Here’s why I think intermittent fasting is the only way to not only lose weight, but stay healthy and feel more motivated as well.
It all started with cutting back on the booze to prepare for a health retreat. I was told to prepare the body for the health retreat, I really should do intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is eating at various meal timing schedules throughout the day, that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period.
Methods of intermittent fasting include alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding.
I’d arrived home from a whirlwind trip to New York where I’d over indulged reviewing restaurants, and knew it was time to get healthy again so booked an Asian retreat.
I then went off the booze for six weeks to prepare.
But two weeks after going off alcohol, and doubling my exercise level, no weight had dropped off. Admittedly I didn’t have a lot to lose – 2.5kgs I suppose. But I wasn’t happy. I’d read about intermittent fasting and was determined to try.
My friend Jayne has had inspiring success with the 5/2 fasting method over several years. She has 5 regular days of eating and 2 with just 500 calories. And she always maintains her weight and looks great.
But I wanted quick results. I decided to try the 16/8. That’s 16 hours without food, and 8 eating. I wake at 530am every day, and on the new eating plan, I don’t eat until midday, sometimes 1pm, depending on what time I have dinner plans that night.
I am 3 months in, and it has not been easy. Coffee has saved me. Six days a week I exercise as soon as I wake, and on those days the fasting is very tough. It took a week to realise I had to eat a lot more during my eating windows to have enough energy for my fitness session as well as the fasting hours after it.
I can only have black coffee in the mornings which is ok, and I usually have lunch around 1230, and dinner around 6pm. The liberating aspect of IMF is you don’t have to be so rigid about what you eat, as you eat SO much less due to the number of hours you have.
I find the first thing I eat at 1pm is important, and if it is something plain and healthy like some plain yoghurt, or a salad, I don’t crave sugar and fast food. I’m quite happy with a balanced lunch or late brunch like eggs and bacon, an acai bowl, salmon and salad or sashimi and miso soup, and then I have a reasonable dinner of steak, chicken, vegetables or salads.
I have definitely lost some weight, probably around 1.5 kg, but I feel my energy is higher, my moods more consistent, and generally I feel much, much better. There is a lot of research that shows IMF improves brain power. Now that is a bonus.
For me, this is not a diet, but a changed, permanent eating plan. One word of warning is that alcohol is counted as food, so wine has to be kept within the 8 hours too – now that can get challenging on weekends.
But this is a program I can follow when travelling, it doesn’t impinge on my lifestyle, and heck when something special comes up, breaking it once in a while is no big deal.