Intermittent fasting is a great way to mix up your eating habits and reduce the amount of time you spend eating. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but a way to let your body maximize it’s healing potential.
In this article, you’ll learn about what is intermittent fasting, how intermittent fasting works, and the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Over the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with my eating habits and have been intermittent fasting for the past four years.
I typically don’t eat breakfast, and look to restrict my eating window to an 8 hour period throughout each day.
Growing up, I had to always eat breakfast – it’s what everyone said! But now, I truly believe “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is just a marketing scheme to get people to buy sugary cereals.
After experimenting and listening to my body, I made the switch in 2015 and have never felt better.
By skipping breakfast, I’m able to save time getting ready in the morning, have a clear mind going into work, and I allow my body to continue to clean itself.
At this point, you probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out. Intermittent fasting is very popular among health enthusiasts and there are numerous studies backing up the benefits of fasting.
While intermittent fasting may not be for you, there are other strategies and thoughts which may be worthwhile to take away from this article.
In this post, I’m going to look to answer the following questions:
- What is Intermittent Fasting?
- Why is Fasting Beneficial?
- How I Found Intermittent Fasting
- Why I Don’t Eat Breakfast Anymore (and what I do instead)
- What are the Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting?
Let’s begin with what is intermittent fasting.
First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Everyone’s body responds to things differently and just because I’ve had a good experience doesn’t mean you will. Please consult a real doctor if you have concerns or interest about this subject.
What is Intermittent Fasting and Why Fasting is Beneficial
Intermittent fasting is a method where you restrict your eating window to limit the amount of time you spend in a fed state, and increase the amount of time you spend in a fasted state.
Being in a fasted state unlocks a number of benefits, and by increasing the amount of time in this state, you can tap into these benefits.
Our bodies naturally have evolved over time where we don’t need food, and the time spent not eating can be beneficial.
If you are always eating, your body does not have the ability to perform some of it’s natural functions – namely, cleaning itself and getting rid of the junk.
By fasting, you give your body space and time to heal itself.
In addition, when you are in a fasted state, your body is able to burn more fat because your insulin levels are low.
This is where the strategy of intermittent fasting comes in – you are still able to eat the same food you usually do, just in a restricted time frame to unlock these benefits.
To clarify, intermittent fasting is not a diet. Since you aren’t changing what you are eating, this is a benefit of intermittent fasting – it’s easy to implement!
Intermittent fasting is a strategy which changes when you eat, not what you eat.
Of course, when combined with a healthy diet and supplementation, it can result in even better results.
How does intermittent fasting work? Let’s dive into the details a little more.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
As discussed in the last section, intermittent fasting gets your body into a fasted state, and in this fasted state, you are able to unlock and tap into a number of great benefits.
During and after eating a meal, your body will enter into a fed state. It is not until roughly twelve hours later where your body will enter into a fasted state.
When your body is in a fed state, your body is not able to multi-task and get rid of the junk, burn fat, and also digest food all at the same time.
Also, after eating, your insulin levels will increase, which makes it hard to burn fat.
Once you reach twelve hours and later though, this is when the benefits of intermittent fasting kick in.
From twelve hours on, your body is able to clean itself out and burn fat.
This is the power of intermittent fasting.
The Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Now that you’ve learned what intermittent fasting is, and how intermittent fasting works, now let’s talk about the different method of intermittent fasting.
There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting:
- 16/8 Method of Intermittent Fasting
- The Warrior’s Diet
- The 5/2 Method of Intermittent Fasting
- Weekly 24 Hour Fasts
The 16/8 method of intermittent fasting is where you have an eating window of 8 hours a day, and a fasting window of 16 hours a day.
The 16/8 method is one of the most common intermittent fasting methods (and one which I personally have tried and like). Usually, this is where people will skip breakfast and eat between 12 PM and 8 PM. Then outside that time period, there is no eating.
The Warrior’s Diet is another way to perform intermittent fasting. With the Warrior’s Diet, you fast for 20 hours and eat during a 4 hour window.
Other intermittent fasting methods include the 5/2 method of intermittent fasting, and weekly 24 hour fasts.
These two methods include doing 24 hour fasts either 1 or 2 times a week, and then not restricting your eating window at all the other days of the week.
I like throwing in a 24 hour fast once in a while, but for me the 16/8 method seems to be best if you are a creature of habit and like routine.
Now, I want to share with you what I do and how I apply intermittent fasting in my life.
How I Found Intermittent Fasting
Part of trying to become the master of your life and working on getting to your dream life is experimenting and trying new things.
Growing up, I was taught from a young age (as many American kids are instructed) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
“If you don’t get breakfast, then you won’t have energy to learn at school!”
I followed this advice, and truly thought this was the case until I was 22 years old.
Throughout this entire time period, I thought that if I didn’t have something for breakfast, then I would have no energy and would die.
When I started diving down the rabbit hole of nutrition, health and eating when I was 22, I found intermittent fasting.
At first, I was skeptical and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to purposely starve themselves – regardless of the benefits.
Starting out, it was very tough and the first time I skipped breakfast, I ended up “needing” to eat at 8:45 AM.
The next few days, I was able to extend my fasts out to lunch time, and eventually, I was able to comfortably give up breakfast all together.
What I realized is when I woke up, I wasn’t actually hungry, but instead, I was thirsty.
By drinking water, coffee or tea, I could overcome my hunger pains and get on to focusing on what mattered to me most.
Drinking water and getting enough liquids is definitely the key to successfully completing fasts.
Over time, I’ve experimented with 24 hours and 48 hour fasts, but have found I feel best when I have an eating window of 8 to 10 hours, and a fasting window of 14 to 16 hours.
Why I Don’t Eat Breakfast and My Morning Eating Routine
Since I don’t eat breakfast anymore because I do intermittent fasting, you might be wondering what I actually do in the morning
When I wake up each morning, instead of eating breakfast, I drink 2 full glasses of water.
For me, after realizing the benefits of drinking a lot of water throughout the day, and also realizing that my body is thirsty when I wake up, 2 full glasses of water clears my mind and jump starts my body for the day.
Also, 2 full glasses of water will fill up my stomach, and will typically keep any “hunger” thoughts away for 1-2 hours.
After drinking my water, I will typically follow this up with a cup of black coffee or some green tea.
Tea and coffee without any additives do not take you out of a fasted state, and the caffeine might elevate your heart rate to get a little bit more fat burning out of the fast.
Usually around 10-11 AM I’ll have my first food. For me, I typically will have a banana, an apple, and a protein bar at this time.
I then will have lunch around 12-1 PM, and have dinner between 6 and 7 PM.
With this eating schedule, my eating window is typically between 10 and 8 PM (a 10 hour window) and my fasting window is roughly 14 hours a day.
While I could certainly expand this fasting window to 16-20 hours, I’m comfortable where I’m at. and now that I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the last 4 years, I’ve found what works for me.
What do you think? Could intermittent fasting be for you?
Could Intermittent Fasting Be Right for You?
Everyone is different and unique – you are different than me and I’m different than you.
We have different goals, different responses to food and diets, and different thoughts towards eating.
With this, intermittent fasting may not be for you, and if you have any health complications, seeing a doctor might be best.
At the same time, looking to lead a life where you are reaching for your fullest potential means trying new things and seeing if you can improve your life through these new experiences.
Becoming a mastermind involves challenging the status quo and figuring out life for yourself.
Intermittent fasting has been beneficial for my life, and I hope this post has inspired some new thoughts for you to think about and potentially try going forward.
Thanks for reading!