I have been practicing intermittent fasting intermittent fasting 16/8 since July 2017. During that time I followed a certain eating pattern: I did not eat for 16 hours and ate during 8 hours. Since this seems to be a little abstract, I am going to describe a typical day with typical meals:
This schedule is quite specific, since I schedule my meals according to my activities. The most demanding activity of my day is my ashtanga practice, that I usually have between 6.30 pm and 8 pm. Since my digestion is very, very slow, I can not eat during the four or five hours before. I tried it from time to time with the result, that I started to feel sick and had to go home (for the ones, who never tried ashtanga: There are a lot of bends and very deep twists, that are supposed to stimulate the inner organs and as well the stomach). I love my practice, so I decided to finish my lunch around 1.30 or 2 pm and I won’t eat until after practice.
After practice I have my dinner, that consists out of the same elements as my lunch. So for everyone out there, who eats keto: My eating pattern is the opposite! I eat loads of carbs and usually don’t pay that much attention to my fat intake or my protein intake. I mostly go with the flow, trusting my body, that it knows, what it needs the most! Brings me to the next point: I do not plan anything. If I feel like eating pasta or broccoli, it is going to be pasta or broccoli. Usually I just buy a bunch of veggies, fruits, tofu etc… and cook it spontaneously!
I noted the following changes after six months of intermittent fasting 16/8 :
I feel more energetic! Since my stomach is not digesting all the day, I have a greater focus on my work and also on my exercises! I realized, that breakfast straight after getting up usually made me very tired and was not very beneficial for my overall well-being!
I stopped feeling hangry! For two decades I was the kind of person, who freaked out, when my blood sugar dropped. I would be aggressive, anxious etc. until I found a bakery. This really affected my travels or even excursions to the city, since I always had to take a lot of emergency food with me
Weight-loss during intermittent fasting 16/8
Most interesting point for the majority of my readers: I lost weight! I am not talking about crazy amounts of weight here. In total I maybe lost three kilos (especially around my waist!). I never got rid of this weight with exercises and I never made a diet in my life (so I can not compare). I guess that I reached my “healthy ideal weight” (climbing and pull ups became a lot easier, also the new space around my waste makes some yoga postures easier).
My period started to come with a little delay (around four days in average) and varies intensity-wise. I am not sure, if this is connected to stress (more work, recent break-up), weight loss or my eating patterns. There are some studies, that suggest intermittent fasting 16/8 is not for women, since it messes with the hormone levels. There is very little research about the topic, but I am going to observe it and consult an expert. Update June 2018: Periods come on time again. I think the delay had other causes…
I am quite strict on intermittent fasting 16/8 but I make exceptions. One for instance is the first day of my period. If I feel a lot of pain or I am generally down, I have breakfast or a snack during the afternoon (during my period I do not practice ashtanga anyways…). Of course if I am sick, I stop intermittent fasting 16/8 . I had a virus, that caused vomiting for a couple of days. During that time I had a lot of small meals per day, since I don’t want to stress my stomach with large amounts of food at a time.
Also I discovered, that I can not handle very long periods of fasting. It happened a couple of times accidentally, when my flight had delay, when I was involved in a car accident or stuck in traffic. The result were stomach cramps and bloating.
One very great benefit is the way, I started to see food. Yes, I love, love, love eating and I am crazy about cooking. I want to enjoy life to the fullest and eat my favorites every single day! BUT: Food is no cure for stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness or other negative emotions! I realized, that I tended to snack, whenever something bad came up. With intermittent fasting 16/8 I have to handle it in a different way. I started to take walks, meditate, read a book etc… Food is our fuel but it should not replace other important needs like proper resting, sports, snuggling with a partner, friend or pet or just taking a few deep breaths!
I am Julia, vegan by heart, traveler and minimalist based in beautiful Portugal. I love simple but delicious food, ashtanga, skating, surfing and having a nice conversation over snacks and a glass of wine. I am blogging about vegan food, my minimalist journey, life hacks and my experiences as a traveler.