Wondering if intermittent fasting is right for you?
I heard about IF for years + really thought it was just a diet fad [well… many people did treat it that way, so I guess it’s an accurate description!].
If you’re a frequent reader [hey, girl!] you know I am the ANTI diet queen. Diets don’t work at all. If you came here a quick-fix weight loss scam, you’re on the wrong blog!
Changes to your overall diet that are consistent + repeated over time are how real changes happen when it comes to weight + how good you feel from the types of food that you eat.
After finally being convinced by my husband + best friend that IF really works, I gave it a go. I waited till I was done BF my daughter [because I was nervous it would affect my supply] + started IF this past April.
Guys… I fell in freakin love. It works for me. I am not saying it’s for everyone. But… dang! The results are real + I have been consistently doing it for 5 months with little to no feelings of restriction.
I actually WANT to fast every day because I feel so much better compared to days where I eat the first 1-3 hours after I wake. So, let’s get into the deets… shall we?
Today, I am breaking down for you:
- Why I started intermittent fasting
- My approach to intermittent fasting
- My results after intermittent fasting for 5 months
WHY I STARTED INTERMITTENT FASTING
I HAD LOW ENERGY IN THE MORNING
Overall, I have always been a morning person because I know that I get the most done in the earlier hours of the day, both personal + work-related. But, I have always felt super sluggish, cranky, + had overall low energy in the am hours.
When we eat, our bodies break down carbs into glucose to use for energy immediately or store as fat for later. Studies show that fasting allows your body to access these stored fat cells + breaks them down.
Unlike carbs, fat cells are broken down much more slowly + steadily during intermittent fasting. Not only can it help you lose weight, but it can greatly increase your energy levels.
I WAS ALWAYS EATING ACCORDING TO THE CLOCK
Like most of us, I was always taught to eat my 3 meals + snacks at certain times during the day. I always woke up hungry every day craving breakfast. I also found that I would get very hungry within 20-30 minutes of every meal.
Although I knew this was common, I didn’t want to feel like I HAD to eat at those times.
Why? I realized that I was only “hungry” because my body was just telling me I was hungry out of habit. I wanted to try intermittent fasting to see if it could turn off my constant hunger pangs.
I WANTED TO LOSE A BIT MORE WEIGHT
I have had a pretty healthy diet most of my life + I feel like my diet doesn’t need to be tweaked that much. I eat lots of whole foods + high-quality meats + carbs. But, I wanted to lose a little more weight without really “trying” harder than I was.
So, that’s another reason I wanted to try IF. So many studies show it helps you cut calories without feeling any “diet restriction” after the first few days/weeks.
So, that was totally up my ally + I wanted to give it a go to see if I could incorporate it into my lifestyle for good.
I SAW RESULTS WITH PEOPLE I KNEW
I am a big results person. I need to see that something works before I will buy into it. Legit, I stalk Amazon reviews + read wayyyyy too many before buying almost anything.
I am the same when it comes to my wellness habits!
My husband + best friend were doing IF wayyyy before me for over a year. I saw clear results. They lost weight [that stayed off], they made it a part of their lifestyle, they seemed happier, + they said it gave them so much energy. I trusted them + knew I was ready to try it!
MY APPROACH TO INTERMITTENT FASTING
GRADUAL INCREASE IN FASTING PERIODS
I knew that if I was going to try to make IF a part of my lifestyle I needed to take really small, gradual steps. Most people go nuts about the 16/8 approach to IF [16 hours not eating/fasting + 8 hour window of eating].
I knew I couldn’t do that because my eating window at that time was 8/16. I would eat from when I woke up [breakfast] until right before bed [snack].
So, I decided to pull back slowly. I pushed off my first meal an hour here + there over a few weeks until I had a fasting window of 12 hours + an eating window of 12 hours.
After about a month of doing that, I eventually pushed my first meal off more + more. Now I am currently maintaining a fasting window of 13-14 hours + an eating window of 10-11 hours on most days.
- Related: 6 REASONS YOU NEED TO QUIT DIETING
I ALLOW MYSELF TO DRINK COFFE + CREAMER
Technically you’re only supposed to have water or black coffee when you’re IF [+ a few other boring options]. But, again… I am not following a diet plan + this is my life. So… my rules!
I allow myself to put some dang creamer in my coffee! In general, I know me just having coffee + creamer will keep me satisfied for longer fasting windows + I have seen major results.
Therefore, this habit stays! I suggest you make your own rules, too!
I EAT EARLIER IF I FEEL LIKE I NEED/WANT TO
I am all about trying to stick to the window + doing the best I can to stay within it. Sometimes I wake up + about 1-2 hours after I am awake I am ready to eat.
I might be sick, be stressed, or just have plans to meet up with friends for a bite in the am hours. I eat. It’s not a big deal.
There are 2 things that will possibly happen.
- I will stick to my eating window by cutting myself off earlier in the evening.
- I will not stick to my eating window + will probably just eat a bit more than normal that day.
Again, big whoop. I don’t care! It doesn’t undo all my work + I know that.
IT ISN’T A DIET, BUT LIFESTYLE
My last approach definitely slides right into this one. My entire approach to my health + fitness regimen is to make every single habit realistic + long-lasting. Anything I bring into my diet needs to stick longterm + give me nutritional + mental benefits.
I would love to get down to a window of 14-15 hours fasting + 8-10 hours of eating on a regular basis. But, there is no pressure because the second I feel like it’s a restriction, it doesn’t work for me.
I am sharing this because if you feel pressured to immediately try to incorporate the 16/8 fad of IF you might give up super fast + not reap any of the benefits at all because it’ll just feel like a diet!!
MY RESULTS – 5 MONTHS INTERMITTENT FASTING
IT WASN’T AS HARD AS I THOUGHT
Really, it wasn’t. If you follow my approach of slowly implementing the habit + gradually increasing your fasting window, it’s so much easier than you think.
Like my husband always reminds me, everything is a mental game. Intermittent fasting, included.
If you just take the power away from the fasting + focus on how good you are going to feel sticking to the window, it’ll be easier to approach + complete.
I FELT SUPER ENERGIZED + FOCUSED IN THE AM
Guyssssss, it totally worked when it comes to energy! Yes, I wake up MANY mornings at 5am when my alarm goes off exhausted. But, the second my feet hit the floor + I start my morning routine, it’s like I have a giant caffeinated cup of coffee already in me.
I notice now how much food was making me sluggish in the morning.
I pack my mornings with a workout, walk, shower, meditating, journaling, + family time all before eating a thing. Sometimes I get hungry in the mix of all that. But, 95% of the time I am not!
I LOST 5LB IN 2 WEEKS BECAUSE I ATE LESS
Yes, I wanted to lose a bit more weight. But, I didn’t intend for it to happen this fast! Seriously, I was blown away that this happened + I am happy to say that I have kept the weight off these 5 months.
Why did that happen? I know exactly how. I ate less calories all day.
No calorie counting or food journaling [not that I am saying you shouldn’t! Just sharing what I did]. I think me letting go of needing to eat at certain times helped me to not get as hungry because I wasn’t associating food with the time.
SHOULD YOU TRY IF?
I shared this post not to convince you to try IF. But, overall it’s a guide to show you that your diet should come with your own rulebook you create.
Dieting doesn’t work. But, creating a healthy lifestyle that lasts over time does work!
If you want to try IF, great! I highly suggest trying my approach. But, again… adjust things so they work for you.