One of the largest aspects of my health and fitness journey is my participation in intermittent fasting, which is something I’d never actively attempted before and have been successfully doing it for just over 3 weeks now. If you aren’t familiar with it then you may be asking yourself a few questions; What is it? Why would you do it? Isn’t this just another fad diet? I’ll do my best to answer these with my personal experiences.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but more of a dieting pattern. Meaning it’s making conscious decisions to skip certain meals. By fasting during set periods, it means that you consume your calories during a specific window of the day, and choose not to eat for a larger window of time. I didn’t want this to mean that I couldn’t eat what I wanted and couldn’t feel satisfied after my meals or generally not enjoy what I was undertaking purely for the purpose of weight management.
This is one of my go to ‘nourish bowls’ that I LOVE making at home for dinner. They’re full of fresh ingredients, so many different flavour and texture combinations to create and most of all so filling and satisfying.
There are different ‘versions’ of fasting, depending on how long you’d like to fast for but it’s important to keep that same schedule. I’ve been doing the 16:8 fast which means I consume my meals between 2-10pm and then fast between 10-2pm the following day. But why?
Convenience was #1 for me. It simplifies my day by allowing me to skip breakfast/morning tea and not having to think ahead and plan what to take to work or organise my schedule after a morning workout. It also saves me money that I would’ve been spending on those ingredients! So that was first, secondly and this is a reason that is super important to be mindful of and think about in terms of your goals before you start fasting, it’s calorie constriction.
Calorie restriction plays one of the most important roles in weight loss. When you fast you are also making it easier to destruct your total calories intake over the course of the week, which can lead to stress weight loss and weight management which is something I’ve struggled with when trying to establish a long term lifestyle change and benefits of intermittent fasting immediately got my interest and soon enough I was listening to podcasts, reading articles and watching videos on YouTube to find out as much as I could!
When thinking about undertaking a major lifestyle or diet change like this I really wanted to make sure I was doing what was best for my body and not simply following another ‘fad diet’, and the benefits i found for intermittent fasting and the positive reports from others were enough to get me started.What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
- Intermittent fasting changes the function of cells, genes and hormones. Meaning your insulin levels drop and human growth hormones increase.
- Can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
- Can reduce stress and inflammation in the body
- May help prevent cancer and beneficial for heart health
- May extend your lifespan
These reasons combined with so much more I read got me kickstarted and I haven’t looked back. The first day was difficult as by lunch time I felt flat and lethargic and the definition of the word ‘hangry’ but I knew it was just my bodies reaction to the disruption of the eating schedule I’d set for myself my whole life and it would readjust soon enough, and it didn’t take long!
I recently completed my first 5K run which was a huge milestone for me as I used to be exhausted from running up a flight of stairs. Intermittent fasting hasn’t slowed down my fitness goals, it’s motivated me to push through and succeed.
I’m just over 3 weeks in to my 16:8 intermittent fasting and I barely get hungry before the afternoon and I’m enjoying what I’m eating so much more and really looking forward to my meals! I feel a sense of accomplishment for sticking to the routine and it has taken a lot of pressure off planning meals in the day. My workouts aren’t being neglected at all, I’ve got just as much energy if not more and I’m pushing my results everyday and working towards small achievable goals. I’m definitely going to continue my fast and would love to hear of any personal experiences you might have had or happy to answer questions as best I’m able to 🙂
If you’d like more info about intermittent fasting check out these links below that were super helpful for me!