As someone who makes it a point to read up on all the latest wellness trends, I knew I wanted to give intermittent fasting a try pretty much as soon as I read about it. I heard about the increased level of energy and potential weight loss and felt very skeptical, but intrigued enough to give it a go.
I decided two weeks was a good time frame to test it out and let my body react. So with an open mind, I began my fasting journey using the 16/8 method (an eight-hour window for eating and a 16-hour window for fasting). Below are the effects I experienced and descriptions of how I felt throughout the process.
I felt more energized
My energy levels were the first thing I noticed. Surprisingly, the three o'clock crash I usually experience was a thing of the past and my afternoons were far more productive. I'm guessing this happened because my insulin levels were more stable. Who knew it could feel so good to be a little more balanced? This was probably my favorite part of my intermittent fasting experience.
I didn’t feel like I was skipping a meal
I'm someone who enjoys eating breakfast and has always thought of it as a signal that my day has begun. It felt a little strange to start my day without a green smoothie or healthy carb, but I wanted to stay dedicated to the process, which meant fasting between the hours of 8 pm and noon the next day. After the first few days, I didn't feel like I was skipping a meal in the slightest. Like anything, I think my body just needed a minute to adjust to its new schedule.
I wasn’t eating more and didn’t feel hungry throughout the day
You might think that because I was fasting in the morning, that I'd end up overeating in the afternoon and evening, but that wasn't the case for me at all. I'd eat a regular lunch, maybe some kind of snack in the late afternoon and then my regularly scheduled dinner. So although I was actually probably eating less, my energy level was great and I never felt the need to binge during my eight-hour window of eating.
Positive effects were temporary
For me, towards the end of my two week test period, I felt like my body was telling me it was time to go back to my regular routine. The energy I initially felt was fading and I wasn't necessarily seeing the "benefits" of intermittent fasting anymore. In my opinion, my body got used to the fasting routine and wasn't in that state of "shock" anymore.
I didn’t weigh myself but didn’t notice weight loss
The goal of trying intermittent fasting wasn't to lose weight, but I was curious to see if it would be a natural side effect. I'm not a big believer in weighing myself, though, so I didn't step on the scale before starting the process. Honestly, I didn't notice any difference in my body composition and don't think I dropped any weight. Lots of factors come into play here though, so results may differ.
Overall, I'm glad I gave intermittent fasting a try. I think it's something I'll keep in my routine and practice once a month for a week or so to keep my body on its toes. My biggest piece of advice is to not go into it with a specific set of expectations because you never know how your body will respond. And with that said, you may also want to consult with a physician before trying intermittent fasting.