These are the tweets I tweeted and my mentions and DM started overflowing with messages, so I thought why not write a post since most of you are still not aware of intermittent fasting. I had never planned to write a health post on my blog but here we are!
Disclaimer : I am not a fitness or a health blogger, not even a food blogger! If you have any serious issues with your health please consult a doctor before starting a dramatic diet change.
If you are under ANY kind of medication, you must take your doctor’s opinion before starting diets like this.
What is intermittent fasting?
I’ll keep it as simple as possible. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you fast for long hours before your first meal. The fasting helps the body to use stored energy by burning off excess body fat. This is not a diet but a lifestyle as it does not have a diet chart. It’s more like a timeline for when you should eat. Most of us fast for 6-8 hours everyday when we are sleeping, so extend it a little longer after you wake up and you will be successfully doing Intermittent fasting. Some say that intermittent fasting is an ancient health secret.
Apart from helping in weight loss intermittent fasting is also known for improving blood sugar control, boosts brain function, improves metabolism and longevity.
It is not recommended during pregnancy or for women who are breast feeding. People who are underweight with eat disorder should avoid it. Also, consult your doctor if you are under any sort of medication before starting.
Types of Intermittent fasting
Here are some of the most popular eating patterns for intermittent fasting that I’m aware of :
- 12/12 Method : Fast for 12 hours each day, for example not eating between 7p.m. to 7 a.m. and then normal meals between the rest 12 hours.
- 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 hours each day, for example not eating between7 p.m. to 11 a.m. is a 16-hour fast. Eat normal meals in the remaining 8 hours.
- Alternate Day Fasting : fast on alternate days
- The 5:2 Diet: fast for 2 days a week by eating 500-600 calories and eat rest of the days normally.
My Experience with 16:8 Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is the simplest diet pattern that I have followed and I plan to stick with it because it is manageable even when I am traveling. I started this lifestyle in January and have noticed a lot of improvement in my health since then. The only reason I started it is because I wanted to lose weight on my waist. I have tried a lot of times but I couldn’t keep up with the routine of exercising at home. When I read about intermittent fasting for the first time, I got really interested in trying it out since it would stop me from binging on snacks at night (yes, bad habits). I started with the 12/12 method and then moved to 16:8 and I have stuck to it since 2 months. You can pick a time frame that suits you the best. It has worked wonderfully for me. I won’t lie, it’s very challenging in the beginning but once you get into the routine it gets easier.
I do not have a Diet Chart
A lot of the questions I was asked were related to a diet chart. I do not have a particular diet chart. I stick to home food and Fruits. Since I start eating at 11 a.m. I eat my breakfast which comprises of fruits, Nuts, Muesli, Yoghurt and Egg whites. I have stopped eating bread. On some days I skip breakfast and start with lunch. It’s completely normal as long as you’re eating well in your “eat hours”. It is very important to eat well. Remember, not eating enough is unhealthy.
Track calories and eat deficit if weight loss is your goal in the 16:8 method.
For lunch I have Chapati with vegetables. It’s rare that I eat out these days, unless I’m traveling or out with friends. Even when I go out with friends I restrict the calories (only when I’m eating out). Now I’ll tell you the thing that was the most challenging for me. I GAVE UP RICE. It was extremely difficult because a meal without rice is not a meal for me. Now that I’m visiting my home, I indulge in it but when I’m in Delhi or traveling I do not eat rice. I eat high protein food for lunch and dinner which keeps me full. It’s very important to eat full days calories (but do not overeat) since you’re already on a deficit diet.
I also limited my sugar consumption. Since I do not drink tea or coffee I do not get the urge for it but desserts are my weakness. It’s very rare that I get to eat cake these days! But I’m not too hard on myself, when I crave it I make sure I have it.
Some Questions Answered!
Can I drink water? The most asked question. Yes you can drink water, infused/detox water, green tea, black tea, black coffee. I just drink water.
Can I work out during Intermittent fasting? Yes you can totally work out, exercise, run or jog. Make sure you do it during your “eat hour”.
Which is the best intermittent fasting method? For me it’s definitely the 16:8 method as it works wonderfully for me. You can check what suits your lifestyle and continue with it.
How many meals do you eat? I have all three meals during my “eat hours”.
Can I fast during my menstrual cycle? Frankly it was quite tough for me because I craved to eat during my fast. On the first month I gave up as I couldn’t continue during my periods. But I gave it a try on the second month and it’s been very helpful. I noticed that I felt less bloated and even my cramps weren’t that painful.
I have lost 4 kgs and it’s all because of Intermittent fasting as I haven’t started exercising yet. On days when I am traveling sometimes I take a break from intermittent fasting and sometimes do it even when I am traveling, totally depends on my mood. On the next couple of months I am planning to add exercise on my routine to make this even better. To be honest I have noticed that my mental health has drastically improved after I adopted this lifestyle.
Hope this helps you with your struggles and goals like it helped me.