Intermittent Fasting has been a term I’ve heard for years and refused to give any thought to. As I’ve increased workouts over the years and have been hitting the gym earlier and earlier, the thought of waiting to eat until noon was daunting. Why would anyone do that? Weren’t we all taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? As the weight started to come off slowly but surely, I reached a point where my body was no longer changing. I wanted to burn more fat, but I was eating so little calories that there was no way I could cut more calories out of my diet. So I turned to the internet and did some studying on IF. After about a week of contemplation, I finally decided to give the 12:8 method (fast for 12 hours, eat for 8 – I started eating at 12 PM and stopped at 8 PM) a go and this is what I learned:
You Will Be Really Hungry Until Your Feeding Period But it Will Eventually Go Away
My first day was the absolute worst. I workout at 6 AM, so I am usually STARVING by 9:30-10:00 AM. I was counting down the minutes until the clock turned 12 for me to stuff my face. Day 2 got easier and by day 3 I was a pro. Your body gets used to your new eating pattern and the hunger pains will eventually stop because your body understands you are not starving yourself. After a few weeks, it is just habit and you forget you’re even “dieting.”
Intermittent Fasting is Not a Diet, But You Still Need to Continue Your Healthy Habits – But it is Okay to Cheat
Raise your hand if you’ve been counting calories and haven’t seen results! *Raises Hand.* The reason counting calories alone stops working is because your body starts to understand you are not starving yourself to death and eventually stops eating away at stored fat and uses the food you are eating throughout the day as fuel for your body to function. What does this mean? Your body is never burning fat during the day unless your body is at negative calories each and every day and runs out of food to use for fuel. Doable, but difficult to achieve consistently. While fasting, your insulin levels are down so your body is eating away at fat instead of food for energy until the moment you begin to eat. Now, during your “fed state,” you can’t just shove cookies and donuts down your throat because your body still needs to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. However, sticking to fewer calories is much easier because you are eating during a smaller window of time. But since you aren’t trying to be at a negative caloric intake just to get your body to burn fat instead of food, you have some wiggle room during your feeding window because your body has been burning fat already for the last 12 hours.
You Will Feel So Much Better Than You Expected!
When I started, I thought I would be tired and hungry. Truth is, I’ve never had more energy in my life. I still wake up to work out at 6 AM and have even more energy than I did before. I’m seeing results and I am feeling incredibly motivated to keep eating healthy and doing things that will make me feel good.
I started out IF at a serious plateau. After 3 weeks of fasting, I’ve lost 5 lbs and kept those babies off. Not only have I lost 3 lbs, but I feel stronger and can see more muscle definition than I have before which makes me confident that my body is firing off fat and maintaining and BUILDING muscle mass. I’ve actually been able to be more relaxed about counting my calories and macros and have seen more results than I ever have in such a short period of time.
And, of course, if you’re thinking of trying IF, consult with a medical professional beforehand. If you have any questions about the process or my results, feel free to DM me on Instagram.