Friday, January 28, 2022

The Challenges of Intermittent Fasting

For the past six months or so, I have been doing intermittent fasting to help with my weight loss. It’s something that I have tried more than once before but I found it to be too challenging for me so I stopped. 

These days, however, I finally got the hang of intermittent fasting. Usually, I fast for 18 hours, then have a six-hour eating window. When I can, I even go for a 24-hour fast once a week. If I don’t have much time to fast because of certain occasions where I have to eat with other people I go for a 16 hour fast at least. 

Photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

When people ask me what I did to lose weight, it sounds simple to say calorie deficit, intermittent fasting, and exercise but it is not as easy as it sounds. Just with intermittent fasting alone, there are challenges that go along with it:

Eating Window Doesn’t Always Work Well With Socializing with Others

I can’t begin to count the number of times I have had to turn down people asking me to go out to eat or people offering me food because I was still in my fasting period. Sometimes it can get awkward and uncomfortable to keep explaining intermittent fasting over and over again and repeatedly being convinced to go off the fast “just this once.” If I gave in every time someone told me that I would have quit fasting altogether. It can also get hard to disappoint people when I have to turn down invitations to eat, but I find that there are a lot who have now become understanding of my situation and are used to it. After seeing how much weight I have lost I think they finally understand why I do it.

The Fasting Period

The fact that I work out, go to work, and only have black coffee in the mornings to get by is not easy. I usually don’t get hunger pangs when I’m fasting. I even surprised myself the first time I tried a 24-hour fast that I was able to get through it without feeling any discomfort.  

While there are days when I don’t notice, there are times when there’s a lot to do and I feel like I’ve used up all my energy for the morning that makes me so tempted to have a bite to eat before my eating period. Stressful moments usually make me instinctively want to have something to eat too so it’s hard to control that sometimes. 

Non-Fasting Days

I try my best to do intermittent fasting on a regular/daily basis, but it’s not perfect. I still have days where I do not fast at all and the most I do is 12 hours without anything. I try not to beat myself up about it because 12 hours is still a lot of time. I always make up for it by fasting as I normally would the next day. 

Still, I have gotten to the point where I am so used to intermittent fasting that when there are days that I cannot do it, I feel bloated and heavier so I end up not having that much to eat during the day. I think more than anything, it’s the calorie deficit as a result of the fasting that is helping me with my weight loss, which is why on the rare non-fasting days I tend to cut down because I’m not used to that much calorie intake during the day.

Again, as I have often said on this blog, please do not take my experience as an expert opinion. I know that diets like this need to be consulted with your doctor first since there are health issues that may not work well with things like this, especially if you have any medication that you take that may have an effect on your fasting. I am just sharing my experience and how it has worked for me. 

If you are interested in doing Intermittent Fasting, please consult your doctor first and do your research before committing to this. It’s not something you can do a couple of times and expect results. It’s more of a lifestyle change than a diet that you can start and stop anytime you want. Please be well-informed before you start making major changes and decisions regarding your health!



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