinary. A way to step outside my comfort zone and shock the system. However, It ended up being much more powerful than that. Fasting aided in my journey to live a healthy life by building my body from the cellular level up.
Online research will layout three common ways to fast, such as the 16:8 method. A method involving a sixteen-hour fast then an eight-hour eating window. The one day on, one day off which consists of a whole day fast. Then the 5:2 method which focuses on two days of a low-calorie count followed by five days of normal eating. There are other methods online that you can go read about, but these threes, in my opinion, are good starting points.
How to IF
I will not go too far into depth here, other than giving you the essentials. The first being that drinking water, tea or black coffee do not break your fast, do not worry about the missing morning coffee if you drink it black. Figuring out the hours you want to fast/ eat takes some trials, therefore, I urge you not to get discouraged about switch it up. I’d recommend starting with thirteen or so hours to begin with and then jump straight into sixteen fasted hours. Apart from these two, remember that you can eat whatever you want during your eating window. Do not forget that this is a way of life, experiment and build it up as you go but do not forget to enjoy the freedom it brings.
If you would like to learn more about Intermittent fasting, I would recommend reading up online at healthline.com. You can always reach out to me directly as well for a few pointers.
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