Given that I like to eat as frequently as possible, intermittent fasting sounded really unappealing to me when my (annoyingly fit) brother told me about it a few years ago. But after doing some of my own research I decided to give it a try to see whether I would notice the effects he had. I chose the version where you limit your eating window to a smaller number of hours than usual - I ate between 10am and 6pm, and while the first few mornings were hard, I quickly discovered that my hunger patterns shifted to accommodate the new pattern. It was the first time in my life I was able to get up and do the first part of the day without being really starving. Weirdly, eating less in the morning made the need to eat in the morning go away!
I felt less desperate about food in general during the few weeks that I did it, and it was surprisingly easy once I got into the swing of it. I would have kept it up, but life intervened in the form of a family trip that made me loosen, and eventually abandon, the practice, but it occurs to me from time to time that it might not be a bad idea to try again.
Since I first gave it a go, intermittent fasting has grown in popularity as a compelling approach to improving health, shedding unwanted weight, and introducing a new kind of discipline into our often chaotic dietary habits.
The roots of intermittent fasting stretch back to our ancestors who, by circumstance rather than choice, often went through periods of little to no food. Fast forward to today, and this necessity has transformed into a well-structured and widely embraced wellness strategy.
So I'm going to dive into the nuts and bolts of intermittent fasting - its variations, what to expect when you start, the benefits etc - in case it's something you've been considering too. As someone who has personally navigated the world of intermittent fasting and would do it again, I invite you to join me in exploring this fascinating wellness approach.
Variations: Tailoring Intermittent Fasting to Fit You
Now, before you imagine fasting as a grueling exercise where you're forever watching the clock, let me assure you there's more flexibility here than you might think. There are several popular variations of intermittent fasting, each with its unique benefits. It's about finding what works for you.
16:8 Method: This method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window each day. It's popular for its relative ease of implementation—skip breakfast, have lunch as your first meal, and close your kitchen by 8 pm. Or try what I did, and have brunch (yay) at 10 am and then dinner at 6 with nothing afterwards. And I mean NOTHING! You can drink water, obviously, but anything that would cause your blood sugar to rise even slightly will break your fast.
5:2 Diet: This involves eating normally for five days of the week and limiting your calorie intake to 500-600 on the other two days. This might work well for you if you know you can be disciplined in an on-again, off-again way. It would probably be a disaster for me as I want to cheat constantly if something is not black and white.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This one's a bit more challenging, involving a 24-hour fast once or twice a week. I have tried this too and as long as I know I can eat dinner at the end of it I'm OK to drink a ton of water through the day and steer away from the kitchen otherwise.
What to Expect: The Journey of Intermittent FastingStarting intermittent fasting can feel a bit challenging at first, and may come with some initial uncertainty. You might notice feelings of hunger, changes in your energy levels, or thoughts often turning towards when you can next eat. It's all part of the normal transition as your body adjusts to a new eating schedule. Remember, just like any new project, understanding the basics and being prepared can make a big difference.
Stock up on plenty of hydrating fluids and be prepared for some trial and error as you figure out the best fasting and eating windows for your lifestyle. Also, be aware that social events or emotional eating can sometimes trip up your schedule, as the trip did for me—keep in mind, that's okay! The aim is progress, not perfection.
Benefits: The Rewards of Intermittent FastingThe potential benefits of intermittent fasting stretch beyond just weight loss, it's like an all-in-one package for holistic wellness! Studies suggest that it can improve metabolic health, increase longevity, and even boost brain health. Plus, think of the simplicity it can bring to your life—fewer meals to plan and prepare!
Hypnotherapy and Intermittent Fasting: A Winning Combination
If the thought of setting out on this journey feels a little intimidating, remember that you don't have to go it alone. Just as you'd take a map on an adventure, hypnotherapy can serve as a guide to help navigate your fasting journey.
At Clear Minds, we offer a unique session titled 'Motivation for Fasting'. This hypnotherapy session is designed to help you cultivate a positive mindset towards intermittent fasting, manage potential cravings, and remain focused on your goals. By addressing subconscious beliefs around food and fasting, hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool in your intermittent fasting toolkit. Or you can choose to give yourself the gift of our Ultimate Fasting Transformation Essentials Package, which contains 10 different hypnotherapy sessions designed to help you succeed.
Whether you're a seasoned faster or a curious newbie, hypnotherapy can provide a level of support and motivation that can make the journey not just manageable, but enjoyable. After all, isn't the experience as valuable as the outcome itself?
Let's delve into the world of intermittent fasting together. Are you prepared to get started?