My first month of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. I would not call it a diet because it does not say what you should and should not eat, it is more like when you should eat. No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee (without cream and sugar), and tea (without tea and sugar), and other non-caloric beverages. There are different types of fasts, one being 16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours of eating (16:8), 18 hours of fasting followed by 6 hours of eating, and 20 hours of fasting followed 4 hours of eating. Then I have seen fasts run for as long as 36 hours — something I have not tried at all.

I’ve done IF since Thanksgiving, but it was something I did occasionally especially on the weeks where I knew I’d be eating a lot of food later in the day due to a bunch of holiday festivities. Since January 1st I decided to take a more serious look into IF to see if it was something I could do everyday. So here is my take:

16:8 fast – This is how I fast almost everyday. I don’t eat after 8:30 PM and my next meal is 12:30 PM for lunch. It is very doable.

18:6 fast – This one is a little bit of a stretch because it ends at weird time for me. About a couple of hours later, I leave work. I guess I could snack at my desk with my fasting period is over. I am not sure if this is something I could do everyday.

20:4 fast – Though this fasting window is even longer, I would more likely do a 20:4 fast than an 18:6 because by that time, I leave my office and have dinner. Doing one day of a 20:4 fast is doable, but two days in a row is much tougher. Maybe this would happen about no more than two times per week, but not consecutively.

Any changes since I started IF?

I feel more focused.

There seems to be less brain fog. Maybe instead of having food on the mind, worrying about preparing my next meal, I focus on what task I need to do.

Mornings feel less rushed

I don’t have to make breakfast, so it is one less thing to worry about in the morning. I can just make coffee, feed the dogs, and get ready to go to the gym.

Save money

I would like to think IF can help save me money. Before on most days I would buy a pastry and a coffee in the morning followed by buying lunch at the work cafeteria. Since IF, I know I can wait until I finish my fast. I would like to think it had helped me with curbing my impulse buys.

I had a surprisingly easy transition.

I guess I had a fairly easier time starting it because I don’t drink soda and I don’t add creamer and sugar to my coffee. 

Instead of lunch… I am more productive!

Instead of lunch, I plan, write, read, and learn.

Have you done intermittent fasting, and did it work (or not work) for you? Comment below!

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