What is it? Why did I do it? What were the results?
Hello my beautiful people! Aren’t you so proud of me?! Staying on a schedule, and putting out posts for you guys each week?! If you aren’t proud of me, I am proud of me, and that’s enough. Ok so let’s dive right into it. I am sure if you are into health, fitness, nutrition, or overall wellness at all you have at least heard the term intermittent fasting. If you haven’t heard it, maybe you have seen it plastered over magazine covers, books, or as big bold capitalized titles of YouTube videos. I think that this kind of diet, and yes it is a diet, has really been gaining traction in the health and fitness community within the last six months to a year. And I was introduced to the idea while in my Public Health Nutrition course last fall…
In this course the final project was to do a book report type presentation on a diet book. We had to pick apart the claims of the diet, figure out what was backed by science, and what was just utter bull crap.
My group decided to look at
“The 8-hour Diet” by David Zinczenko
The book went into great detail about the ins and outs of the diet, even giving recipes, workouts, and research to back up some claims. Essentially the book and the diet say that it doesn’t matter what you eat or how much you eat, but when you eat. The book suggests that restricting your feeding window to 8 hours, and then fasting for 16 hours will help your body to burn fat, lose weight, feel better, kick cravings, and all the other claims that diets throw out into the universe. So for example, if you eat your first meal at 8 in the morning, your last meal would be at 4 in the afternoon. But that particular time frame doesn’t work for a whole lot of people, so the suggested thing to do is to skip breakfast, and begin your feeding window at noon or later so that your last meal can be closer to when you are going to bed. Seems easy. Seems doable. I tried it for a day last fall for the sake of this project, and it was easy for me to do because at my sorority house we had dinner at 5 pm. Theta meal times followed an eight hour time frame, and that made it kind of simple.
Fast Forward to August and My Second IF Experience
You all know that I watch a lot of YouTube videos. That is how I like to consume information, and there is something fun about watching other people’s lives and seeing what they are doing, how they are working out, and what they are eating. I don’t know, is that weird? But anyway, there are a couple of YouTubers that I follow that practice Intermittent Fasting, some do it to help them reach physique goals, some just because they don’t get hungry until later, and others for some other reason. And after watching a lot of videos by Lauren Tickner, Brittany Dawn, Grace Fit UK, and even Whitney Simmons, I seriously thought about doing intermittent fasting. It’s funny as I am writing this, I am realizing that I sound like I am easily influenced and just try things because that’s what is popular, but really that isn’t the case. Yes, I did watch all my favorite YouTubers do this, but the reason that I turned to Intermittent Fasting was because I was having problems with bloating. So I would get really bloated by the end of the day, and still feel puffy when I woke up in the morning. I was looking for any kind of solution to help me combat the bloat, and intermittent fasting seemed like it could potentially help. You all should know me well enough by now to know that I am not a follower. I walk to the beat of my own drum, I do my own things, but I also like to try things that I have never tried before, and I like to really know what works for myself and my body. That is why I try new things with my diet and with workout regimes, because I want to see how my body will react, and I want to live my best life possible.
That is the day that I started intermittent fasting, and the only reason I know this is because I wrote down in my planner when I broke my fast. And I really only did that so that future me would be able to write a blog post about it. So thank you past me, for being a homie. For the first two weeks I’d say, I really didn’t run into any issues. I wasn’t hungry in the morning, and I didn’t have an issue training fasted. I also noticed that I was less bloated in the morning, so it was kind of a win there.
But after the first couple weeks…
I started to get weird about it. Around this same time I really wanted to commit to listening to my body and eating when I am hungry, eating real whole foods, the whole she-bang. Notice how I said I wanted to LISTEN TO MY BODY. I wanted to listen to my body and yet I was restricting when I was eating. I was thinking so backwards because I thought that intermittent fasting was really helping so much. I was telling myself that I really wasn’t hungry until later, which to be honest I wasn’t but I was just kind of ignoring my body. And on top of that, I decided that it would be a good idea to track my calories while I was doing intermittent fasting. Why I did this, I have no idea. But this is the point where it all just kind of fell apart for me.
After about two weeks…
I got to a point where I felt like all I was thinking about was food. I was thinking about when I was going to start eating, when I would stop, what I would be eating, etc. etc. When I was doing intermittent fasting I found that the second that I broke my fast at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, all I could think about was food, and all I would do is eat from the time I broke my fast to the time that I went to bed. So I think for me, trying out intermittent fasting brought up a lot of feelings and behaviors that I have tried so hard to overcome in the past. Maybe if I weren’t working at home, and I didn’t have food available to me all the time this experience would have been different. However I still think if I had tried this while I were working in an office I would still be thinking about food all day, and would probably be starving because food wouldn’t be as readily available, and then I would get home and probably binge. I don’t know for sure, but I can see that happening.
If you want to try intermittent fasting, I highly suggest that you do your research! The research is definitely not concrete on the benefits of this diet, and there is a lot of stuff out there that suggests that this diet is not ideal for women, and that it can harm other systems in women’s bodies. Obviously with any diet there will be pros and cons, but definitely do your own research and see if the pros outweigh the cons for you. I thought this was really going to help me, and change my life, and make me feel great, but it honestly just fu*ked with my mind, and made me resort back to some past behaviors. So if you are prone to binge eating episodes, or maybe you have food issues, think twice about trying out this style of eating. And again, this is just my personal experience, and if this way of eating works for you and has brought you amazing results, that’s great and I applaud you. It just isn’t for me.
Thank you beautiful people for reading!