Intermittent Fasting – True Experience and Tips for Beginners03/18/2021 01:20PM ● By Rachel Miller
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Diet fads and fitness trends circulate the market, changing consistently. One of the latest trends to break the internet and become popular worldwide in health and fitness groups is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a time-oriented eating plan that switches between periods of fasting and eating, making it more of an eating pattern and not necessarily a diet in the conventional sense.
While intermittent fasting, it is recommended you only eat during a specific time of the day. There are several methods of this eating pattern, the most common being the 16:8 method – 16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours of eating – or fasting for a full 24 hours, twice a week. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, improve metabolic health and prevent some forms of disease; it’s just about finding the right method that’s suits your lifestyle. But does it work?
Now, I’m not one for diet fads – I’ve always believed in eating whatever you want, whenever you want, because why shouldn’t you if you want to? Have that bowl of ice cream that you’re craving, and don’t pass up on a delicious plate of pasta just because salads have less calories. So, instead of controlling what I eat, I thought it would be more attainable to control when I eat.
With that being said, I’ve been practicing the 16:8 intermittent fasting method for about six months now, and here’s what I found.
Skipping breakfast was the hardest for me to get used to. Breakfast has always been a part of my morning routine – wake up, make coffee, have a bite to eat, start my day. Controlling my eating between 2-10 p.m. became challenging at first when the hunger pangs started rolling in around 10 or 11 in the morning, but it’s all about retraining your body and metabolism. Plus, coffee really helps.
Water and coffee are your best friend
During fasting periods, non-calorie drinks can be consumed, and this is the secret to survival. Coffee significantly helps to curb morning hunger. And, when in doubt, drink more water – dehydration can trick you into being hungry when you’re actually just thirsty.
Staying on schedule
This is the hardest part with any diet or fitness routine – staying on schedule. Obviously, things constantly change in life, schedules get messed up, and plans get cancelled, but that’s what I found to be most convenient about the 16:8 intermittent fasting method – its flexibility and simplicity.
Combining exercise with intermittent fasting is where I began to see the biggest results. Naturally, by controlling the hours of eating during intermittent fasting, I have been consuming a more balanced and controlled number of calories because I have become more conscious of what I’m eating and when I’m eating it. But once my body and metabolism got adjusted to the new eating schedule, and I started adding exercising and cardio to the mix, the pounds started falling off.
Does it work?
It takes time, but yes. Like any other diet or fitness adventure, nothing happens overnight. I had no goals going into this and I wasn’t desperately seeking to lose weight. It was a topic brought up in conversation that seemed it could potentially better suit my lifestyle, so I thought, ‘Why not give it a try?’ After about six months, my body feels great. My metabolism has completely adjusted, my body is regulating like clockwork, I have more energy, I sleep great at night and I lost 20 pounds I didn’t even know I had to lose.So, my piece of advice is to give it a try. You’re not depriving yourself of the things you want, just controlling when you can have them.