So as you guys are aware I’m currently embarking on a fitness and clean living journey.
Since the beginning, I’ve always watched YouTube videos of fitness “influencers” to give me some motivation and to spur me on. They’ve helped give me inspiration for different exercises I can do to target muscles and an insight into what people do to reach their goals.
Why am I trying this new trend?
It’s not that I particularly need to as I’m doing really well and am reaching my goals at a steady pace. I think for me, it’s more that I’m intrigued as to whether it will help me on my way!
Intermittent fasting may not work for me, and I’ve read about and watched videos about the pros and cons of the process, but I feel as though I’m in a good enough place to give it a good go and just see what happens!
But what on earth it intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting, or IF, is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles. Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer!
IF is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.
However, during my intermittent fasting week, I will still be counting my calories and tracking my macros. All that will really change is that I will now be eating within my 8/9 hour window.
Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, fridges or food available year-round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat. As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.
In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.
What are the different intermittent fasting methods you can try?
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods. During the fasting periods, you eat nothing at all.
These are the most popular methods:
- The 16/8 method: Involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between. This is the method I’ll be trying to start with but will be moving my breakfast to 1 pm 🙂
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: With this methods, you consume around 25% of your normal calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
As long as you don’t overcompensate by consuming more during your eating periods, all of these methods should cause weight loss. Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to, hence why I’m trying this one first! It’s also the most popular.
Are there any other supposed health benefits?
- Weight loss: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories.
- Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, which should protect against type 2 diabetes.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few.
- Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
- Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
I’ll be keeping a track of everything during my journey and will, of course, let you guys know!
Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone though. I feel like I need to add a disclaimer to this blog post and to any videos I do whilst I’m doing this. Please don’t think that by writing about this and filming this that I am saying that everyone should do this.
Not all lifestyle changes and fastings etc. work for everyone. All of our bodies are so different and it’s important that we all find what works best for us as individuals.
If you’re underweight or have a history of eating disorders, I wouldn’t recommend trying fasting without first consulting a professional. In these cases, fasting can be harmful.
Am I worried about anything when trying intermittent fasting?
Being hungry haha. I cannot stand being hungry and I’m genuinely worried that I’ll want to binge when I break my fasted state. The thought of not eating till 1 pm scares me a little as I won’t have eaten from 9 pm the night before.
But from what I’ve read, it’s only temporary and that eventually, my body will adapt to the new schedule 🙂
So here’s to giving it a good go and seeing what happens!