So, I’ve recently started with intermittent fasting (more information about that here), where I fast for 16 hours a day and eat for 8. I don’t eat all the time during these 8 hours of course, I eat lunch and dinner and sometimes a small snack in between. Basically, it is just a fancier word for “skipping breakfast”. It is very easy and is, supposedly, very healthy and good for the body. I am still supposed to eat as many calories as before, this is NOT about starvation. Great, in my opinion.
This Thursday I decided to do a longer fast of 36 hours instead of 16. It might sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. I ate my dinner around 8 pm on Thursday (a normal sized meal, nothing special) and then I didn’t eat anything the entire Friday. It is now Saturday morning, 9.26 am, and I have just finished my fast with a breakfast. During this fast I had nothing but water and a tiny cup of vegetable stock in the morning.
So what did I experience during this fast? Well…
Nr. 1. It is really not the end of the world to be a little hungry. During the day, in which I was very active, I felt hungry maybe 40 minutes in total. The feeling of hunger was easy to ignore and would disappear after about 10 minutes. I would just sip some water and go on about my day, not obsessing with the thought that I need to eat. Because I don’t.
Nr. 2. I thought I would be tired, but I wasn’t. My first thought before, when my dad suggested I try the 5:2 method (read about that here) was I could never do that, I would be so hungry and tired all day. I still agree with myself to some degree, because I think that if I ate only 500 kcal yesterday, it would be harder to manage the hunger than if I ate nothing. My reasoning there is because I feel like 500 kcal wouldn’t fill me up and instead just leave me unsatisfied and craving more. When removing food completely, I didn’t have to fight the feeling of wanting to eat more. Anyways, during this day I felt completely fine. No headaches, no nausea or tiredness. I didn’t feel like my blood sugar levels were low and I didn’t feel weak. I felt just like normal.
Nr. 3. It gave me an insight into how much I think about food. Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t constantly think about food because I was oh, so hungry. Rather, I would think Oh, this would make a nice recipe. I should try that tonight. Oh, wait, no. I am not eating today. Right. Food plays a major part of my life – the preparation, writing about it here, taking pictures of it, coming up with new dishes and more. I’ve always loved food and it’s always been a source of joy for me. I am not saying this is a negative thing, at all, it is a hobby like anything else. It is, however, interesting to realize that I think about food a lot more than I knew I did.
Nr. 4. I was afraid of having the urge to binge eat when I broke my fast, but I didn’t. One thing that did concern me was how I would feel in the morning, when breaking my fast. I have been binging before in my life (always on a diet, always hungry), before I managed to get a healthy relationship with food. I didn’t want to go back to that place. However, that was not a problem at all. It was more of the opposite, actually. When I sat down with my bowl of oatmeal (I made it reaaaal good, with cacao, stevia, dates, peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk), I didn’t feel hungry. At all. I actually struggled to eat more than a couple of spoons. I felt stuffed, like you would feel after a hefty christmas dinner. I decided that I didn’t need to eat it all, instead I will wait until the hunger comes back and eat something then.
So to sum it all up: I didn’t feel an uncontrollable hunger, I didn’t feel tired or weak, I didn’t binge and it made more aware of where my thoughts go during the day.
I will definitely try this again, maybe once a month or once every three weeks, and stick with the 16 -8 hour fasting on a daily basis.
If you are interested, or have more questions, please don’t be afraid to write a comment down below and I promise to answer as good as I possibly can!
Much love ❤