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Intermittent Fasting is a buzzword to some and a legitimate lifestyle choice to others. Devout followers claim that this method has numerous benefits.

So I decided to try it out. 

So in the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, you must know three things:

  1. I have tried intermittent fasting before when we all lived a ‘normal life.’ It was okay, I used to feel really hungry by the time I could eat.
  2. I wake up right before lunch these days so within almost half an hour to an hour of waking up I eat my first meal.
  3. I am not specifically overweight but I had knee surgery and am looking for ways to relieve pressure on my knees and one of the ways is weight loss. 
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But first…

What is Intermittent Fasting?

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Intermittent fasting is as the name suggests the process of fasting for a select number of hours in a day and eating only during a specific window or specific number of hours. During the fasting period it is recommended that you consume tons of water and can have basic drinks like coffee, tea etc. 

Are there different types of intermittent fasting?

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Yes. I probably wouldn’t call it types but maybe, different time windows that you can select according to your preference and comfort. 

The 16/8 Method

Within the 24 hours in a day, this time window option of intermittent fasting recommends that you fast for 16 hours and eat two meals and a snack within the 8 hour window. You will skip breakfast in this one. 

Eat-Stop-Eat

This time window recommends you don’t eat for 24 hours once or twice a week, based on how comfortable you feel to try it. This is most commonly practiced by consuming dinner on day 1 and having your next meal at dinner on day 2. 

5:2 Diet

This diet recommends you will eat only 500-600 calories on two days of the week and the other five days, you eat as you normally would. The two days must be non-consecutive. 

My Experience with Intermittent Fasting

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So the reason I decided to start intermittent fasting is because of my crappy sleep schedule. There was literally no way I would be waking up before lunch, so why not just do the 16/8 method, is what I thought. 

  • Lunch: 1:30 p.m.
  • Snacks; Between 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Dinner:7:30 p.m.

I didn’t change what I was eating or check my calories. The only thing I checked was my weight. 

I ate chocolates, and cakes and how much ever of the delicious food I had for lunch or dinner that day that I wanted. 

But with one small adjustment, I ate until just a smidge before I was full.

So this means I wouldn’t eat till I was stuffed. Rather I would eat just enough. 

I didn’t follow keto, paleo, none of those diets. 

I just ate my normal food of rice, vegetables, yoghurt, fish/chicken etc.

Results:

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Within the first month I dropped between 1-2 kgs, that’s around 2 pounds. But it wasn’t a steady weight loss, it kept fluctuating. But within 2 and a half months I had lost 3 kgs which is 6 pounds. 

I didn’t want major weight loss, so these results are good enough for me, because it’s slow and steady. I did not have to make any major changes to my diet and the only exercise I do is my physiotherapy. 

Honest Opinion:

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I feel terribly hungry almost within 15 mins of waking up, that’s just how I am. 

So waking up just before my first meal is ideal for me. And i think it’s the best way to do it. 

It is possible to do it waking up maybe a couple of hours before but you need to have a lot of self restraint. 

The longer I was awake without food I would start feeling really hungry and weak, so that’s why I choose to wake up at  a time close to my first meal.

If you want to lose more weight quicker, you can exercise right before your eating window or during it and have more balanced and nutritious meals. 

A quick reminder: I am not a nutritionist just someone who legitimately tried this out. It is always best to check with your doctor first. 

I am happy with the way my weight loss is progressing, so if you just want a gentle and simple way to lose weight you can follow what I did. 

What happens to your body during intermittent fasting?

When you fast your body makes compensations on a cellular and molecular level to make it easy to access stored fat for energy. Changes in gene expressions also occurs. 

  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH) spikes almost 5 times as much, which is the main cause of weight loss.
  •  Insulin levels drop which makes stored fat easier to access. 
  • Cellular repair takes place within your body which causes it to remove old proteins which exist inside cells. 
  • Functions of genes which are related to longevity and protection against diseases changes. 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

A study conducted in 2014 showed that intermittent fasting helped in reducing 3-8% of body fat which is more than a lot of other calorie restriction diets. And it also discovered that it helped reduce fat that exists around the belly area which is usually responsible for a lot of diseases.

Another study also shows that it helps reduce muscle loss. 

I have mentioned the links where i have received the above mentioned info below.

Things to be careful about while intermittent fasting

The main thing to remember is that the reason intermittent fasting works is because you eat lesser than you used to. If you end up overeating during the meals you do eat, then it won’t work for you.

Drink lots of water, and try to avoid food related videos and photos because it may make you hungry.

Side-effects: Tiredness, excessive hunger, overeating, heartburn or reflux

It may affect female fertility and is not recommended for pregnant, breastfeeding women or people with disordered eating habits. 

If you have prior health issues, please consult with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting. 

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Links:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#weight-loss

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327398#about