I’m not here to lose weight.
In fact, technically, I need to gain weight: I don’t weigh enough to give blood! And I’ve been skinny-shamed in the past which, to be honest, annoys me.
So why try intermittent fasting? My bloating and eczema affects my self-esteem, especially now that I’m in my late-twenties. And I love food too much – salty food, mainly – and yes, I know I’ve probably just identified the culprit – but honestly, it’s something I just can’t give up!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about trying out trendy diets like keto, celery juicing, and those pre-made meals. But in truth, they all sound very high maintenance and costly.
So I decided I would try intermittent fasting for the following reasons.
Let’s just start with fasting in general: Fasting is one of the most ancient healing traditions in history. Many people confuse the idea with starving, but they two are very different. Starvation is the result of not having access to a food source or a result of an eating disorder. Fasting, on the other hand, is the person’s choice of abstaining from food for a selected period amount of time for either a medical procedure, religious practice or as part of a cleanse.
When I started reading up about why people fast it made sense: Insulin levels drop, the body induces cellular repair such as removing waste material from cells and boosted your metabolism slightly.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I decided to take the plunge after a massive the blow-out that we call December: the time when end of year drinks between your friends, work mates, farewells, family gatherings is a never ending cycle of ‘top up my rosé glass’ and ‘pass over the potato bake’.
It was time for me to take control of my gut and my eczema (adult eczema is worse than having it as a child, but that’s another story).
On December 27, I decided to start on the 16:8 – where you eat within an eight-hour window each day, and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
I wasn’t kidding around – and yes, I was even prepared to do this on New Year’s Eve! That time between the Christmas break and New Years – ‘Betwixmas’, as it’s known – made it easier to start off with.
Basically because I was waking up at 10am most mornings and flagging breakfast wasn’t difficult. I didn’t want to change my diet (because who wants to give up cheese?) but rather, allow my body to use up the stored energy and give it time to get rid of waste.
In the first month, the reduction in bloating was noticeable.
It took about two weeks for me to realise that missing breakfast was now a part of my life, but these days I don’t miss it at all.
I’m still having my espresso and water between 7am and 11am – but kick in my eating from 11am.
In regards to my eczema, I’ve noticed a drastic reduction of the redness/inflammation on my face.. Because I’m eating in a smaller time frame, my body has also decided it wants good quality food that deter my hunger pangs for as long as possible.
Talk about a snowball effect!