I tried intermittent fasting for 10 days - and I understand why people in Silicon Valley love it
- Intermittent fasting is a practice that involves giving up food for a specific period of time each day or week.
- I decided to try the 16/8 intermittent fasting method, so I ate normally for eight hours and then fasted for 16.
- After 10 days, my GERD improved, and I shed a few unexpected pounds.
- Here are seven things I learned from intermittent fasting for 10 days.
For over a decade, I have maintained a gluten-free diet, because I have celiac disease. Although my weight has remained fairly stable over the last 10 years, every so often I will gain a few pounds that I want to lose. Because I already restrict what I eat, diets that include food elimination are challenging for me.
I recently gained a few pounds due to a shoulder injury that prevented me from participating in my daily barre class, so I wanted to change my eating habits to shed the extra two or three pounds. I came across an article about intermittent fasting, a practice that involves giving up food for certain periods of the day or week.
Intermittent fasting, a diet popular in Silicon Valley, can produce a number of health benefits whether you shed pounds or not. By restricting calorie consumption to a specific time period each day or week (for example, only eating between 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.), you could lose weight, decrease your risk of cancer, reduce blood pressure, and improve blood-sugar control, as Business Insider previously reported. Intermittent fasting is unlike most diets in that it allows you to eat whatever you want, as long as it's within the consumption period.
Intermittent fasting can take many forms. Some people fast for 24 hours every third or fourth day of the week, according to Healthline. Others opt for the 5:2 diet, meaning they take in a normal amount of calories for five days, then only eat 500 or 600 calories for two days.
Because I am prone to migraines, I worried about choosing a fast that would be too drastic a change from my normal diet. I chose the 16-8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight. Here's what I learned after 10 days of intermittent fasting.
1. It’s normal to be really hungry at first
2. I got headaches the first few days, but they slowly went away
3. It’s a good diet if you already skip breakfast
4. The biggest challenge was not being able to eat (or drink) spontaneously
5. When I did splurge on food, I didn’t feel as guilty about it
6. My acid reflux and GERD improved significantly
7. It was nice not having to cut out any foods
Intermittent fasting is something I’ll continue to do during the week, but not on the weekend
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