What is intermediate fasting?
Fasting in general is a time were someone eats nothing at all. 8-12 hours after the last meal the body starts to move in the fasting state. Fasting could be done for a couple of days, a week or even longer, but it not advisable to do it without guidance from a doctor specialized in this field. Intermediate fasting is done in cycles, where periods with fasting and periods with eating are alternated. There are many ways to to it. For example 16:8, which translate to 16 hrs fasting and an 8 hrs windows for eating. Breakfast or diner is than skipped. Another method is 5:2, which means 2 full days of fasting and 5 days with normal eating. There are many other possible variations.
Why I do it?
I want to keep my weight or in the best case reduce it. My weight fluctuates around 80 kg (~176 lbs). Max was 84 kg (~185 lbs) and min 76 kg (~167.5 lbs). In winter I always gain some weight and this time I wanted to stop this. With less weight I can run faster, the strain on the joints is smaller and I feel better. Over the years I did several absolute fasts for seven days and felt awesome afterwords, but it was always hard to get started and with a hungry family at the table not easy to sustain. Intermediate fasting is far more family compatible in my case and it does’t look so hard to do.
How I did it?
I did 16:8 from Monday to Friday. This means from 8:00 pm until 12:00 pm the next day I ate nothing. On weekends I ate normal, with breakfast, lunch and dinner. So 16 hrs fasting and 8 hrs time for eating two meals on weekdays. That was my tweaked 16:8 variation.
How did it work out?
I started the new year with 81 kg (~178.5 lbs) and after 5 weeks I had 80 kg (~176 lbs). This doesn’t look too impressive, but in this time of the year (winter) I gain normally 2-4 kg (~4.5 – 8.8 lbs). Therefore I’m glad that my weight stayed the same. The only thing which I didn’t enjoy was the fact, that I was shivering from 9 am until 10 am. This was nearly on every morning, when I skipped breakfast. The good thing on the other hand was, that I felt very clear and energetic the whole morning. All in all I’m happy that I tried it and that I have an additional experience in my bucket.
|Date||Weight (kg)||Weight (lbs)|
Would I do it again?
Definitely yes. I would try to drink more warm tea (without sugar) to keep me from shivering and sleep a little bit longer (I get up at 5 am) to shorten the time awake without a meal. It would be possible to continue with intermediate fasting, but my TrainAsOne plan is picking up volume and I feel that I need to eat normal again to sustain the training load.
Disclaimer: Before trying it yourself, consult your doctor or health practitioner.