Yesterday was Day 1 of my trial period of Intermittent Fasting. I mentioned I wanted to try it for at least 4 weeks in 2021. I just finished this book and decided there is no time like the present:
(I may need to rethink the only 4 week trial though. Sounds like it can take 28 days to even fully adjust to it, and more time is needed to really start seeing the benefits.)
The book seemed decent, I think. It was a nice overview in an easy-to-read format. Anything “diet-y” can turn me off, since you hear so much contradictory evidence constantly that it can drive you insane. But this author was FIRM in stating that IF is NOT A DIET, it’s an eating PATTERN/ lifestyle that doesn’t require counting calories or denying foods.
I’m primarily interested in the health benefits of IF. Specifically, studies that show that IF can improve brain health and protect against cognitive decline. My family has a major history of dementia in the females in their later years. Really, my odds currently look pretty poor….so I’m very interested in learning about ways to protect and stave this off. The book also spells out anti-inflammatory benefits, autoimmune disease prevention/treatment, cardiovascular benefits, gut microbiome benefits and even possible links to slowing or preventing cancers.
Of course, many people experience weight loss/ easier maintenance while on IF too. I don’t feel I need to “lose weight”, but after the holidays and vacation, I definitely am not feeling my best right now. I feel…squishy. And just kind of “blah.” My diet has left much to be desired lately and a new focus might be the little re-set I need.
Supposedly, many people also experience extreme focus and great mental clarity while fasting (eventually). I like this idea too!
I was happy to see the author really emphasize the flexibility that can come with IF. It’s not necessary to fast the exact same amount of time every single day to see benefits. I like the idea of doing longer fasts during the week when I’m not eating with my family anyway, and then slightly shorter ones on the weekends.
Yesterday for Day 1 I started fasting at 8:30 pm on Thursday and broke the fast at 1:30 pm on Friday. So a 17 hour fast. It went fine! I drank black tea and water during the day (which is allowed) and then ate lunch at 1:30 and dinner around 7:30. (Just can’t have anything that would provoke an insulin response- so not even diet soda or sugar/cream etc. Which is fine because I always drink my tea black anyway.) After I broke the fast I did get a bit of a headache, but I’ve read this is normal in the adjustment period.
I’m using this app to track the fasting window (thanks Eric for the tip!). I think I’d eventually like to try stretching the fasting window even longer some days, like to maybe 20 hours, and then have other days with a shorter fast. You’re still supposed to eat plenty of food in that window- it’s not about “cutting food.” It’s about changing the eating pattern.
We’ll see how it goes! When I told my family they all started laughing hysterically, because it’s a well known fact around here that I am a) always hungry and b) seem to eat constantly. 🙂 Ha. Well, I’ll have to prove them wrong. 😉
Thought of the Day:
I am grateful for negative COVID tests all around! No symptoms at all for anyone, but just got tested as a precaution since we did travel.