In the fall of 2017 I’d come across a Snap from one of my favorite Youtubers talking about how she’d started intermittent fasting. I had no idea what she was talking about, but it was interesting listening to her thoughts while she waiter for her Postmates to be delivered. She mentioned how she’d started fasting for both intentional purposes as well as health. While she sat on her couch, she explained how intermittent fasting made her realize how most people take food for granted. After she started fasting, she became more appreciative of how available food was to her, but she also gained some insight on how it felt for people who only had access to one meal a day. For health purposes, she stated she was simply too lazy to try working out and fasting was just another approach she wanted to try.
After watching her Snaps, I didn’t think too much of intermittent fasting again until I saw someone that I follow on Instagram talk about how it had help them lose weight. I wasn’t really interested in losing weight, but because I’d heard about this eating habit twice in less than 2 weeks, I was intrigued to do some research. I did a quick Google search and found some interesting information. First, I was pleased to find out that it wasn’t another diet trend that influencers where trying to push onto their followers. Second, I found that intermittent fasting could be done in many ways and had great health benefits. Third, I was happy to know that intermittent fasting isn’t an excuse to starve yourself. However, it does consist of a cycle of eating and fasting. So, I decided to give it a try.
I began by choosing my fasting method.
There are 3 ways to do it, but I chose the 16/8. This method involves fasting for 16 hours a day and allowing yourself an 8-hour period in which you can eat. I decided that my 8-hour eating window would be between 2 pm and 10 pm. This timing worked best with my school and work schedule. I started out my first week by fasting Monday thru Friday and allowing myself to eat whenever I wanted on the weekend. This was my first mistake. During my first week I continued to do some research and learned that it’s not recommended to fast for more than 3 or 4 days at a time. So, I adjusted my schedule to fasting only 3 days a week.
Once I got my eating schedule together, I was able to commit to intermittent fasting for about 2 months before the holidays showed up.
The first week or two was hard because I was so used to being able to grab something to eat whenever I felt hungry. I would immediately feel sad or upset when I realized it wasn’t time for me to eat yet and I was constantly watching the clock. However, I learned that drinking non-caloric beverages didn’t break the fast and water became my best friend. I would drink several ounces of water because it was filling, and then would enjoy my first meal of the day at 2 pm. I also found hanging out with others was hard when it involved food. I’d have to be mindful of the time and not be tempted to eat just because everyone else was eating. However, my friends were completely understanding, and we’d usually plan to do things in the evening. After my first meal I would allow myself a snack or 2 before I ate a second and usually final meal at around 8 or 9 pm. This is the schedule that I adapted to until Thanksgiving. At that point I was surrounded by so much food that it became almost impossible to not grab a plate of food.
Although my fasting journey didn’t last very long, I learned many things.
The first was that intermittent fasting isn’t some sort of gimmick; I really did lose weight. As I stated before, the goal for trying intermittent wasn’t to lose weight, I just wanted to see if I’d be able to stick with the fast and for how long. If you search the benefits of intermittent fasting, you’ll find that the biggest claim is a metabolism boost which helps lead to weight loss among many other health benefits. I found this to be true. The second thing I learned is that most people really do take food for granted. Those of us who have regular access to food don’t always realize how blessed we are until we only have one opportunity to eat.
I would definitely recommend intermittent fasting to anyone who’s curious about it.
If you’re looking for a way to lose some weight, this could help. However, it is recommended to incorporate some sort of weight exercise because the fewer calorie intake could lead to muscle loss, which is the case with most eating habits with a low-calorie intake. I’d also recommend it just to experience the way we look at food and its availability. It can really be eye-opening to the issues such as poverty and hunger. Overall, it was an interesting experience that I wouldn’t mind trying again in the future.