I am pretty sure that most people have heard of intermittent fasting. This type of eating plan is talked about a lot these days due to the benefits it is said to have. After reading success stories from the women who post on https://www.reddit.com/r/PCOS/, I decided to try it out for myself.
What made me want to try fasting
I am determined to live a healthy life and try to manage my PCOS symptoms. Reading about the benefits that can come with intermittent fasting really intrigued me because I felt like it might be part of the answer to my health problems.
The benefits that stuck out to me the most are as follows:
- Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes (Kris Gunnars, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting)- Plain and simple…I do not want diabetes!
- Mood and clarity of thought ( Leigh Weingus, https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/intermittent-fasting-affects-mood/)- Who does not want a brain boost once in a while?
- Bloat relief- I suffer from bloating like a lot of other people do so having a reduction in it sounded awesome.
How I started it
There are multiple ways to do intermittent fasting (see them here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-do-intermittent-fasting#section3). I decided on the 16:8 method which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an eight hour window.
I chose for my eating window to be between 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. This seemed to be a good idea when it came to having to go to family gatherings involving meals because they are usually done within that time frame. I was originally thinking of doing an eating window of 2:30 PM to 10:30 PM but that is too late in the day.
In terms of exercising, I changed my usual time of 8:00 PM to doing it fasted in the morning (9:00 AM). This would allow me to have a meal shortly after putting in some hard work in my home gym.
How it went for me
Instead of starting intermittent fasting off slowly like experts usually recommend, I jumped right in with a full 16 hour fast. The first two days were easy for some reason in terms of my hunger level. I really did not feel that hungry but I did experience grouchiness.
The third and forth days were really difficult. No clue why. Not only was I grouchy, I also felt extremely hungry and lightheaded. Considering that I woke up at 6:00 AM and could not go back to sleep, waiting until 11:00 AM to eat was hard! I worked through this by trying to get in as much water as I possibly could.
There were times that I wanted to throw in the towel and go back to eating whenever I wanted to but I stuck with it. After the first week passed, everything became much easier. This was when I started to notice some changes-mainly good ones.
- Less bloating: Just like I wanted to have happen!
- Better mood: I definitely felt happier.
- Less stomach issues: This was an amazing benefit for me because I struggle with indigestion and nausea so much.
- Lots of energy: Did not feel like I needed to take caffeine.
- Mental clarity: I felt like I could concentrate better for my free online college course I decided to take (https://learn.saylor.org/course/view.php?id=63)
The not so good:
- Heartburn: I do not know if this was due to the intermittent fasting but I started getting it during my fasting hours. I wasn’t able to take Tums so I used baking soda mixed with water instead.
- Insomnia: This was pretty bad. It would take me a very long time to fall asleep despite trying all of the tips sleep experts recommend.
Will I continue to do intermittent fasting?
I did the fasting for eight weeks straight and recently returned to normal eating just to see if I was imagining the effects I was experiencing. As it turns out, I do not feel like I was imagining them. I am back to feeling bloated, tired and my bad stomach issues have returned.
I will definitely be returning to intermittent fasting this week. If this is really helping my physical health than there is no reason why I should not be doing this type of eating schedule.
I hate to be the one to jump on to bandwagons when it comes to these types of trends but I feel like this one really has worked for me.
Have any of you tried intermittent fasting?
Also, if you are looking for an easy treat for your family or any type of occasion, try making donuts using a box of cake mix like I did! My husband says they are lighter and less fatty than regular donuts.