I ended my intermittent fasting at 2:14 pm when I licked the spoon I used for dolloping hummus on top of a bowl of warm peas and corn. (Don't knock it 'til you try it.) It was the first food item ingested since 6:40 pm the night before. In between, I drank water, water, black coffee and more water.
That whole scenario lived outside my thoughts until just four days before it became familiar; a new normal. The intuitive push that brought it into being, though... that was very familiar.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
It's a pattern of eating that utilizes fasting for balance - for "rest and digest" - within a defined time frame. There are several prominent (and popular) forms of intermittent fasting (IF). They are:
5:2 ~ This form of IF combines five days of eating "normally" and two days of eating between 500 and 600 calories.
16:8 ~ This form of IF combines 16 hours of fasting and an eight-hour eating window.
18:6 ~ This form of IF combines 18 hours of fasting and a six-hour eating window.
20:4 ~ This form of IF combines 20 hours of fasting and a four-hour eating window.
Learn more about these intermittent fasting forms in this in-depth article.
My personal form of IF averages 19:5; 19 hours of fasting and a five-hour eating window. I find breaking my fast between 1:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon, and closing my eating window between 6:00 and 7:00 in the evening, works best for me and my body.
Why I'm practicing intermittent fasting...
In retrospect, my IF journey started months and months ago; as many as six months ago. I had an awareness that eating after a certain time at night resulted in some discomfort going to bed. The discomfort mostly came from excess acid. Turns out, going to bed with recently ingested food in my stomach wasn't as harmless in my 50s as it seemed in my 30s and 40s.
So, I decided I wouldn't eat anything after 7:00 pm. I could have a mug of homemade hot chocolate, though, if I wanted. That went on for months, until the actual concept of intermittent fasting was brought to my attention intuitively. Basically, my guides shone a spotlight on it and it caught my attention with increasing frequency.
The turning point came during a discussion with a friend who's doing solid work with food as medicine. She mentioned how fasting for at least 18 hours activates our longevity response. Whatever systems in the body are activated during that length of time of resting and digesting have the potential to increase our lifespan.
How cool is that? Well, providing it's a quality increase.
Benefits I experience with IF...
The benefits I experience include:
~reduced acid reflux;
~decreased food "obsession" (another topic altogether);
Mind you, I'm just three and a half weeks in as of the publish date of this post. I hear there are other benefits which may develop over time. Some of them excite me.
Where did I hear about them? Through a couple podcasts specific to IF,. They're inspirational, educational and motivational. They are:
You can also learn more about the benefits of intermittent fasting in this comprehensive article.
When IF probably isn't wise...
Speaking purely from intuition, if you...
~are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or nursing;
~are experiencing or have experienced disordered eating;
~have an intake-related condition (such as diabetes);
~struggle to keep your weight up
...IF isn't for you - at least, not without your doctor's full consent.
And even if you're in tip-top condition or need to shed excess weight, it's important to check with your doctor before undertaking something of this nature.
So, there you have it. That's my intuitive IF journey, to date. Any questions or feedback? Comments are open.