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7 things you need to know before Intermittent Fasting

The last time I wrote anything meaningful in my blog was a couple of months ago. I’m pretty sure it was about 3 if not 4 months ago. It’s so crazy how time flies, even during these trying times. It baffles my mind today how If I hadn’t listened to my body’s foul cry, I would have not achieved any of the goals I sought my heart to.

Last year, I started a hashtag October to December Challenge. My ultimate goal was to lose 15 kgs in 3 months.  The burden to lose these kilograms was so much that at one time I starved myself for 4 days and 3 nights and lost 2 kilograms. Honestly, It didn’t matter how I achieved the goal. What mattered was that I achieved it.  So determined was I, that jogging alone wouldn’t cut it. I needed not only to do a jog for an hour but also to do a HIIT training session daily. I ended up hurting my right shoulder because of bad form and I’m paying dearly for it. Every day, I keep wondering when my shoulder will get back into shape again so I can do mountain climbers without screeching in pain. I have since stopped doing workouts that need me to lift up my upper body.

So, the October to December challenge taught me a lot of lessons that I would like to share with you if you are considering losing weight by exercising as well as intermittent fasting.

Just in case you are wondering what Intermittent fasting is; It is when one goes without eating food for some hours in a day depending on what one can handle. I have learnt a lot on this journey and below are 7 things you need to know before Intermittent fasting.

7 things you need to know before Intermittent fasting

1.Intermittent Fasting is affordable

food is affordable

Not only is it the cheapest for me but it’s the easiest and effective way of losing weight. I have always struggled with adhering to the green lists, red lists and orange lists of most diets. It’s like my mind has to keep in check what I am throwing into my mouth and that has always been a struggle. Purchasing the food, categorising it, mentally looking out for the warnings and being apprehensive once I cross the line is not exactly what I want to do while trying to achieve my weight loss goal.

2.Intermittent fasting rules are simple.

Eat at a certain time and make sure you drink lots of water, that’s mostly what you need to know about IF. It usually doesn’t have tight food rules to eat or drink and as long as you follow the times specified, the fat will melt like butter I know of people who do Intermittent fasting without even exercising but losing the desired weight. Also, I have known of people who after intermittent fasting eat what they won’t walk around the block 10 times and still lose weight.

3. Lots of Types of Intermittent Fasting

I love the fact that you get to choose the type of Intermittent fasting to do. There are  5 varied ways of intermittent fasting. The first step in losing weight is making up your mind and the second step is acknowledging what your body can and can not do. With that in mind, you can slowly but gradually move from 16:8, OMAD (one meal a day)and final day and night fasting. Some go as far as 3 days and 2 nights fasting, drinking only water. Although, it is highly effective, I don’t think I will do that again unless I really have to.

4. Quickens Metabolism

quickens metabolism

The magic of Intermittent fasting is that it allows the body to use up the glucose/glycogen stored in our bodies. When we have 3 meals a day, the food we eat is consumed by the actions we take during the day but the stored food is hardly used. What I mean is that the food we eat is immediately turned into glucose which the body prefers to consume and the rest is stored as fat. Therefore, fasting makes sure the fat is burned and converted to ketones. It takes 12 to 14 hours for the body to deplete glucose and start burning fat. You can lose weight by eating whatever you want with IF. People mistakenly think that means they can overheat. When it’s said you can eat whatever you want, I mean you don’t have to restrict types of food. You don’t have to cut carbs or sugar or whatever. Yet, some people find they do better cutting some things, but it isn’t a universal necessity for IF.

5.Water has weight too.

Did you know that a glass full of water contains half a pound, rather 236.5 grams? Weight throughout the day fluctuates according to what activities you do, having a salt meal, your menstrual cycle,  what you eat, drink and well take out …. bathroom situation. I always love weighing myself in the mornings because my eating window period is an hour and lasts up to  7 p.m or 8 p.m latest every night. That means, my body will last for approximately 12 hours meaning that I will weigh less in the morning as long as I haven’t drunk or eaten anything. I wouldn’t recommend you to scale yourself daily, rather focus on bi-weekly or monthly weigh-ins. Sometimes the scale may not give you the results you expect and that can be frustrating. So, in my intermittent walk, I ended up not focusing my energy on that but before and after photos as well as sizes of clothes.

6.You will not starve to death

empty refrigerator

A lot of people worry that the body will starve and hold onto the fat instead of losing it. This will only happen if the body is not getting enough calories during the window. Make sure your meals are caloric and nutrient-dense, especially for those who are doing OMAD. The metabolism also speeds up and gives sufficient energy for you to do all your work in the day, in fact, when fasting you can also do exercises if you wish. You will not run out of energy! To date, I found it very interesting that instead of feeling exhausted, I actually felt energetic and replenished. I had days I counted down hours like my life depended on it and also days I felt like I could go for another day without eating anything. My energy level was very high even after doing cardio or HIIT exercises. You may sometimes feel dizzy because of low electrolytes, do not be disheartened when that happens. Take Himalayan pink salt in your water or coffee and you will be good as new, unless they persist, please see your doctor.

7. Heightens Self-Control

eating self control

IF teaches self-control when it comes to eating food. The stomach will simply not handle eating more than it usually takes because it will start to shrink in size. I have found this to be true even on my cheat days. I only struggled with binge eating after I did a 4 days and 3 nights fast which I will never do again. I felt a lot of pressure once I had stated publicly my October to December challenge and the numbers weren’t moving down fast enough. Soon, I realised that as much as it worked for a lot of people, it was not my cup of coffee. I have always had a problem with carbs. Sometimes, I ate lots of rice, not because I felt hungry but just to feel the food settling down in my stomach. I would eat my supper, eat bread, maybe pick up some biscuits before sleeping and sneak up some cereals I love. I should add though that self-discipline is progressive work and it takes practice. Put it into practice with each choice you make and it gets easier to gain control of your willpower. I keep in my head that no one BUT ME can make this change for myself. That’s powerful enough for me to work, willpower! Also, keep in mind never to overestimate your level of self-control and underestimate your appetite (at the same time).

Now you know things to prepare for before you start Intermittent Fasting. Let me know how that is going.  Don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!