Intermittent fasting for food lovers
Can I try Intermittent fasting If I love food?
If you're as food-obsessed as I am, the minute you hear the word "fasting," your knees get weak and palms are sweaty (ayyy @eminem). But pump the breaks, kweens - it's not as scary as you think. In fact, fasting is one of the healthiest things you can do (why are the hardest things always the best for you?! It ain't right).
If there's one thing you take away from this post: IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT. Okay? Onward.
First things first: there are different types of fasts and you have to figure out what is best for you. (Sense a trend here? I ain't a big fan of blanket health advice).
16/8 fast: This is the fast that I follow. Eat in an 8 hour window, then don't eat for 16 hours. But Ali! That's a long time to not eat! I know, grasshopper. But if you're smart, you'll probably be sleeping for most of it.. more on that later.
Full day fast: Choose 1 day/week to refrain from eating. Surprisingly works for many people. I love food too much to be one of them, but more power to ya.
Fast til sundown: Common in some religions (Ramadan, Yom Kippur), you refrain from eating during the day and break your fast once the sun has set.
Now, let's chat specifics - how often should I be fasting? Again, this is up to you except for one caveat: if you're a woman, listen closely. There is some research on fasting and the negative effects it may have on hormones. So like basically everything else in life, moderation. I choose to fast a few times a week.
What does a typical fasting day look like for you? I choose to fast on days when I don't workout, simply because well, I'm too dang hungry on days that I do. I'll wake up around 7-8am, walk to work and bang out some emails/werk until about 10am. Around this time I'll make a cuppa joe. Black coffee does not break your fast, and a cup usually helps curb my appetite. My office gets lunch delivered really early, around 11:45am, so I'll break my fast with that meal. Let's say I eat lunch at 12 - that means that I have until 8pm to eat the rest of my meals for that day.
Things to keep in mind:
- Fasting does not mean "skipping a meal." You should consume the same amount of calories as you would on a non-fasting day (just in a shorter window). The idea is that you're giving your body a BREAK (she tired!) from all the digesting its doing. Don't starve the poor thing.
- If you get lightheaded, weak, shaky or low blood sugar.. EAT. Never push yourself past the point of feeling unwell - listen to yo' bod. No "health benefits" are worth feeling unwell.
- Be kind to yourself. Adapting a new routine or way of eating is an adjustment, and give yourself grace if it's really, really difficult the first few times! Try pushing back your breakfast by an hour at first, then slowly increase until you can get to lunch.
- You don't have to wait to eat. If you're a huge breakfast lover and can't imagine giving that up, don't! Eat at your normal breakfast time and instead have an early dinner (if you eat breakfast at 9am, then have an early dinner and be done eating by 5pm). It's your life, boo.