It was the start of 2016 and my milestone 40th birthday was fast approaching. I decided to get in the best shape of my life and lose all the harmful body-fat that I had been carrying around for years. Initially, I simply eliminated all simple sugars such as alcohol, sweets, crisps, chocolate and sugary drinks. I wasn’t yet counting calories, but I weighed myself daily and the weight was steadily declining. I remained consistent with my training and the weight dropped without performing any additional cardio or tracking macros.
I began reading more about nutrition and health and as the weeks progressed I focused on making myself 1% better every day. I then strictly monitored calories and applied a deficit of 100 calories daily. The weight loss continued and I felt great with every new milestone achieved. However, even though the weight loss was brilliant and I felt better, I never felt satisfied with my meals and I suffered from low energy and irritability throughout the day. I wondered how this approach could be sustainable long term.
Almost by accident, I stumbled across discussions on the internet about an eating schedule called ‘intermittent fasting’ and wondered if it would suit my lifestyle. There are many different approaches to I.F. but it essentially involves dividing your day into a feasting window and a fasting window. 8/16 was my chosen method and I ate all my daily calories within an 8-hour window and then for the remainder consumed zero calories (filtered water, green tea or black coffee). I decided to eat 2 large satisfying meals between 1pm and 9pm.
I immediately gained more mental clarity and I believe that I.F. helps prevent ‘yo-yo’ dieting because people are less likely to consume excess calories if they stick to an eating window. Yes, weight loss is basically calories in versus calories out, but the vast majority of the population don’t want to obsessively count calories so this could be their workable solution. I.F. isn’t just a diet, it’s actually a healthy lifestyle. A friend of mine has suffered from high blood pressure for years and since applying I.F. her blood pressure has significantly reduced and is now within the normal range. People get attracted to I.F. after hearing about the weight loss benefits, but I am much more interested in the supreme health benefits it affords. These are mainly down to minimising blood sugar levels in the body which can be extremely toxic and damaging for cells.
I.F. can significantly reduce the risk of dementia and cancers because cancerous and other bad cells can only thrive on sugar, whereas good cells can live on sugar and fat as energy. I.F. will reduce insulin spikes throughout the day and this is why it significantly reduces your chances of contracting type 2 diabetes. Your likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke is also lessened and my mood hugely improved as my body began to function more often on fat as energy. I also noticed my eyes get whiter and skin clearer as my body naturally detoxified.
70% of your immune system is in your gut and ‘resting’ your digestive system for 16 hours a day gives it the chance to heal and repair. The body then regenerates and heals damaged cells through a process called autophagy. It has cured my hayfever completely and it can also cure all other kinds of auto-immune diseases too. I.F. increases natural growth hormone in the body significantly during fasted periods and this is why fat loss rates are accelerated and muscle loss is limited (I personally lost 2.8kg of pure fat in 30 days with zero muscle loss and I have detailed evidence as proof).
In the words of Benjamin Franklin “the best of all medicines is resting and fasting.” It might be worth giving intermittent fasting a try – it could save your life, it has certainly enhanced mine!