Note: This post may contain affiliate links and ads. I make commission on items purchased through links in this post at no extra cost to you.
A brief explanation of my experience with intermittent fasting (IF). The pros and cons, how I got through it, why I did it, why I’d do it again, working out while fasting, hormone balancing, battling hunger on day 12… the whole shebang.
First of all, I do recommend IF as a way of reducing calorie intake. It also allows your body more time to work on itself and heal instead of working on digestion.
I started out fasting 16/8 (fasting for 16 hours, eating 8). This is pretty basic, almost anyone can start doing this type of fasting. I basically skipped breakfast, ate at 12pm, and stopped eating by 8pm.
8pm is kind of late to be eating, so I revved it up a notch: 18/6. I started eating at 12 and stopped by 6. This became a lifestyle and I no longer struggled to make it till lunchtime or needed snacks after 6.
I ramped it up again. 20/4. Aka, the warrior diet. Oh yeah, I felt like a badass. This is where things got challenging. 4 hours seems like a large feeding window, but it’s really not. It doesn’t allow for you to put a lot of nutrition into your body without feeling really full. I learned that if I ate a salad right at 5pm I could run off that while I prepared my regular meal (a lean protein, grain or starch, and vegetables).
I made the mistake of combining a stricter workout regimen with the warrior diet. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but it probably wasn’t a good idea for me. I noticed I was fatigued pretty much all the time, and not gaining muscle like I should have been. I began investigating my nutrition and noticed I had a hard time getting enough protein, so I supplemented with a protein shake, and that took care of that problem.
And finally, I tried the OMAD (one meal a day), or 23/1 diet. Not for me. If I had a sedentary lifestyle I could probably do this, but as mentioned before, I was already struggling to get enough protein into my diet, this wasn’t practical for me at all.
So recap! Pros:
- IF helps to reduce the amount of calories consumed, helping lose weight.
- Gives your body time away from digestion and promotes healing.
- It actually helps with digestion too!
- You lose the food baby and bloated look.
- You feel hungry at first, especially if you jump in too far too fast.
- The more fasting you do, the harder it is to include needed nutrition, like protein.
Really, I don’t see a lot of cons if you do it right. Pick what works for you!
You will probably get hungry while you adjust. Not to fear. My Iron Flask water bottle got me through. When I felt hungry I’d take a few swigs of water and that helped curb the feeling. It didn’t take away the hunger, just helped enough that I could distract myself. I also got super hydrated!