Intermittent fasting has been trending and people are asking me if it works, here’s what I have learned.
First let me start by defining what is meant by intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that includes periods of fasting and periods of eating. There are different types of intermittent fasting, the most common being the 16:8. 16 is the number of hours fasting and 8 is the number of hours eating. During the fasting period only water and beverages under 50 calories can be consumed. During the eating window, a normal, non restrictive, but healthy diet is recommended. Studies show men have better results with intermittent fasting than women.
I decided to perform an experiment by doing the 16:8 intermittent for 1 month to see how it affected me personally. Here is my story.
I chose to start my eating window at 12pm so that I could enjoy dinner with the family which typically wraps up around 8pm. It was fairly easy to do. I skipped breakfast and had my first meal at lunch time, next I had a snack and then dinner at the usual time. What I discovered, was that my workouts suffered because I was not getting enough calories during my window. This was a simple fix, I just had to eat more. After increasing my calories I was able to complete my workouts with energy to spare, and by the end of the month I was down 4lbs. For me however, the results were not enough to give up my favorite meal of the day…breakfast! I love breakfast foods! Eggs, avocado, toast! And the list goes on.
Could I have chosen to eat these foods at 12pm when my eating window opened? Absolutely! The problem is, I found myself constantly telling my family “no, I can’t do breakfast, it’s not time yet” or “no we can’t go out to dinner because it’s going to go beyond my eating window” . These times with my family are very important to me, so I decided not to continue the intermittent fasting once the month was completed.
Healthy weight loss and weight maintenance is more about a lifestyle and not about a diet. If you are unable to continue to eat this way moving forward, then it’s not the eating plan for you.
In conclusion, intermittent fasting was simple to do, it resulted in weight loss, and for some people I believe could become a lifestyle. There is not a one size fits all approach. You may just have to try different things to see what works best for you. A good place to start may be to speak to a nutritionist or dietitian.
Until you find what works, keep moving your body, eat healthy unprocessed foods and enjoy the time spent with family and friends.