Intermittent fasting lately has become one of the new buzzwords in the world of dieting. Can it help you? Yes, because it might just be your style. Here are Tatianna’s experiences.
Did you try the “6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism burning” method to lose fat? Honestly, I have, and it didn’t feel natural to me or very convenient.
But about a month ago, I started hearing more and more about this new method that has been helping people everywhere to lose body fat while preserving muscle mass: intermittent fasting. Normally when I hear the word “diet”, I run the other way and press my hands to my ears. But intermittent fasting actually is less of a diet and more of a style of eating – you set clear rules when and when not you are going to eat. Therefore you give yourself less excuse to gulp down calorie motherships.
Once I started reading more about it, I realized the method is not so new and that I actually used to eat in a similar style, beginning in my figure skating days. Back then my method was to always fast after 6 pm and when I followed it every single day, I always stayed at a very low body fat percentage. As soon as I ate after 6 body fat piled on pretty fast – so many more hours to eat.
The rules of intermittent fasting are pretty simple: you have a window of eating and you have a window of fasting. You eat during the first, you don’t eat during the latter, where you only have teas, water or other non-caloric beverages. The window of fasting obviously should be much bigger than the window of eating, but how big depends on you. Different people need different rhythms.
I started intermittent fasting about a month ago and so far I am loving it. Here is how I go about it.
Five days a week I have an eating window between 12 pm and 8 pm, where I usually eat 3 meals. Not baby portion meals, but real size meals. In those I always include lean protein sources such as chicken, tuna, salmon, grass-fed beef, organic eggs, two portions of raw veggies (spinach, kale, mixed greens, lettuce etc) and one portion of a complex carb, such as brown rice, wild rice, toasted old-fashioned oats, buck wheat etc. Finally, I usually have some kind of fruit such as watermelon, apples, oranges etc. to go along with it.
After 8 pm, I stop eating until the next day. The goal here is not to starve your self, but to give your body time to digest all of your food. I also love the feeling of lightness the next morning.
On the weekends I take a break from fasting, which is also where I noticed something: When I haven’t fasted the day before, I wake up bloated the next day and I retain a lot of water in my body. I also don’t feel as energized in the morning on the day.
Your Body Will Adapt
The first week will probably be the toughest to adjust to fasting, if you are used to stuffing yourself with six meals a day. By the second week, it will get easier, and during the 3rd week things start to feel quite natural and from there it should easy-breezy. At that point, you should notice your body adapting to this regime and you naturally won’t want to eat after 8 pm (or whatever time you adjusted yourself to). This for me is the best thing about intermittent fasting: that you can adjust your eating and fasting window to your own hours.
How To Make It Easier
Since I started doing “IF” I discovered whole bunch of herbal teas that I wouldn’t have found before. Herbal tea and water is what you can have in the actual fasting period and they help you to not feel hungry. Try to get real natural herbal teas without any so-called ” natural flavors ” added to them. For me, it was about purifying my body and not add preservatives to it. Bust just make sure to drink enough, as it tremendously helps tide you over during the adjusting phase.
Results I Noticed
After the first day of intermittent fasting I noticed a lot less water retention in my body. After the second day, it was quite visible to the naked eye. As the week went on, I noticed that this method of controlling calories worked for me and fat disappeared from all those sneaky areas unseen to regular eye, but noticeable on closer inspections After 2 weeks I began waking up in the morning with an amazing feeling on my skin every morning, which may come from an increased production of growth hormone. Finally, of course, the reduced body fat gave more definition to my muscle tone.
It has only been a month and I am really loving the results and how it makes me feel full of energy. I am also going to start doing it on the weekends, because, as I stated earlier, I so far skip the weekends.
Does it really preserve muscle mass? I don’t know. But so far I’ve only seen positive changes and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to lean out, feel more energetic without feeling like you are on a diet and just needs a clean and simple rule to implement this change.