In February, I started an experiment to reset my health by following an intermittent fasting diet.
Intermittent fasting isn’t about what you eat, but how you eat and more specifically when you eat. With this diet, you restrict your eating to a set number of hours a day. Most people eat all their meals in only about 8 hours a day; intermittently fasting for the other 16 hours. Some people eat for less hours a day and some for more.
Some of the ideas behind IF is letting your body reset and fully digest between eating periods, putting your body into a small fasting time to burn off fat for weight loss and improved health, improving sleep cycles by eating at more set times, lowering your risks for certain diseases and age related ailments… plus more. Many people swear by this method of eating for all it’s potential benefits.
I tried intermittent fasting for about a month and I didn’t follow a strict number of hours a day to eat. I ate anywhere from 8-12 hours a day. I had wanted to try this diet bc I had found myself eating very unhealthily, eating right before sleep, not eating as much as I should or eating more than I should, and generally being uninspired about food and eating.
After researching intermittent fasting, it seemed that it might be a good, low restriction diet to make me more mindful about the way that I eat. IF is also credited to work for those trying to improve gut health which in turn improves metal health.
I really liked my experience with intermittent fasting. You can check out the observations of my first week in this post. Over the month, I felt a lot of benefit from IF such as improved inspiration for eating, mindfulness, some gut benefits, some mental benefits, plus I just really enjoyed this style of eating.
Although I wanted to continue intermittent fasting to see how my body and mind reacted to it, after a month, I had to stop eating in this manner.
Unfortunately my day to day routines and how they changed over the month made IF very difficult. I found it very hard to keep an eating schedule for days that I worked longer hours or late hours. I was unable to maintain healthy eating for more than the month and still maintain intermittent fasting.
My favorite part of trying IF was the inspiration and joy I found in eating in this time balanced with the long periods of not having to think about eating at all. I think I would have gotten into a vey nice rhythm eventually. I was also keen to see if I lost any weight with this method. I’m not one for calorie restriction or targeted exercise, so I would like to see if this worked for me to improve my weight health.
One side effect of intermittent fasting that was surprising was that once I had stopped this diet, even for several months, I found myself slipping back into not eating in the morning. When I was intermittent fasting, this was fine, bc I was concious of eating well in the afternoon and evening. When I’m not mindful of this I have found that there have been several days when I have not eaten enough, or very much at all. This has made me feel terrible and is unhealthy.
Although I have to be careful not to slip into this bad habit, it let’s me know that my body craves to eat more like an intermittent fasting lifestyle. I hope to be able to revisit this eating method soon and see if I can incorporate it into my life in a more sustainable way.
Have your tried intermittent fasting or a similar method of eating? Share your thoughts here!