At one time, I practiced something called Intermittent Fasting.
You may have heard of it.
There are several different variations, but the one I used involved the 16:8 principle.
Now, this is maybe going to seem kinda rough, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Very basically, what you do is you fast for 16 hours a day — no food — and you eat only during the other 8 hours.
Starve myself for 16 hours a day?
You gotta be kidding me!!!
Hang on a second.
It’s really not that bad.
But before we get to that, why would I want to do such a thing?
One reason is to lose weight. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to lose weight and get over weight-loss plateaus. You know, when you’re losing weight and then the weight-loss stops and you get stuck.
Some studies show that intermittent fasting improves heart health, improves thinking and memory, protects against diabetes and obesity, reduces inflammation and the risk of chronic disease.
I did it for weight loss, and it really works.
I’ve been stuck for a while now on a plateau, and so I’m going to get back on the train.
In fact, I started yesterday. Here’s what I did:
I had my morning coffee, did my usual morning routine, got some work done, and then at 10 o’clock, I made a protein smoothie and drank that while I delivered my freelance invoice to the newspaper office. Before I left, I grabbed two boiled eggs out of the fridge, whipped up some deviled eggs and left them for when I got back.
When I got home later, I ate one of the deviled eggs and some leftover chicken and rice casserole, along with some extra smoothie that was left over from earlier. It wasn’t long before I started getting kinda hungry again, so I took a bottle of water, poured it into a plastic cup, added a scoop of protein powder, shook it up to mix it and drank that. Later on in the afternoon, I at the other deviled egg (boiled eggs are a good source of protein; 6-7 grams of protein each, around 13 calories and hardly any carbs), and then for dinner about 5:30, I had a cheese omelet with avocado slices and a piece of buttered toast with sugar-free peach jam.
Since I started eating at 10 a.m., no more food after 6 p.m. I got a little hungry around 7:30-8 o’clock, but that passed pretty quickly.
That is the 16:8 principle, which goes like this:
The first thing you do is decide on an 8-hour window when you will eat, and a 16-hour window when you will completely fast. Eat nothing. Now, this window will include the hours you are asleep.
Here’s an example:
You skip breakfast and eat your first meal of the day at 10 or 11 in the morning. Maybe even noon. Then, you eat small meals and snacks for the next 8 hours. That would take you to either 6, 7, or 8 o’clock at night. After that, no more food.
See, it’s really not that bad.
You can eat whatever you want during your 8-hour window, but to make things even more effective, make the majority of what you eat healthy stuff, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal), healthy fats (olive oil, avocados), and protein (nuts, beef, chicken, turkey, fish).
And drink plenty of water. Six or eight bottles a day, at least. Drink green tea. Make healthy smoothies during your eating window.
Intermittent fasting six days a week. One day a week is reward day for your good efforts. Have some tacos or something. Just try not to overdo it.
Do some research first, and see what you think. There’s tons of information in intermittent fasting out there.
If you think you should, ask your doctor about it first, just to be safe.