My experience doing intermittent fasting
At the start of March, I decided to give a try to intermittent fasting. The whole idea came because a friend of mine has been doing it for some time and reported some benefits like better sleep and energy increase. As I liked the idea of sleeping better and having more energy, I decided to try it for a month and see if I sense any of those benefits.
What is fasting?
Before I started fasting I did some quick research about the entire concept of fasting, it turns out it’s not as strange as I thought at firsts. Fasting is a very common practice that according to some scientific studies may help you lose weight and live longer.
In fact, if you think about it fasting is very natural, in old times we didn’t have access to as much food as nowadays. Furthermore, there are a lot of religions that mention some type of fasting in their teachings.
During my research, I noticed that there are different types of intermittent fasting depending on the objective that you want to achieve. The most common type of fasting is the 16-8 (which stands for 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating). Some light alternatives to this may include the 14-10 variant and the 10-10 variant.
There are also some extreme variants which are meant for people wanting to lose weight quickly or looking for a detox. These variants include fasting for an entire day, up to a week without eating anything.
After all the research, I made the choice to go with the 14-10 fasting as it seemed more adequate and comfortable knowing my current eating habits. In other words, I’ll have to stop eating at 22:00 and start eating again at 12:00. During this time I’ll only allow myself to drink water, no coffee and no tea as they’ll give me an energy boost and interfere with my experiment.
To help me measure the hours and keep a log of all the days that I fasted, I used an app called “Intermittent Fasting” which is completely free and very easy to use.
The first week into the experiment was fun, some days I was hungry and a little irritable, but it was fun to wait for the first meal in the morning and I enjoyed it so much more. I notice that fasting was helping me appreciate the food, I was more conscious and enjoyed it much more.
The second week some problems started to arise, I started to hang out late with some friends and I had to either dinner earlier or not dinner at all. In reality, it wasn’t a huge issue, but it’s hard to keep consistent with your schedule and dinner with friends.
After the second week, I started to notice that I was already used to the new eating schedule, and I wasn’t hungry in the morning. In fact, I was able to extend my fasting period 1-2 hours more than planned, that’s the real benefit of fasting for me, be able to overcome hunger at your will.
The third week I went out to party one or two days and I didn’t drink any alcohol as I was fasting at night. Again, not a big difficulty for me because I don’t mind not drinking, but it’s worth considering if you like to drink while partying.
Once the whole month was over I decided to continue the experiment as I found it fascinating and the body sensation of doing it was positive, I cannot explain it with words.
After 49 days of measuring intermittent fasting, I decided to stop being strict with it and be more loose. I still plan on doing fasting from time to time, maybe skipping dinner or breakfast once or twice a week. One of the best things about intermittent fasting is that it’s very flexible, you can choose which hours to fast and which hours to eat, as long as you respect the times it’s okay.
My overall sensation during this experiment was pretty positive, some of the benefits that I’ve notice during the experiment include:
- Being able to overcome hunger during long periods of time
- Better sleep as I did my last meal 2 hours before sleep
- Weight loss, it wasn’t massive, but I felt like I lost some weight
- More auto-control, you learn to say no to food when you’re fasting
Finally, I’ll say that I recommend trying intermittent fasting to everyone, not only if you want to lose weight. For me, it was a small mindset shift that helped me realize the importance of food and how often we eat out of boredom. I’ll specially recommend it to teenagers that have poor eating habits, fasting is easy and simple and could be very beneficial to your eating habits if you give it a try.
Let me know if you decide to try it fasting and how was your experience doing it. At the end of the day, you have to test it and see how it feels for you.
One more time, thanks for reading.