My take on Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is currently one of the biggest health and fitness trends. Research about IF show a lot of benefits for fat loss, health and even longevity. It involves alternating cycles of Fasting and eating. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. In this article I will talk about how IF helped me and why use it.
There are several different Intermittent Fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and Fasting periods. I use the 16/8 LeanGains method, this means a 16 hour fast and 8 hour feed window. During my cut I do this every day and it really helps me. I don’t want to dive deep into what IF is, but if you want to learn all about it, I highly recommend reading this article.
Using IF during my cut
Before I started my cut I already experimented with Intermittent Fasting. In the beginning I didn’t know how I would survive 16 hours without any food or my morning cappuccino (everything above 40 cals breaks your fast). But my mindset adapted quickly.
This quote is so true for me when it comes to cutting and IF: ‘our bodies are capable of anything, it’s our mind we have to convince’.
With this quote I remind myself that I’m not actually starving to death when I’m not eating for the majority of the day or just because my body is craving food doesn’t mean it’s what I need, or what is good for me. Your mind is a powerhouse and you can train it.
I started to see and feel that Intermittent Fasting has a really good effect on my body. Fasting for a longer period feels as if i’m giving my body a timeout from digesting, a detoxing effect. I occasionally stretch the 16 hours to a 24 hour fast. I do this after a weekend of irregular or bad eating and i feel like my body needs a break.
It has a lot of benefits for me to use this method.
I like to eat big meals
Eating bigger meals gives me so much more satisfaction than snacking throughout the day. Snacking for me leads to eating more.
And by the way, if you think that eating 6 times a day is a good way to stoke your metabolism and because of that lose fat. That’s not true and here’s why. Out of the many nutrition myths this is perhaps the most persistent.
I don’t like eating in the morning
We grow up learning that it’s important that right after you wake up you eat your first meal to have a good start of your day. The myth that breakfast is the most important meal, started from the early days of cereal (Kellogs) in the 20th century. The advertising industry used moralising rhetoric to sell the idea of a healthy breakfast. But research and history show that skipping our granola bowl or fried eggs does not, in fact, harm our health.
Breakfast food is my favourite kind of food, it’s light and fresh, I can eat it at any time of the day (that’s why I love places who have breakfast all day on their menu). I can order breakfast for late lunch! Besides I’m not hungry in the morning. Based on my 16 hour fast I delay my breakfast and eat my first meal around 13.00 to 14.00 depending on when my last meal was the day before. When I eat this first meal I really take my time to prepare, eat and enjoy it.
Minimise decisions in my daily life.
Decision fatigue is a thing. Throughout the day we face a ton of tiny decisions, like what to eat; do I want milk in my coffee or black? What to wear; hmm so many options, what do I feel like today, all black, or more colorful, comfy or classy? Responding to messages; should I respond to this text now or later? You probably don’t realise how much energy you put into these tiny questions you ask yourself constantly on a daily basis. It can be overwhelming and prevent you from being creative, being present, and therefore prevent you from being productive. A famous example of a creative and productive focused genius is the clothing style of Steve Jobs. He wore the same type of outfit every day: black sweater, jeans, sneakers.
So how does Intermittent Fasting help me with limiting decision fatigue? By limiting my feed window to 8 hours there is simply less time to make decisions on what you want to eat. For my cut I take it a little further by eating the same food on the same time almost every day. Especially during the last phase of cutting I don’t want to give my mind any room to start wondering how all the amazing foods I could buy would taste like. I also literally don’t have the energy to make a ton of decisions, so crossing some of my list is a big relief. And it’s true, doing this gives me focus, it makes me more productive and creative.
Isn’t it the hardest thing ever not to eat for 16 hours?
In the beginning i was nervous to implement this on a daily basis. But because of my 3 month cut I had to find a way to still be able to eat big meals that fit in my mega deficit calorie intake. My calorie intake was at it’s lowest 1500 calories a day. I prefer 3 meals around 500 cals or two big meals around 750 cals.
Does Intermittent Fasting help you with losing fat?
Yes it does, but don’t mistake Intermittent Fasting as being a diet. There are no rules about what you should eat, it’s just timeframe based eating and you can be really flexible with it, if you’re curious after this story and you want to try it, start with a smaller Fasting window and build from there.
For me this method is a way of living. And because it makes me feel so good I will implement this in my lifestyle. Not on a daily basis, but maybe twice or three times a week to detox a little and manage my weekly calorie intake.
I honestly still don’t know and I’m still in the process of finding the answers. Maybe there is not one answer, or any, but I know I want to listen better to this voice and feel more of this feeling that I feel in my gut that I’m not sure of what it is.
In this part 3 I will share my routines, or not?
This is part 2 where I will share what I learned about living in a community.