Since the end of January 2020 I have been living an Intermittent Fasting (IF) lifestyle and I must admit it’s the easiest thing I have ever done to improve my heath.
When I first heard of IF, due to a history of disordered eating, I was a bit sceptical. To my uneducated eyes it seemed crazy and like a free rein to an eating disorder. However, I was curious and intrigued by the health claims being made by people who regularly incorporated fasting into their lifestyle. So I did what I do best, I got into “Geek Girl” mode and did a lot of research! I soon realised there is a huge difference between intentionally fasting and disordered eating, and that there are a whole heap of benefits to be gained from fasting. However, I will say that if you have a history of eating disorders please do your own research to be sure that you are fasting for the right reasons (health and healing).
With a few months of fasting under my, ever decreasing, belt I have decided to do my first extended fast. My aim is 72 hours, I may do more or I may do less. It all depends on how I feel – I’ve learned to listen carefully to my body and what it needs and I don’t put any pressure on myself to “achieve” a certain length of fast. The time is more of a guideline than something set in stone.
As well as being a fantastic weight loss tool, IF is also great for helping your body clear out old cells, repair damaged cells and create new cells. This is called autophagy and can help you fight back against ageing and the aches, pains and illnesses that we’ve been told are “just part of getting older”. It’s also great for clearing up brain fog, using fat (rather than sugar) as fuel and for helping to reduce inflammation, reducing blood pressure, and to improve markers on a host of chronic illnesses.
So here goes… The first 24 hours! (If you are new to fasting please DO NOT start with an extended fast)
Tuesday 2 June 2020 : 1500hrs – I’ve closed my “eating window” and through the afternoon I’ve kept myself busy with work, having an Epsom Salts bath and chatting with friends.
Tuesday 2 June 2020 : 1845hrs – I’m still feeling full from the meal I ate earlier in the day. When I’m only eating one meal per day, within a 3 or 4 hour eating window, it’s really important to focus on nutrient dense food. However, if I have a day where I want takeaway or a burger or chocolate then I adjust my window accordingly and eat without guilt. For me, the key is one meal per day, in a short window (never more than 6 hours) and to get back to nutrient dense foods within a day or two.
Wednesday 3 June 2020 : 0900hrs – I’ve posted my Wednesday video for my Facebook group and taken a black coffee and my journal into the garden. It’s so cold I only managed 30 minutes. Who turned down the temperature?! Note: It’s okay to have one or 2 cups of plain black coffee or plain black tea when fasting. Hydration is super important though – drink lots of water!
Wednesday 3 June 2020 : 1130hrs – This is when I normally start to prepare food to break my fast at noon. Today, to keep this routine, I’ll have a 2nd coffee and a pinch of sea salt (sea salt, Kosher salt or Himalayan salt is permitted during the fast and is important for electrolyte balance – simply place a few grains of salt under your tongue and let them dissolve).
Wednesday 3 June 2020 : 1500hrs – The first 24hrs is complete. In my head I “close my window” and I’m now fasting through the evening the same way I would on any other evening. If I feel a little hungry I’ll drink more hot water and have another little bit of salt. After 24 hours of fasting the body will have used up most, if not all, of the glycogen stored in the muscles and liver and will now switch to using stored body fat for fuel.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the next 24hrs.
If you are completely new to Intermittent Fasting, or if you’re looking for some more information why not join my Facebook group? It’s not all Intermittent Fasting, I cover all aspects of health and wellbeing – mind, body and spirit. Simply search Morag Ferguson Life Transformation and request to join!