Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Intermittent fasting

Next to the low-carb diet that I've been trying, I've also dipped back into something I did earlier: Intermittent fasting.

It's one of those dietary things where the name really covers it all. You simply do not consume calories for 2-3 24 hour periods per week, or you choose a specific interval where you do and do not eat. In my case, I try to fast about 20 hours daily, and then eat a good healthy meal (and maybe some nice snacks afterwards) in the remaining 4 hours.

This comes very naturaly to me, as I love sleeping longer (thus not eating breakfast), find lunch something you either do well or shouldn't do and on some days tended to forget to eat. My eating rhythm isn't very stable so changes are easier to make.

There are people who state that they need to eat something every few hours, or else they'll feel weak and start to faint. I always wondered how such a trait could exist in healthy humans, but on the other hand, the fact that I don't need to eat might mean that I'm the unhealthy and/or strange one.

Still, this dietary change (it's not really a diet, as I can still eat anything I want, I just have to time when I eat it)

So why do all this? Well, there's some reasons why I like this form of eating:

1. There is a strong commitment not to eat during fasting hours. That means that you become virtually immune to the tempation of food during these hours.

2. After fasting, I build a strong appetite. My sense of smell becomes better and I become motivated to cook a nice and good meal, which I feel I appreciate more. I actually live up to the point of the day where I get to cook and eat.

3. I've learned what hunger is. It's not that bad a feeling (In fact, after 2-3 days of fasting it goes away, but that's not part of an Intermittent fasting regimen) It feels nice to be able to control and deal with my hunger instead of being a slave to it.

4. I feel more awake and acute when I'm fasting. You probably heard of the term "Staying hungry". It keeps you on your toes.

5. There might be positive health effects coupled to this style of eating, claiming that long enough fasting intervals have some of the or the same effect as caloric restriction

6. You can't eat as much in a 4-hour interval as you generally do in a whole days. Especially when you try to eat "clean foods". Essentially, this means you'll lose weight.

7. I don't -need- to do this every day. When I actually get hungry earlier, I eat. I've learned to distinguish real hunger (my body needing something) from other types of hunger. So there's no huge loss in breaking a fast earlier every now and then. Take all things in moderation.

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