I have been doing intermittent fasting for the last two months. I was introduced to the idea by a Yoga mentor and by one of my fitness mentors. I have been into personal fitness since High School. In college I received a bachelor’s degree in strength & conditioning and have since made fitness and nutrition a beloved hobby. I have never liked the idea of being on a diet or restricting myself from things that I love as long as I enjoy them in moderation and in a mentally healthy way.
Before I started intermittent fasting I was struggling with consistent meal times. In yoga school they recommend not eating before a personal practice of yoga or meditation. I do my personal practice when I wake up in the morning and before I.F. I always wanted to eat breakfast. If I didn’t eat breakfast I would find that my stomach would be painfully hungry by the time I sat to meditate. I often would finish my practice early because I was unable to get my mind off my hunger.
I do about one to two hours of personal practice in the mornings, but I no longer feel like I am controlled by my hunger. It’s been a beautiful difference actually. My work keeps me up until two or three in the morning sometimes. I try to eat my last meal around 8 pm. With intermittent fasting you don’t consume foods, or high amounts of caffeine for 16 hours and then consume all your daily calories and nutrition within a 4 to 8 hour period. This 4 to 8 hour period depends on how deep you want to get into I.F. I am happy with sticking to about 8 hours of eating. Within this 8 hour period I consume three meals and usually a cup of coffee and a lightly caffeinated cup of tea. I drink lots of water throughout the day along with herbal tea.
How do I feel? I am completely satisfied with Intermittent fasting. I sometimes have to remind myself to eat or to eat enough for my daily caloric intake. This is drastically different from how I was just two months ago. I no longer feel like I’m ruled by my hunger and I feel like I have more energy in my workouts and throughout my daily activities. My mood is improved and I rarely feel “hangry”. I feel like I have been getting better sleep and I have noticed a flatter lower tummy area. (This specific area, like many, has always been a tricky spot for me.)
Back to how this has effected my personal practice. Well, I no longer feel distracted by my hunger in meditation even after 13 or 14 hours of fasting! I no longer stress about eating breakfast or not. I still eat a sort of breakfast but not until noon. As for the meditations, it is hard to say if I.F. has had an effect on how “deep” or focused I am, but no longer being distracted by my growling tummy has been amazing!
I plan to continue with Intermittent Fasting as long as it agrees with my lifestyle. I love how I feel and how it has cultivated a healthy relationship between myself and food.