Why I Love Intermittent Fasting
Are you thinking of trying intermittent fasting to lose weight or improve your wellness? Intermittent fasting works for me for several reasons that I’m excited to share with you.
But first, here’s an important note:
I can’t tell you if intermittent fasting is right for you. You’ve got to talk to your doctor about that, okay? What I can do is share my experience with intermittent fasting and why I love IF for weight loss and wellness.
So, if you want to know why intermittent fasting works for me, read on.
Five Reasons Intermittent Fasting Works for Me
Intermittent fasting creates many benefits for most people who try it. My experience with intermittent fasting changed how I think about food, meals, and meal timing. I knew I should eat to live instead of live to eat, but that’s difficult to do when popular health advice stresses eating plans such as “eat three small meals and three small snacks a day” or “never skip breakfast”.
Discovering intermittent fasting helped me break from the prison of conventional diet and nutrition rules that clearly didn’t work for me.
I began practicing intermittent fasting early in this weight loss journey. I expected it to be pretty painful. Or at least really uncomfortable. As it turns out, it was neither painful nor uncomfortable.
In fact, I’m writing this about eight months later and I still practice intermittent fasting. More than that, I still love intermittent fasting. I credit intermittent fasting with helping me lose weight more than I credit my low carb diet or my exercise routine.
Let’s talk about why intermittent fasting works so well for me.
Intermittent Fasting Stops Snacking and Grazing
The advice to eat several small meals and snacks each day works against my natural inclinations.
See, eating several times a day did two bad things to my body: It triggered cravings and kept me feeling full all the time.
You might think it’s a good thing to feel full all the time, but I don’t like it. For years my stomach rarely growled. And when it did I became hangry. It’s not natural to become that intense over a little hunger, but because I rode the blood sugar roller coaster it happened.
When I ate all the time I craved food all the time. Of course, my cravings include sweet, carb-heavy foods and not, say, steak and salad.
Now when I eat it’s because I’m truly hungry not because the clock says it’s time to eat. Except for special occasions, why on earth would I eat just because it’s a culturally-appropriate meal time? I did that for years out of habit and expectations from others. Now, I don’t care if it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner time – if I’m not hungry, I don’t eat.
Intermittent Fasting Saves Time
I’m a busy mom. Prepping food and eating it takes a lot of time, thought, and energy. It’s enough that I meal plan for my family’s dinners. I refuse to plan two more meals for myself each day. (Check out my favorite, super cheap, online meal planner.)
So, I eat only once or twice per day. Sometimes I eat what I’ve made my family for dinner since I only make keto-friendly dinner meals, but usually I eat last night’s dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. I taste dinner to make sure it’s cooked and seasoned properly, but I usually eat something small in the evening.
Skipping breakfast altogether saves so much time. I make coffee with heavy cream in the morning, but I don’t get hungry until between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. When I do get hungry, I eat my main meal and I’m usually full until around 5:00 PM. I try not to eat after 6-6:30 PM.
With the time I save by not planning, prepping, and eating three full meals a day I get to eat my main meal slowly and really savour it. When I ate several times a day, I took food for granted. I failed to appreciate each bite as fully as I should.
In fact, intermittent fasting caused eating to become a more spiritual experience for me. Savoured food tastes better.
I Skip Breakfast With No Discomfort
Honestly, I’ve never loved breakfast. Wait! I take that back. In fact, I love breakfast food. I just don’t like eating first thing in the morning.
As a child I struggled to choose what I wanted for breakfast. My mom pushed breakfast because the best health advice available at the time touted breakfast as a magical meal. So, I choked down something – usually something carb-heavy – every single morning.
When I became an adult I’d skip breakfast with frustrating effects. I often felt weak with hunger and experienced poor concentration if I failed to eat breakfast.
After the birth of my oldest son I developed IBS, which caused morning misery if I ate breakfast. But not eating breakfast continued to leave me with symptoms of low blood sugar.
So, I’d wake up early on days that I had to leave the house so I could shove down breakfast and leave plenty of time to deal with my IBS symptoms before heading out.
Quite possibly my favorite benefit of intermittent fasting is skipping breakfast with zero consequences. I no longer experience dizziness, nausea, foggy-headedness, or hunger pangs in the morning. My IBS only rears its ugly head when I’ve overindulged in high-carb foods or failed to manage stress properly.
My current favorite part of skipping breakfast is that I get to wake up, grab my coffee, and get right to work. No time wasted in the kitchen.
Sleeping on a Full Stomach Feels Gross
You know what’s worse than forcing down breakfast first thing in the morning? Going to bed on a full stomach. Blech!
When I eat too close to bedtime I feel bloated and get heartburn. Sometimes eating too close to bedtime gives me bad dreams. No matter the symptoms I can count on poor sleep if I eat less than two hours before bed.
I like to go to bed early – 9 o’clock at the latest, so fasting after 6-7:00 pm works well for me.
Intermittent Fasting Makes Weight Loss Easy
Do you know how difficult it is to overeat when you only eat once or twice per day?
Even if I went crazy and had two 1,000-calorie meals within my six-to-eight-hour eating window I’d still only consume 2,000 calories.
Between my morning coffee with cream and my large, main meal around lunchtime each day I consume the bulk of my calories. Even with the addition of a smaller late afternoon meal I keep my daily calories low enough to lose weight without much effort but high enough to get the nutrients I need.
That’s a win-win!
Intermittent Fasting is a Lifestyle
We’ve all heard the advice about making dietary changes into a lifestyle – a way of eating you’ll keep for the rest of your life as opposed to a temporary effort to lose weight. That’s good advice when you’re eating healthy.
Intermittent fasting is one of the easiest lifestyle choices I’ve made in forty years. There’s no discomfort to it. In fact, I feel better when intermittent fasting than I feel when I don’t intermittent fast. I can’t think of any reason to go back to three meals a day from morning to night.