My Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting
Good morning my dearies!! I hope everyone is having an incredible week. I honestly never thought I’d be writing this topic, but the past month or so I’ve been experimenting with 12-13 hour intermittent fasts. This started pretty much by accident, but now that I’ve been more intentional with my fasts, I can honestly say I love it.
If you’re on Instagram at all, odds are you’ve heard of Intermittent Fasting. It feels like something EVERYONE and their mother has talked about, and there are hundreds of articles on it. Check some out here, here and here. I just want to start this blog by saying IF is NOT FOR EVERYONE, and you should speak to your doctor to see if it is right for you.
For those who don’t know me super well, or haven’t lived with me: let me give you a little background info. I. Am. A. Snacker! I’LL SAY IT LOUD AND PROUD! I love snacking. Always have, always will. But my love of snacking became an issue when I was snacking before dinner, and after dinner until about 11pm. No bueno (when it became a daily habit). I would eat dinner, eat a little dessert, then wait 20-30 minutes and go crazy. I don’t want to say binge, because I was never eating to the point of fullness and feeling sick, but I would eat 1-2 bowls of cereal, or an apple with peanut butter, or ice cream, or a handful of Siete chips, etc. You get the gist. Since Yale and I typically eat anytime between 7:30-9pm, I could be snacking as late as 11:30pm! Certainly not the recipe for a good nights sleep. Sleeping well is really important to me since I do suffer from insomnia and find falling asleep to be extremely difficult (night owl).
All of this late night snacking caused me to get super bloated (I deal with enough bloat as is!), poor sleep (because my body was spending more energy digesting the food rather than allowing for restful sleep), and overall exhaustion and malaise the next day. I was eating this way for probably 2 years before I started accidentally fasting. And you might be thinking, a 12-13 hour fast isn’t hard…and you’re right. But when you get into a routine of eating late and then eating again in the morning less than 12 hours later, it can be a hard habit to break.
I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews on how long women should fast. I’ve heard it is ok to go upwards of 16 hours, but I’ve also heard 16 hours can be detrimental to our hormone health. Knowing myself and listening to my own body, I am sticking with 12 to 13 hour fasts, which seems to be working well for me.
I had no goal of weight loss or anything like that with this experiment. I honestly wanted to break my habit of late night snacking, and I think I’ve done so successfully. I also feel far less bloated than I would when I was snacking until 11pm, especially the next morning. I am sleeping more soundly throughout the night, and wake up feeling more levelheaded. I don’t think I could go any longer than 13 hours though. I think for my mental health that would be unsafe, as well as for my hormone health. I definitely don’t think intermittent fasting is for everyone, but think stopping eating 2-3 hours before bed is a good general rule.
Have you dabbled with intermittent fasting? I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comments section!