“I plan on practicing intermittent fasting for the rest of my life. I’m no longer consumed by food, I just consume it.”
Intermittent fasting has been around forever, yet only in recent years has it grown in popularity and communities have grown, supporting one another and offering advice and an insight into the benefits that may not have previously been known.
But, what is fasting?
Fasting is the conscious decision to not consume food or drink (excluding water, of course).
While I am definitely not qualified to give a full rundown on the premise of fasting, there are many, many articles about this topic. Have a look here for more information and the common types of fasting people use.
So, why fast?
People adopt the intermittent fasting lifestyle for various reasons, including but not limited to:
- Health reasons
- Weight loss
- Religious beliefs and practices
For me, I began fasting initially to help with weight loss. I’d discovered a community on Reddit with thousands of people showing their weight loss progress, citing intermittent fasting as their biggest tool. As I got deeper into this, I read more about people fasting for extended periods of time. A month long fast seemed impossible to me at the time, but provided great inspiration and motivation to begin my own journey.
When I first started, I knew I wanted to challenge myself and jumped straight into a method known as One Meal A Day (OMAD). This meant all my food would be consumed in one meal, or one hour, then fast for the remaining twenty-three.
I chose this method as I prefer less frequent, bigger meals over consuming smaller meals throughout the day. Surprisingly, the transition was relatively easy and I knew this was the method for me.
After over a year of OMAD, I’ve noticed numerous benefits to fasting that have significantly improved my day-to-day life.
Saving money and time
This seems pretty obvious, but fasting has naturally reduced my food shopping bills. Of course, I’m no longer buying snacks to consume throughout the day. I buy more in bulk in order to meal prep to make my meals as easy as possible. I work 12 hour shifts, so meal prepping this way is a huge help to prevent laziness and making bad decisions when tired and hungry for that Mcdonalds I drive past on the way home.
Again, fasting and OMAD leaves me with more free time as I’m no longer having to prepare, cook and clean up multiple times a day. It takes chores out of my day which is absolutely fantastic when you have an already full schedule.
No obessing over food
I know when I’m losing weight, I get very into food and when and what I’m going to eat. At points it can become unhealthy with these thoughts constantly on my mind.
When I’m fasting, food doesn’t even cross my mind. Not until it’s feeding time, at least. I always know my set meal (usually prepared already) so it requires little to no thinking.
Honestly, this benefit outweighs all others for me and is one of the main reasons I plan on practicing intermittent fasting for the rest of my life. I’m no longer consumed by food, I just consume it.
I usually have my meal at lunchtime, meaning it’s usually fully digested by the time I’m going to sleep. This has had a huge impact on the amount and quality of sleep I get. I used to have real difficulties with sleeping and often turned to over-the-counter sleeping tablets to aid, leaving me feeling tired and lethargic the next day. It was a vicious cycle which fasting helped me overcome.
I’ve noticed when I have been off track for a few days, my sleep definitely suffers as a direct consequence to eating too close to bedtime.
Quality of food
Having one meal in your day really causes you to question what you want to fuel your body with. No longer am I eating a plate of beige, I’ve suffered the hunger pangs of doing that too many times. Instead, I look for foods that will satiate for longer and make meals that are my favourite.
Nobody wants their one meal to be miserable and tasteless.
Mental Clarity / Energy
I wish I’d found fasting so much earlier because of this. The energy I have when fasting is unmatched. Not even the coffee and energy drinks I used to be consuming rapidly gave me the sme energy as fasting does. It seems backwards that not consuming food would give more energy than a traditional eating schedule, but for me it absolutely does.
Combine this with the fogless brain and I feel unstoppable. I get so much more done in my days, my work performance has improved drastically and I don’t spend my days off watching Netflix in bed. I feel like I have a clear head almost all the time, also aiding my sleep and ability to be productive.
Those are just five of the benefits I’ve personally experienced during my time intermittent fasting with OMAD. Have you ever tried this way of eating? What benefits did you notice?