I have been intermittent fasting in total for 12 months.
I say in total because i did it for 6 months in 2017 and six months in 2018.
What is intermittent fasting?
Well, it is essentially not eating for a set portion of the day and then having an eating window in which you eat.
Common times include not eating for 16 hours and then having an eating window of 8 hours. You can extend this to 20 hours fasting and 4 hours eating or decrease to 12 hours fasting and 12 hours eating.
It is really upto the individual and their fat loss goals
What are the supposed benefits ?
- Fat loss
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Better skin
- Increased mental clarity and focus
- Reduces inflammation in the body
- May help reduced risk of Alzheimers
- May help reduce your risk of cancer
Personally I found losing fat was always easier with more aggressive protocols such as 20/4.
My results were staggering to me.
I went from 98 kg to 83 kg in the first round.
In 6 months. My waist size went from 39 inches to 34.
Bicep measurements went from 16.75 to 15 and my leg measurements went from 26 inches to 22.
The first time around I decided I had lost too much muscle mass and this is what made me stop doing it.
I decided to start eating breakfast again, I got more muscular but my fat levels started to go up.
Although despite eating breakfast again, I never went past the 91 kg mark.
That being said I devised my pros and cons list. This is personal and is based on a case study of one person( me!). Therefore do not extrapolate this as scientific data.
- Convenience it is so easy to not eat breakfast. At-least for me it was. Black coffee and then straight to work
- Reduces time in the morning. No need to make breakfast and if you’re trying to be healthy-breakfast I found needed some effort. Cereals are convenient but 9/10 not healthy.
- Increased mental clarity Yes, I did feel this after a few days. I was buzzing.
- Easy way to cut calories I know people talk about other ways fasting works such as growth hormone this and metabolic that, but I think it is mainly works by reducing calorific intake in a simple way
- Better skin-Yes weirdly this happened
- Reduced sluggishness at work Especially when I was fasting till i got home to eat
- Improved productivity Yes lunch takes up time. I found not eating combined without the post-lunch fatigue really helped me zone in at work
- Improved cardio– this was primarily due to being smaller. Being lighter ,despite that being due to fat or muscle loss, makes you much fitter.
- It really does make food taste better.
But….everything comes with a price.
- Muscle mass reduction Yes despite the supposed muscle sparing abilities of intermittent fasting, I lost fat but I also lost muscle. This sucked because I like being slightly ” jacked”.
- Reduced fat– Yes-this is a bad thing in some circumstances why? Well that extra cushion makes you look bigger in clothes. Sure these instagram ripped guys look amazing with their shirts off but (if they’re not on steroids), as soon as a shirt comes on they look tiny.
- Reduced strength this was depressing, I had a 500 pound squat that went down to a 400 pound squat and already paltry bench went down by a further 50 pounds.
- I was hungry yes despite whatever they tell you. You still get hunger cravings
- Increased caffeine intake Sure there’s literature saying coffees good for you and theres some saying its bad. I find with myself ,due to the hunger-I drank lots of coffee to blunt my hunger and side effects included irritability and constant trips to the toilet.
- Having to make that meal you eat count it sounds glorious to eat one or two amazing meals a day but if those meals suck, you really feel let down for that day.
On balance I like the intermittent fasting way of life.
It makes you more productive and it is a great and simple way to calorie reduce.
If you are into strength training or gaining muscle, I wouldn’t advice it from my experience.
What have I done to modify it?
- I now do more of a 16/8 approach all the time. It is a more sweet spot for me of losing fat and maintaining muscle.
- I increased my water intake instead of coffee-this actually helped a lot.
- I still train fasted but make sure I eat well after.
- I was experimenting with ketogenic and intermittent fasting which was too much for me personally. It is hands down the holy grail of losing fat super fast in my opinion but I was tiny by the end of it.
So this is just my experience with intermittent fasting.
I will continue to do it and I am sure I will tweak it to my goals as i go along.
If you’re interested in doing it or have done it already, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences.
Thank you all for stopping by