I’ve been intermittent fasting for ~18 months now. A few reflections:
(1) I follow a 16-8 routine. So, I fast for ~16 hours and eat in the remaining ~8. I use “~” because I’m not strict about the 16. Some days it is 17 and others it is 15. I don’t sweat it or put any pressure. That’s partly why it has worked well.
(2) After following this routine every day of the week, I had to bring it down to 5 days a week because I was losing weight I didn’t want to lose. It can be an effective weight loss strategy if you’re so inclined.
(3) When I started the practice in January last year, I was drawn to the potential health benefits. I went to the hospital for my annual round of blood tests recently and was amazed. Those numbers have never looked better. However, I can’t attribute it entirely to intermittent fasting because of the work-from-home routine. We’ll get a better sense in a year. That said, I suspect it had a significant role to play.
(4) I’ve experimented with 2 variants in the past 18 months – the skip-breakfast variant (eat between 12-8pm or 1-9pm) and the skip-dinner variant (eat between 9-5pm). I’m partial to the skip dinner variant as things stand.
(5) I appreciate not having to think about the extra meal. I love food and like the simplicity of planning for 2 meals vs. 3.
(6) I think the biggest reason I love intermittent fasting is that I am hungry when I break my fast. I don’t just eat because it is time for breakfast. Thanks to the ~16 hour wait, I’m looking forward to that meal.
I’m conscious of the fact that I’ve accumulated a lot of privilege over the years. That privilege brings a certain daily comfort that is all too easy to get used to. Feeling hungry before eating that meal every weekday is a daily reminder of the importance of hunger – in our diet and in life.