Intermittent Fasting - My Road Map
This is a tough lesson to learn, and only comes with experience. Let me be your experience and guide you.
This is the lesson I have learned time and time again as I searched for the miracle that would help me become slim and trim and a sexual appetizer to all the chicks. I have lost considerable weight and I have gained it back each and every time. Sometimes I lean to hard on the "healthy eating" side of things, and when I fall off that wagon I fall hard.
Sometimes I lean on the "exercise" side and eventually I just don't feel like a trip to the gym is worth it so I stop going for 27 years straight. Each path that you can choose has it's own upsides and downsides and you have to choose what is right for you.
Enough of whatever babble that is, let's talk about what I am doing now and what I feel is the key to my success.
When I first set out down this path I wasn't even thinking about the term intermittent fasting. I was more looking at a way to curtail my own personal demons and help me achieve success in giving up the snacking.
I was eating too much junk food and I was eating way too late in the day and I knew it. So, in order to help cut out one of those two I decided to do a cut-off point in my day for all food.
Looking at my work schedule the best times for me to end my daily eating were either 6 pm or 7 pm depending on when I was going to take dinner at work. Quitting eating at 7 pm would allow me a 12 hour window so that I could wake up and start my day again with food at 7 am.
I think this 12 hour window is a good way to jump into it for people unsure about themselves. 12 hours is easy if the majority of it is while you are sleeping.
I did 12 hours for about a week before I decided to push myself to the 16/8 method. Once I decided to go 16/8, my new cutoff time at work became 6 pm. With a 6 pm end time this meant that I could eat at 10 am (Eating window of 10-6) and I convinced myself that I would be starving by that point.
In fact, the first couple of times that I did this I felt some minor rumbling going on. 16 hours was not easy the first time I did it but it became easier quickly.
Once I was really comfortable with a 16/8, I kept doing more research and I was seeing the weekly results of my healthier eating, so I just started naturally pushing myself forward to longer fasts and shorter eating windows.
The jump from 16/8 to 18/6 almost happened by accident while working at my office job. I went from watching the clock until 10 am so that I could eat to feeling very comfortable with 16 hours and one day it was 11 am before I even noticed. After a few 11 am starts I decided to push it to noon and within a week I was at 18/6.
From there I did a 26 hour fast (I was aiming for 24 but my car broke down and forced me to go longer) and slowly just started hitting 20 hours almost ever day.
Basically, what it boils down to, once I trained myself to not eat because I felt like eating the fasting became easier and I have been able to push myself to longer fasts without much thought. Right now 20 hours is pretty typical for me and I do not get hungry in between.
Fasting helped kick my sugar addiction, helped kick my cravings. Once the cravings were gone I was off and running and haven't looked back.
Fasting is NOT a diet, it is just another way of eating that helps you restrict your caloric intake to lose weight. Fasting, after just a month, is natural to me and I don't ever see myself going back to eating 3 or more times a day. Even on the days where I am allowing myself to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, I find myself not being interested in food until I'm somewhere around that 20 hour mark.
I used to eat because I was in a bad mood, because I was bored, because I was stressed or just because I thought I should be eating. I now eat when I get hungry. Actual hunger. It's been a strange journey but I'm glad I took that first step and I hope if someone else decides to jump in on this journey because of my words that it also works for you.
Thank you all for coming along on this journey with me.