Totally Unexpected Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Yes I Tried It)…

Some Totally Unexpected Benefits of intermittent FastingYes, I may be late on the blogger bandwagon when it come to talking intermittent fasting.

But, it was never really on my radar.  In general, I am NOT a fan of ‘diets’. I like food, making my own choices, including spontaneously eating pancakes if I feel like it.

Diets don’t fit in so well with that.

That being said, I have been catching up on my reading and a couple of my fave bloggers have talked about the many health benefits associated with prolonged periods of no food.

And looking at it, even without talking science, it does make sense. If you go without food, your body has to function without its normal resources and is forced to get real efficient with what it has got.

In short, it is a great way to kick your ass out of its comfort zone, both mentally and physically.

So, in the spirit of diving into the deep end and embracing the challenge, I decided to do two weeks of intermittent fasting, with an 18 hour fast/6 hour eating window to see how it worked for me.

SO. Here is how it went….

From a lifestyle point of view, two weeks straight was tough. Weekends, in particular, as I wasn’t drinking and dinners out weren’t really an option with only a 6 hour eating window. Plus, no surprise, workouts were a lot more challenging than normal.

But, in terms of actually going without food, it was fairly easy. Plus, there were a few extra benefits which I didn’t expect:

  • You learn to deal with hunger like a boss

I actually enjoy the feeling of being hungry, but hunger which you can’t satisfy is not so fun.

However, it turns out that your stomach is actually pretty easily distracted. The initial no-food window can be pretty gnarly, particularly if someone waves delicious food in your face.

But, like a kid having a tantrum, your stomach is pretty good at sitting down and shutting up if you ignore it. You will find that hunger is fleeting, if distract yourself with something else , it passes pretty quickly.

  • You can’t use food as a distraction

When you are actively not eating, you start to see what is behind your food cravings.

You can’t mindlessly reach for food because you are bored/sad/procrastinating or just in the habit of grabbing a mid-morning snack.

If you can’t distract yourself with food, you kinda need to deal with whatever you are trying to distract yourself from.

  • You gain time

I didn’t realise prior to this but planning what to eat, prepping and eating meals takes a fair amount of time each day.

Spending a morning without the daily habits of food means that you can seriously knuckle down and focus on whatever you are working on.

Sound good? If you fancy giving it a try, here are my essential fasting tips…

Eat dinner early + fast until lunch next day

I finish eating by 7pm and then don’t eat until 1pm the next day. This way getting 18 hours without food was pretty easy as you only really needed to skip breakfast.

Coffee and infused water are your friends.

Coffee first thing to kick start the day and chilled cucumber water to sip until you eat.

I also tried ‘Bulletproof’ fasting method, which involves starting your day with coffee blended with MCT oil and butter, and I was seriously skeptical about how it would taste. But it was actually pretty good (as long as you don’t make the mistake of using salted butter) and I noticed on the days that I had it I was a LOT more alert and energised than with just cucumber water alone.

No booze and adequate sleep are a must

Don’t make things harder on yourself. Lack of sleep and booze are both a great way to ramp up your appetite, so get a good nights sleep and skip the wine.

Going forward, I will definitely be throwing intermittent fasting in a couple of days each week, particularly on days when I am gonna be busy, or it suits whatever I have going on. Overall it feels good and surprisingly freeing to have a complete break from food.

Have any of you ever tried intermittent fasting? Tips? Thoughts? Let me know you experience in the comments below xxx