Intermittent Fasting: My First 7 Days
7 days ago I began intermittent fasting. Not because I had to drastically changed my weight or body composition but more so to see the affects that it would have on my training, body comp and overall day to day energy. Granted it has only been 7 days however there are still changes I have noticed; some good and some bad, but it is still only early days. I thought I'd share the pros and cons that I've experienced so far so that you can get more of an insight of what intermittent fasting actually involves and maybe it'll convince you to either try it or give it a miss.
First of all let me start by saying if you are interested in doing intermittent fasting then I suggest doing your research before you start and finding out WHY you believe intermittent fasting is a good idea for you. You need to ask yourself how is it going to affect your day to day lifestyle and are you going to commit yourself fully to doing it properly. If you're not going to commit yourself, there is no point. I've been working off a 16:8 hr schedule (fast for 16hrs and an eating window of 8hrs). I'm only doing this 6 days a week so that I can relax to a certain extant one day a week. This doesn't mean I just eat whatever I please, it more means I don't worry about eating to a certain timeline. I'm doing Sunday-Friday purely so I don't go mental and can have some down time.
I've still been eating my full daily calorie limit (3300 cals approx) however I've just condensed the time frame i'm eating. Generally my first meal of the day is around 9/9.30am and I finish eating for the day at roughly 4/4.30pm. I time my workouts so that all my training is done right at the end of my fast so that all my food can be consumed post workout.
IMPROVED STRENGTH - As mentioned before, it is still early days however my strength has improved even though i'm training on an empty stomach. I've broken my training down into 4 and 2. 4 days a week i'll train compound movements and the other 2 sessions will be fitness based sessions.
FEEL LEANER - Generally speaking i'm feeling leaner however come the end of my "eating window" I am feeling pretty bloated from consuming the amount of food I am.
CLEARER BRAIN - Everyday i'm up at 5am and at work by 5.15am for clients to begin their training. I need to be on the ball early and I've actually found that when operating during my fast i'm clearer in decision making and what needs to be done for the morning.
ENERGY LEVEL - Overall my energy level has been good. Day to day my workouts have been strong, I haven't been worn out and from start to finish I'm proactive.
BEING SICK OF FOOD - When you're eating a meal almost every 2hrs you're not exactly hungry by the time you have to eat again. There has been more than half the week where I've eaten purely because I knew I had to, not because I wanted to. Come the end of your 8hr window you will be sick of eating and won't enjoy your food.
ADAPTING - In the first few days I found myself hungry outside of the window and had dull headaches. It did take a couple of days for my body to adapt but once it did my body become used to the new routine.
IT DOES NOT MAKE EATING EASIER - As mentioned above, eating is more a chore rather than eating because I was hungry. This point more so relates to meal prepping. One of the "selling points" was that intermittent fasting requires less food prep - bullsh*t. I've had to prep the same, if not more.
As the week progressed I've been trying to focus more on calorie dense meals. I've found things like eggs and salmon are good. I was just eating my usual meat, veg, brown rice/pasta but I quickly learnt that that rice and pasta (even though they're brown carbs) were making me feel ill because I was eating so regularly.
STRESSES TAKE THEIR TOLL - I said earlier that day to day energy is up which is good, however if there are increased stresses my energy levels have taken a hit. Things like increased stress at work or late sports game or just pushing the body a little too hard have taken a toll throughout the week. Overall I'd say my energy is up from normal but a couple of late nights in a row knocked me about.
I'm going to commit myself to another 3 weeks of intermittent fasting and see how much more it affects body comp, training and day to day. I'm personally believe that SO FAR i'm happy with the week that's been.
If you are thinking about trying it you need to make sure your eating is locked down and that you're willing to ride out the negatives for the benefit of the positives.
STAY TUNED #backyourself