Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Before we address that question let me explain to you a little bit about my sordid relationship history with food. It closely rivals the relationship between Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction (minus the boiling bunnies.)
If you’ve been reading my blog lately you know I’ve been trying to lose weight. I have been thin, overweight and everything in between, never having a healthy relationship with food. Starting with attending weekly weigh in’s at weight watchers at thirteen. Then binge eating shortly thereafter. One time, even going so far as to locking my sister out of the house so I could binge on Wonder Bread. Funny thing, I still remember the way it tasted over 30 years ago. What wasn’t so funny, was having to take her to the ER for stitches after she put her hand thru the french doors trying to get into the house and my father’s rage at why I wouldn’t tell him the reason for locking her out.
Fast Forward to adulthood; After delivering my first child I discovered phen-phen, G-d I loved that stuff (Yes I said it) but the FDA took it away. Said I might die so, fine. Then I rebounded and gained weight, and had more babies and the roller coaster of lose & gain began.
Recently my brother in law lost tons of weight with the Intermittent Fasting method. I had been seeing tidbits about this method in my FB feed and in magazines so I was somewhat familiar with the term but I needed some more information so I immediately began my research.
Intermittent Fasting- What is it?
Intermittent fasting first showed up on the health scene in 2012 when the BBC aired the documentary Horizon documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer. and has steadily picked up momentum ever since.
Intermittent Fasting is basically time-restricted eating or an eating window. There are many different types of fasting. The most common being the 16:8 Fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8. This can be personalized. I, for example, do a six-hour eating window from Noon to 7. This works best for me, it is suggested that your last meal be two hours before your bedtime.
Other methods are 24-hour fasting methods where you do whole 24 hour fasting periods two or three days a week. One interesting type of Intermittent Fasting is the “Warrior Method” that is where you fast for 20 hours and eat what prehistoric man would have eaten for four hours.
Intermittent fasting goes on the belief or science of ketosis. Basically in lay men’s terms if you don’t have food to burn for fuel you use your own fat stores for fuel, simple logic, right? In addition to that, they suggest basic eating do’s and don’ts below.
What to Eat While Fasting
Just because your fasting doesn’t mean you can lose your mind when your window opens. It is suggested you eat rather clean and low carb. A low carb & high lean protein is recommended for best results. While in fasting no eating hours you can, however, drink green tea/coffee with non-sugar sweeteners. I found myself filling up with a lot of green tea.
Benefits of Fasting
Research has shown that Fasting has been known to have many benefits such as; Intermittent fasting decreases insulin in the blood, decreases cholesterol, and has been shown to reduce inflammation. I myself found that once I got over the initial slump my energy levels have increased and my belly bloat has disappeared.
My Experience with Intermittent Fasting
When I first started Intermittent fasting I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I enlisted the help of my older children. You need all the support you can get when you’re dieting , plus no harm no foul if two fewer people to cook breakfast for 😉 I weighed in on day one at 142. I vowed to exercise the majority of the week and I stuck to it. I alternated between walking/running on the treadmill and doing fitness videos.
On the Intermittent Fasting Plan, you are encouraged to work out during fasting periods so your energy is taken from your fat stores. Those first few days that was a doozy. After day 3 of fasting, is when I think I got over the hump. About hour 15 of fasting, I happened to be writing and looked at the time and realized I wasn’t hangry! I figured I must be fueling off my own fat, unpleasant but reassuring thought that this diet was actually working.
Did Intermittent Fasting Work for Me?
YES! I had a couple of missteps because I’m human and married and eat my feelings. But from one Saturday to the next I lost 4 pounds! My daughter has lost 5, and my son is slimming down as well. I am also cooking less breakfast 😉 The best part for me has been my tummy. I’m sure everyone notices this too, but when you skip a meal your stomach immediately sorts of “deflates.” I love that feeling, a sort of immediate satisfaction. That immediate satisfactions gives you that motivation you need to keep on going.
Here’s a quick summation or “Cliff Notes” for you!