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My experience with intermittent fasting

16 August, 2018

This summer I did “intermittent fasting” or “time restricted eating” which means only eating for a certain amount of time everyday. I only ate from 12:00pm to 8:00pm, which is 8 hours, and it was honestly great.

Have you ever heard anyone say they didn’t eat for 16 hours and it was great? Don’t worry, it wasn’t that bad!

Why?

I was coming off my first year of university and I purposely put on about 15 lbs to bulk up. At the end of the school year, I was 160 lbs. A lot of that weight was sadly fat and I hated it. I wanted to get back to 145 lbs or lower, while keeping as much muscle as possible.

Losing weight was never a problem for me because I could just eat 500 less calories a day and easily lose a pound a week. I actually did do that this summer, but, I wanted to try something new and heard great things about intermittent fasting.

The basic idea behind intermittent fasting is that if you don’t eat for a long period of time, your body will start using up your fat for energy.

" Experimenting with your diet is how you learn what works for you. "

My experience:

The time frame I chose to eat in didn’t seem too difficult for me and it worked with my schedule because I eat lunch after 12:00pm and eat dinner around 7:30pm. Also, I’m sleeping for 6 to 7 hours of the 16 in which I’m fasting.

What seemed difficult was not eating breakfast, especially since I wake up at 6am to get to work, and not eating any late-night snacks (almost a daily for me).

In reality, what I encountered was:

  • A lot of washroom breaks — I drank water and black coffee (black coffee or green tea is acceptable during the fast) to quench my hunger and you’ll be surprised how fast it goes through your body when your stomach is empty
  • HANGER — hunger and anger combined, it wasn’t that bad for me, but it depends person to person
  • Increased focus — in the mornings when I was getting hungry, I’d be a lot more focussed on work and I would want to work harder as well to distract me from my stomach

After a while:

  • Just not hungry — I was able to easily not eat for a long time and I wasn’t dependant on food
  • Discipline — It takes discipline to stick to intermittent fasting for a long time, but I definitely became more disciplined through the process

Now it’s near the end of summer

I lost 15 to 17 lbs so far and it seems like most of it was fat based on how my body looks. Keep in mind, losing this much weight was expected because of my caloric deficit and I’ve been going to the gym 3–4 times a week to maintain muscle.

However, I do hypothesize (idk if this is the right word) that intermittent fasting helped me lose fat instead of muscle and helped a lot with the caloric deficit because of the time-restriction.

Other benefits include not having to spend time or money eating breakfast, becoming disciplined with your health, and being able to survive long hours without food (this is actually really cool).

I urge you to try intermittent fasting and see what benefits it brings to your life. You don’t have to do 16 hours or follow the 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm schedule. You can just fast for 12 hours and follow the schedule that works for you.

I’m going to continue intermitting fasting in some form for the rest of my life.