The Unexpected Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Yes, I too, jumped on the bandwagon of Intermittent Fasting (IF). I’d been contemplating my goals and intentions for the new year and decided this was the time to lose those ten pounds that had crept up on me over the past few years. I had planned to just eliminate the extra calories in my diet by eliminating wine, snacks, and limiting desserts. The trouble was that I had already converted snacks to healthy ones (like a handful of almonds or pistachios) with my glass of wine and my dessert was limited to two mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups after dinner. I already had a healthy diet and a good exercise routine. So, the idea of trying something new that might help me lose those extra pounds and was good for my long-term health was appealing.
I read up on IF and started with the recommended 16/8 split between fasting and eating hours. I also eliminated wine and kept snacking to a minimum, but kept my two dark chocolate peanut butter cups for dessert (a girl has to have chocolate). However, I quickly found that doing an 18/6 fasting to eating ratio worked well for me. Basically, I wait until 12:30 p.m. to eat my first meal and finish eating by 6:30 p.m., fasting in between those two times.
I’ve been doing this for a month now and I’ve lost four lbs. I’ve also adapted to IF pretty easily. Although I really only eliminated breakfast and my before dinner wine and snack, I have felt quite hungry before my first meal and before dinner throughout the month. This is normal for the first month of IF and has not been particularly difficult to deal with. I have experienced most of the benefits that IF is touted for, such as increased energy and greater clarity in the mornings, better cognitive functioning, less bloating, and no indigestion. (If you’d like to know more about the science behind IF, weight loss, and health benefits, check out this article by Paul Spector, M.D. here on Medium.)
What I found more interesting during this first month of IF were the unexpected benefits that I experienced…specifically, a re-examination of my patterns, intentionality about the use of both my time and my food choices, and an increased level of curiosity, creativity, and gratitude.