It’s too bad we don’t come with instruction manuals for how to take care of our bodies – what to eat, how much should we sleep, how much and what kind exercise, foods to avoid, foods we should crave, supplements to take, etc.
It is only through trial and error that we slowly learn what works for us. There is no one-size-fits-all approach because we’re all built different, and even if we did have a manual, we would need updated versions as we age.
I have found that intermittent fasting works for me and here’s why.
About seven years ago, I read a fabulous book and the main character would fast for religious reasons – often for long periods of time. I thought I’d try it and see what happens. I fasted that first time for three days and felt slightly headachy – but, surprisingly, not that hungry. I learned the act of eating is a habit, a ritual we go through every day – like clockwork weather, we’re either hungry or not.
About 3 ½ years ago, I stopped eating breakfast, as I wasn’t hungry when I woke up. I know, I know, we were raised to think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I learned starting my day out with a great cup of coffee works just fine for me.
About two months ago, I got back from a girls trip and needed to take off some vacation pounds. I was eating just two small meals a day, but with no weight loss. What to do? The idea of fasting came when my husband got on a health kick and mentioned intermittent fasting. This time, I learn the health benefits of fasting and decide to try it.
On Nov. 12, I start intermittent fasting. I condensed my eating window into one healthy good-sized lunch, instead of a small lunch, dinner and a few snacks spread out over a seven- to eight-hour window. I also cut out sweets and cocktails. It sounds like I am totally depriving myself, but when you’re not that hungry to begin with, it’s not too hard to stick with it. When I get the urge or the habit to go eat something outside my eating window, I drink sparkling water and feel very satisfied.
So far, these are the things I’ve noticed: I used to be awake for hours every night; now I sleep great and feel refreshed when I wake up. My head feels like the cobwebs have been cleared and thinking very clearly. My taste buds seemed heightened and food tastes better. I don’t crave junk food anymore and my sweet tooth is gone. I have a lot of energy. Plus, a few pounds have melted away!
What started as an experiment to lose a few pounds has led to a better, healthier lifestyle for me. By condensing my eating to a small window in the day, it has shifted my whole perspective of food and eating in a very beneficial way. ￼
Opinions expressed are those of Holly Bikakis.