What it is
Intermittent fasting or IF for short, is a dietary cycle of taking “intermittent” times of fasting (no food) and eating. This can be done either daily or a couple of times a week. I stumbled upon this diet while watching a PBS special about Dr. Michael Mosley’s documentary “Eat, Fast and Live Longer”. His research discovered that animals and humans can benefit in numerous ways by taking short breaks from eating. After watching the documentary I wanted to learn more and started my own independent research on the topic and shortly began the diet myself. There are 2 ways to go about the diet: One way is by restricting calories daily. This means eating between a small window of time typically 6-8 hours long. Option number two is fasting for longer periods of time a few days a week. This option restricts calories for up to 24 hrs once or twice a week. So if you ate dinner at 6:00pm Monday night, you would not eat again until 6:00pm Tuesday evening. I personally opted for option number two.
What I ate
On a non fasting day, I ate a “typical” diet. What I mean by that is, I did not restrict dairy, proteins, carbohydrates or fats. Although I did not track my calories this time, I did attempt to keep my calories around the recommended amount for my height and weight which is 1,250 calories/day. For fasting days, I chose Mondays and Thursdays to not eat. I did not eat anything all day until my 24 hours were up, which was normally 6:00pm. These days I ate a normal dinner of whatever I prepared for my family. I also drank plenty of water and never overindulged.
I lost two pounds on this diet over the course of 4 months. After the 4 months I ended up switching to daily intermittent fasting and still incorporate that in my diet today.
The diet is flexible in accordance to when you eat and when you fast. You select your eating window and fasting window. I also liked this diet because you don’t go an entire day without eating. There are no calories to count, no portions to track. You can eat anything you want. This diet was great and got me through the holiday season enjoying more festive foods and drinks than ever before without gaining any weight. I stopped this diet because I felt like I was spending too much time thinking about food and counting down the hours to when I could eat again. I also can see how intermittent fast can lead to a starvation diet very easily.