Intermittent Fasting: My Experience
I recently shared on my Instagram story that I was starting intermittent fasting and I've gotten a ton of questions about it so I thought I'd share about my experience and round up my most asked questions.
I started intermittent fasting a couple weeks ago and I'm loving it. I was extremely prone to bloating, and when I say extremely I mean I literally lived bloated 24/7 which was terrible. Usually most girls will find themselves bloated about one week of the month but mine was becoming a normal thing. I was always looking up forms of getting rid of bloat and finally decided to try out intermittent fasting.
I had read about probiotics, prebiotics, fasting, the list goes on and on but decided intermittent fasting would be best for me and what a better time to start than during quarantine. Basically, there are different types of fasting. You can either do 16:8, 20:4, 5:2, 24 hour fast, 36 hour fast, or alternate day fasting. I decided to go for 16:8 which means you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. Honestly, at first I thought it would be difficult but it's way easier than you'd think. If I'm ever feeling hungry before my fast is over I'll either drink a bunch of water or since I'm a coffee lover I'll make a shot of espresso since black coffee is fine to have while fasting. I'm not much of a tea drinker, but you can also have tea as long as whatever you're having while fasting is under 50 calories.
My usual day breakdown consists of the following. I eat from 12-8 PM or 11ish to 7ish depending on the day and how hungry/busy I am which I never realized how much I actually unintentionally fasted before I was really getting strict on myself. My eating has always been pretty healthy while letting myself indulge here and there so that hasn't changed too much. For breakfast I always try to break the fast with a filling meal/something healthy which is either an egg scramble or boiled eggs, lots of fruit, avocado, & coffee. There are also some days I'm just craving carbs & I'd rather eat them in the morning so I'll add in a piece of toast. Now, because I only have 8 hours to eat, sometimes I find I only eat two meals during that time and snacks but that can be different for everyone. If I eat lunch I'll make myself a salad with some protein on it or just have a protein shake/smoothie. Snacks for me are usually nuts or fruits & once in a while I'll treat myself to chips & guacamole or salsa. If you haven't tried the Quinoa & Black Bean Tortilla Chips from Trader Joe's you're missing out! Dinner usually looks like a fish or chicken with veggies, salad, or a "healthier" carb like cous cous, rice pilaf, or quinoa. I also like to spice it up with Trader Joe's ready-to-make meals like their soba noodle stir fry or you can also just throw in a bunch of their frozen veggies & a protein to your wok & it's literally the easiest meal ever. Of course there are times I'm really craving a sweet so I'll limit myself to 3-5 milk chocolate pretzels or chocolate covered almonds, also from Trader Joe's.
While fasting, I not only eat healthy but I'm working out at home since gyms aren't currently open. To get as much time outside I've been running for cardio and doing Krissy Cela's Tone & Sculpt app workouts which I love. I highly recommend the app for at-home or gym workouts, they're amazing, plus she gives you meal plans and everything!
Some tricks I've learned from doing IF have been, if you're feeling hungry during your fasting water is literally your best friend! Most of the time you're "hungry" you're really not, just drink some water & you'll be fine. Another tip is to snack! If you are limiting yourself while already limiting yourself to time, you'll get nauseous, lightheaded, or never feel satisfied so make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs in your time limit. Lastly, something that piggy backs off the drinking water when you're hungry, drink plenty of water in general. Not only will it fill you, it will detox your body more than what you're doing while not eating which is always a must.
To wrap things up here, I do think this will be a lifestyle change for me meaning I plan on keeping this habit forever. That doesn't mean there won't be times I don't stick to it because I am a 22 year old and I do go out on weekends and drink or eat at times of the night I probably shouldn't but thats life. I don't mind letting myself have fun sometimes there just needs to be balance. I also just know my body needs this since my bloating has gone away & I feel like I have way more energy throughout the day. You can find more information on IF literally anywhere online but this was just my experience with it.
If you have any other questions about my intermittent fasting comment below or shoot me a DM!