I first heard about intermittent fasting on Instagram as I saw other bloggers talking about it. I was super skeptical, as I am with most “diets”. The idea is to fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour time frame. So if you start at 12pm, you stop eating at 8pm.
I haven’t talked much about it but I’ve noticed so many benefits of intermittent fasting. The first time I tried it last fall (I think?), it did NOT work for me. I was so hungry waiting for the 8 hours to begin and my body generally wasn’t in a good health state.
I wasn’t exercising as much as I do now and eating way too much bad stuff. My blood sugar was all over the place and going on a fast surely wasn’t a good idea. In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn’t have tried to go straight into a 16 hour fast. Ease your body into it. Start with 12 hours and work your way up if you can.
Then 2019 rolled around. I’ve worked myself up to doing Orangetheory 4-5 times a week and ready to give it another try. I started the first week in January and have been intermittent fasting every single week since. Except on vacation and Sundays, I’ve been keeping a 12-8pm or 1pm-9pm eating window. I’m not super strict. Sometimes I am starving by 11am, especially if my workout was extra tough, and I literally need something to fuel my body.
My Morning Routine with Intermittent Fasting
My typical routine is as follows: I wake up at 6:15am, out the door 6:35, Orangetheory 7-8, and back home at 8:15. I then make a Nespresso coffee with lactose-free milk (I really like the Lactaid brand – and I hate the taste of almond milk). I don’t put any sugar in my coffee (you get used to it) and it’s my favorite part of the morning. I don’t take any pre-workout supplements, just water.
By the time lunch comes around, I’m genuinely hungry and don’t feel bad that I’m eating A LOT. On a good day I’ll either have a protein rich salad, salmon or avocado toast or a soup with sandwich or eggs on toast. I’ve come to eat less afternoon snacks as I’m full from lunch and have programmed my body to realize when I’m ACTUALLY hungry. And not just bored.
5 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
I would’ve never imagined that I love intermittent fasting as much as I do and it really depends on your body too. I’ve ALWAYS struggled with bloating. I feel like I’ve looked 3 months pregnant for most of my life. I’m not even joking. Hence why I’m now also gluten and lactose free. It makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER. But also, I have a slow metabolism. It’s definitely improved since working out frequently but intermittent fasting works so well for me.
Because I’m giving my body 16 hours of food rest, I give it enough time process and I’ve noticed 5 key benefits for me:
1. I have so much more energy.
I’m not constantly tired from eating and feel like I have more brain power. I feel a lot sharper during the morning and get so much more done. Because I don’t eat until 12 or 1, I think of everything I can accomplish before that time. I used to be so tired working from home, feeling like a slog staring at the screen. Now my energy level has improved dramatically. Again, you may need to push through the first few days, until your body adjusts to the new clock.
2. I eat when I’m hungry.
What a concept! I still have moments where I’m bored and will think of eating, but I now recognize when I’m actually hungry and my body is craving food. I also can stop myself better once I’m full as I’m more in tune with my body.
3. Less bloating.
I can’t even tell you… I feel so much better at night going to bed, not feeling like I’m carrying an actual food baby. Of course it also has to do with WHAT I eat, but giving my body a 16 hour break from food every day has been life changing.
4. I fit better into my pants!
I don’t think I’ve lost any weight (I don’t weigh myself) but my pants are feeling roomier around the waist and it feels amazing. I struggle in my midsection so just feeling lighter in that region, has been such a confidence booster. I’m still the same size but everything feels better and that’s the most important to me.
5. I enjoy eating so much more!
I’ve always loved to eat, but now I’m really looking forward to each meal and I don’t feel bad when I eat a lot. I’m in a much better mental state and *try* to fuel my body with good choices. I will never be able to resist a donut but for me it’s all about BALANCE and enjoying life.
On a side note, I’ve also started to drink a lot less alcohol. I’ve noticed how wine would sometimes upset me and well, beer has gluten in it. I still love a good cider or a glass of wine occasionally. But on a weekly basis, I’d say I maybe have 1-2 glasses total. Of course holidays and celebrations are a different story, but you get the idea.
So those are all the benefits of intermittent fasting and why I love it so much! Have you tried it? Let me know if you have any questions or want to chat about it in a comment below!
As always, do what’s right for your body. I’m no expert and don’t claim to be. This is just my personal experience.