Hello! This is my first attempt at writing, so please bear with me, I promise it will be worth your while 🙂 I’ve never done anything like this before, but felt that sharing what I’ve discovered outweighs my inexperience at writing these sort of things…
I’ve always wanted a bangin’ body. Always wanted to enjoy delicious food whilst being slim and toned. Nothing Victoria Secret model like, just happy and slim and healthy. A body I wouldn’t be ashamed to parade around in in a bikini! And thanks to this uber easy method, I can now do exactly that. As can you!
I’ve tried practically every diet in the past. I’ve tried researching the healthiest foods to eat, and had fun making all these new, healthy recipes. But it never worked. Why? Because psychologically you eventually give up, give in, or get bored. None of those diets were practical. Sustainable. I couldn’t keep them up. Sure, I tried super hard. And I did lose some pounds. But within a few days, week or months, I was back to my old eating habits, and old self. Life gets busy and before you know it, you’re back to square one!
But then I discovered ‘Intermittent Fasting’… not a diet. But a pattern of eating.
… and now I am 16 Lbs down, healthier and have saved £££!! And the best part?! It doesn’t take much effort, or thought! It is easy peasy and gets you results… FAST!
No calorie counting, having to buy specific foods, attending groups, weigh ins. None of that physical or mental effort.
There are various versions of Intermittent Fasting (IF) but the easiest one I find is fasting until 2pm, having an 8 hour eating window, then stopping eating again at 10pm. Other versions include:
- Having a 6 hour eating window (e.g. eating noon-6pm then fasting until noon the following day)
- Having an 7 hour eating window (e.g. eating 1pm-8pm then fasting until 1pm the following day)
- The 5:2 diet where you have 500 calories a day for 2 non-consecutive days a week then 2000 calories on the other 5 days (I find eating 500 calories a real struggle)
At first people gasp in shock horror! “You don’t eat until 2pm?!”, “Starving yourself is so bad for your health don’t you know” “I get sick/shakes/cannot concentrate without my breakfast” “You need to eat to keep your energy levels/metabolism up you know”. And in response I simply smile and reply “Actually, science proves IF is beneficial to your body and mind, and you will not starve/lose concentration/vomit, that is partly myth and partly how you’ve programmed your body to respond”.
Society has taught us that breakfast is the most important part of the day. This is not true. Most of us have a 3 day supply of glucose stored up in our liver, known as ‘glycogen’. When we do not eat, our body tells our liver to break into this source in order to gain energy.
Skipping breakfast will NOT result in shakes/lack of concentration (in fact IF has shown it improves mental abilities and concentration!). Our bodies love homeostasis (remaining in a constant state). Our body regulates our blood pressure, temperature, breathing AND our blood sugar. It will not let our blood sugar drop below a certain level. If it detects that our blood sugar is at risk of falling due to not eating, our brain will tell our livers to break into our glycogen stores. This is why I now chuckle when people say “your blood sugar will drop!” “I get faint when I don’t eat!”. If they were able to prick their finger and check their blood glucose levels, they would find their levels would ever go be below 4mm/ol. (Of course if you have diabetes Type 1 or take glucose-reducing medication, it is vital you eat regularly to keep your sugar levels maintained).
At first you will get some hunger pains, this is mainly psychological as your body is used to eating at a specific time. I was once taught by a lecturer that hunger is like a wave, it comes and goes. Have a glass of water, or a hot drink, wait 20 minutes, and the feeling of hunger and its accompanying pangs WILL disappear. I got my colleague to try it, and she was convinced she wouldn’t be able to last without her morning bowl of weetabix. She was pleasantly surprised that once she got through the initial hunger pangs at 9am, her body realised it wasn’t going to get it’s weetablix, and by 2pm she couldn’t believe that she wasn’t even hungry!
So how does IF work? Fairly simple! You do not eat until a given time, and then have an eating window where you can eat what you want within your guidelines (2000 currently for women and 2500 for men). And then repeat. I lost 2 pounds in my first week. 6 weeks later and I was down a stone. And the best part is…
IT’S SO EASY! And CHEAP. Plus takes NO planning.
When you are busy at work, I find the hours soon fly by. Drink plenty of fluids and before you know it, it’s time to get your lunch. What you’ll find is your body will become fuller, quicker, and will appreciate each bite of your lunch.
And you can still go out for dinner, enjoy drinks with friends, indulge in your favourite dessert. This is what makes IF such a practical choice! It fits in with your life, and so you are able to stick at it! Diets are short-lived. IF is a pattern of eating, and can easily be adopted for life…
Now the sad thing is that a quick google found not much positive info out there for women. IF works wonders for men according to google, including starving off dementia, weight loss, increasing insulin sensitivity and improved mental abilities. However, a study done on rats showed that female rodents did not get the same benefits. The rat’s ovaries shrank and ovulation was affected. The numerous blogs I read warned against IF for women and how it would affect reproductive health, which is closely entwined with our general health.
This infuriated me. Because they were basing all of their conclusions on 1 study involving rats. Not humans. They admitted they was hardly any research conducted on humans to be able to show negative affects. Only the rat study. But we are not rats. And numerous studies involving cancer, and heart disease etc. in the past have been done on rats and have not been applicable to us human beings. And have therefore been taken with a pinch of salt in the scientific world. So why scare monger and put women off trying this miracle method I wondered?
I get that if women experience side effects from IF to stop immediately. We must only do what agrees with our bodies. But I hated the way the authors were throwing about all these claims based on one study on rodents. It is not rigorous. It was not proven this would happen in female humans. And potentially would have put me off (had I not already been doing IF for 6 weeks and known I had not suffered any of these side-effects that the female rats had). And reading the comments at the bottom of the article, lots of women stated they were now put off from trying IF. And that made me sad that they were potentially missing out on something amazing.
Now I cannot generalise for all females out there but I am an uber sensitive woman. I have tried every hormonal contraception and had suffered awful side-effects. The coil, pill, minipill etc. My friends insisted I could not possibly react to every birth control, but I did. Bloating, spotting, acne, agonising breast pain, nausea, low moods. I wouldn’t wish any of that on my worst enemy. Needless to say I’ve given up hormones and now have a lovely regular cycle of 28 days. And since doing IF I have not suffered ANY side-effects. My cycle is still regular at 28 days. I still ovulate. My skin is still clear. My periods remain unchanged. My mood has got brighter, my belly flatter, and I’m healthier. I have not got spotty, or tired. I am full of energy, slimmer, healthier and most importantly, happier.
So my advice is don’t let negative press put you off. Try it out for yourself! Doctors wouldn’t stop prescribing a medication or treatment based on 1 rodent study, so it has frustrated me that women have been put off by this inflated negativity. It only inspired me to put out a success story as I struggled to find women bloggers out there!
So please do try IF. Tailor it to suit you. If you rather eat from 9am until 3pm then fast until the following 9am, then go for it! If you fancy eating from 3pm til midnight, and fasting until the following 3pm, that will work just the same!
These regular fasts puts our body into fat-burning mode. And I also found that within days my body got used to my new eating pattern. At first the hunger pangs were there, but I pushed through, drank plenty and now I don’t even get them! People are complimenting my new figure, I am wearing jeans I haven’t been able to in years and I feel far more body confident. So please give it a go and see what you think 🙂
Thank you for reading!
Wishing success to all x