Many fitness friends praise the principle of intermittent fasting.
What follows here is my personal take on intermittent fasting, from what
I have learned throughout years of coaching and personal experience. There are many studies where you can read about this but I will give you my own opinion, apart from what many other people online are saying or despite what some research might suggest.
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
When you practice intermittent fasting, you alternate periods of eating with periods of fasting. Intermittent fasting revolves around the time frame within which you eat rather than what you eat.
Everyone practices one type of fasting: namely you don’t eat when you sleep.
The whole ‘idea’ behind famous intermittent fasting patterns (where the range of the hours of fasting differs anywhere between 16 hours of fasting to 36 hours of fasting) is that you canreduce your caloric intake simply because you are eating in a smaller window of time and thus have less chance to eat as much as you would in a ‘longer eating window’. Or the fact that you can just eat more during the meals you are eating, because when you are eating less meals a day your meals can be bigger.
I won’t cover more basics on what intermittent fasting is, you can google that. But I will add my opinion on if I think you should do it or not.
Many people who practice intermittent fasting, come back from it. And in my experience many people who – like me – have a tendency to overeat or emotionally eat, are not a good fit for intermittent fasting.
WHY IS THAT?
The main reason for overeating
or emotionally eating comes from restricting yourself. This might be food restriction: a history of lots of dieting. Or it could be that you have experienced a lot of stress, which makes you ‘go all out’ when you do have the time.
In any case, once you start practicing intermittent fasting you are in fact making this pattern even worse. You are again making it harder for your body to relax, thus spiking your stress levels and impacting your hormones.
An unbalanced ‘household’ in your body will only make life more difficult for you. It will reinforce the ‘binge and restrict’ cycle in your body.
Now – I can almost hear you say ‘But Amy, I haven’t been that restrictive, because I would be thinner then!’. Yes,you might be disappointed in how well you are able to stick to a diet.
But believe me when I say: if you have been trying time and time again and you can’t seem to ‘stick to it’, it’s
not you. It’s the program. You don’t need to ‘try harder’, you need to try differently…
Being more strict is not going to solve your ‘eating too much’ pattern in this case. Setting up good habits that can support your weight loss efforts as well as get your body in a ‘relaxed state’, will.
Another good resource on this with more scientifical explanations: