Let’s talk about…. Intermittent Fasting! You might have heard about this term in the past few years, but if you’re not really sure yet what it means, let’s have a quick dive into the matter. Fasting has been around for thousands of years but Intermittent Fasting in particular has been an increasingly popular trend in the past few years and has been especially praised for its weight loss potential and fat burning mechanisms. But is it really worth the hype or just another fad diet? I’ve tried IF several times with the help of Fastic – a popular fasting app – and have had great successes!
Disclaimer: People with advanced diabetes, people with a history of eating disorders and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not attempt intermittent fasting unless under the close supervision of a physician who can monitor them. I am not a medical professional so any nutrition or diet information shared on this site are my personal experience. Please make sure to consult your doctor before making significant changes to your diet!
Before I’ll tell you about my experience with Fastic and the fasting method itself, let’s cover the basics for anyone who has never heard of or tried fasting and, in particular, intermittent fasting before!
What actually is Intermittent Fasting?
Simply put it is a method that includes alternating cycles of fasting and eating, meaning you only eat in a specific time frame. There are several ways to do it but all methods are based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast:
- for example the 16:8 method where you eat for 8 hours and consequently fast for 16 hours a day
While one might think that this is just another fad diet trend, Intermittent Fasting has actually been found to be highly effective for weight loss method and type 2 diabetes reversal. Scientific studies further suggest many other health benefits, like reduced inflammation in the body, improved blood pressure/cholesterol levels, as well as increased energy levels.
How does it work?
Intermittent Fasting makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If we don’t use it all, we store it in our fat cells. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals, as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
So, in short, when we fast, insulin levels fall and the food storage process goes in reverse, so with IF we simply increase the amount of time we spend burning food energy. Makes sense right?
My experience with IF:
I first started IF about 3 years ago for 6 months and saw tremendous benefits not only in weight loss but also levels of energy. Before IF I used to get really ‘hangry’ and stressed out not knowing when my next meal would be, but the fasting process really helped me find a better balance and relationship to food. Now I can go without food for longer without any mood changes and don’t immediately get angry when the hunger feeling sets in.
As with any diet change it is important that you’ll find an approach that works for your lifestyle and is sustainable in the long run. I like to have earlier dinners to give my body enough time to digest food before going to sleep so 16:8 works perfect for me. So whenever I fast I’ll usually eat dinner around 6pm and break the fast around 10am. Nowadays I use it less to lose weight, as I’m perfectly healthy and happy with my weight, but more to improve my digestion, increase energy levels.
For you and your lifestyle this might look very differently so please don’t use my body or lifestyle as comparison. It is crucial to find something sustainable for you and your body!
What is Fastic?
Fastic is an amazing app designed to help you with your intermittent fasting journey. Fastic is like my diary whenever I fast – it’s an amazing tool that will track your progress, keep you accountable and make it fun at the same time. The app itself is completely free but if you want you can upgrade to the plus feature which will give you many more resources f.e. on nutrition or meal plans (which can be vegan or not).
When you download the app you simply add your information, like age, height, weight, etc. and your fasting goal (whether that’s weight loss or better energy levels) and start fasting from there.
Fastic will then send you daily reminders when your eating and fasting window starts and ends, it tracks your weight loss progress, how much water you drink, how many steps you take in a day and you can even add buddies so you can fast with your friends or family together. It also presents you with challenges from time to time and has lots of extra information on the lifestyle itself!
You can find the app in the app store here: https://bit.ly/TheTastyK-Blog-on-Fastic