I don’t believe in living on diets, at least not for myself, but on developing healthy habits and maintaining them. This includes eating whatever ‘bad’ food you have a weakness for, from time to time. Anyway, this post is not on my eating habits in general, but only one of them, namely intermitted fasting. I actually started intermitted fasting by curiosity, but have since then experienced a lot of benefits attached to it, that I would like to share with you in this post. First a little back ground info of how I got into intermitted fasting in the first place.
Many years ago, I think I was around 17, I realised that I had been unsatisfied with my weight for as long as I could remember. What really blew my mind was that when I looked in my closet, I had jeans in the size of 36 (European size. American size 4) which in my rational mind meant that I had definitely been quite slim at that time. From then on I made a rational decision to never fuss over my weight again. I figured that I needed to train my eyes to see myself in a kinder light rather than looking for flaws. I would say that I’ve since then followed through most of the time, and it has meant I’ve learned to accept myself much beyond my weight. Though, as I’m soon turning 30, I can see that another aspect is sneaking in – which is this: for many years I’ve been so persistent in my attempt to embrace my weight no matter what is was, that I sometimes confuse this with not caring about what I eat and how I live. So lately I’ve been working on getting a more stabilised approach to living healthy, while still feeling good about myself, and living life with everything it entails (aka chocolate!).
What is Intermitted Fasting?
In simple words, intermitted fasting is fasting in intervals. Either by skipping one meal in a day, or fasting on certain full days of the week. There’s a lot of scientific background, that I’m not gonna get into – but if you’re interested you can read more here. The basic idea, is that the digestive system and body is given a break, and that you at the same time take in less calories. My confirmation of it’s validity comes more in the fact that it has been done for centuries in India, than the high amount hype that is being made around it lately. So, I chose only to look at the benefits I myself have experienced and how it makes me feel. For a better understanding, I don’t eat lunch, meaning I only eat breakfast and dinner. The following is what has happened since I started this practice.
It makes you less hungry
I wanted to write this first, to ensure that you’ll keep reading! I admit there’s an adjustment period, but it can be managed by slowly easing into it. You can start by eating a smaller meal during the time you want to faste, and then work yourself down to just having a snack and then nothing. My father used to mix chia seeds in water, with fresh berries, and then drink/eat it during the day instead of having lunch. I’ve never tried to faste a whole day, so cant say if your body equally adjusts to it, hence that you wouldn’t feel hungry. What I do believe is that your mind can effect how you feel. I realised that once I start feeling hungry, it passed fast if I know I wont be eating.
I gives you more time
I guess many people would feel like sitting down for a meal is a break. I have a desk job and sit down from 9-18 every day, so the break I really need is to take a walk. So, instead of eating I take a walk for 1/2 hour or 45 min. every day, or use the time to solve personal tasks I need to get done. At times I use the hour to work, so that I can leave a little early instead. Since is of course in addition to the fact that I have to prepare one less meal in a day.
I allows you to eat better
Since I only cook two meals in a day, I have more money and time to spend on them. I use the extra money I save to buy better quality foods, but also to treat myself to going out to eat or making something special at home. I think it’s important to note that when you only eat two meals, and don’t snack in-between, these meals need to count. Both so that you won’t get hungry during the day, but most of all so that you’ll get all the nutrients you need to be healthy. I eat lots of organic vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, eggs, slow carbs and some grains, bread and pasta. I also use lots of spices and herbs and drink lots of water.
It makes you loose weight
I’m sure there’s combined reasons for this. Even though I eat to my hearts desire during my two meals, I can only ever eat so much in one go, so I do end up eating less calories all together. I also don’t snack during the day, which leads me to drink more water. One thing I always allow myself is coffee! Because life is too short to be too extreme about anything. I want to make it clear that I when I eat, I eat what I want – I’m just lucky to really love healthy foods. But I also love waffles, cake and chocolate – and eat it whenever I feel like it.
It optimises your stomach
Without getting into too much details, there’s a number of ways to tell whether your stomach works the way it should. India is not a place for people with delicate stomachs, but now more than ever I can eat anything without having any problems. I’ve never had a lot of issues with my stomach, but it used to fluctuate, especially when travelling and eating street food. Now I barely ever have any issues – this includes no bloating, no pain, no gas, no hard or loose stomach and everything else. If you have any issues with your stomach, it could be something to explore.
This is all I’ve noticed till now, but maybe in time I will make a follow up post after exploring it some more. Feel free to comment below with questions or your own experiences!
Want to know more about fasting? I can highly recommend this book: