Why I Stopped Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting. It’s certainly getting a lot of air time and is currently one of the most popular health and fitness trends.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a style of eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. Rather than focusing on what you eat, intermittent fasting focuses on when you should eat. There are many ways in which you can do it, the two most common ones are:

  • 16/8 method: Where you have an 8-hour eating window.
  • 5:2 diet: When you consume 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week but eat normally for the remaining five days.

Intermittent fasting is said to have many health benefits including (but not limited to):

  • Aiding weight-loss
  • Improving gut health
  • Clearer focus
  • Regulate blood sugar level

By writing this blog I’m not denying that there are benefits to intermittent fasting, in fact there are some great studies out there that show the positive health effects of intermittent fasting. What I’m sharing is my experience with intermittent fasting, and why I decided to stop it.

My Experience with Intermittent Fasting

I can tell you the reason I started intermitted fasting was to improve my gut health, or to regulate my blood sugar, but that would be lying. If I’m being completely honest, the main reason I started intermittent fasting was to loose weight or fat / tone up. And there is where the issue lies.

I have a history of disordered eating. This means I am susceptible to a number of things, which includes sensitivity towards body image and implementing rules around food. At the time I was telling myself I was doing it for health reasons, but really deep down I knew it was to try and loose some weight / tone up. Which when I look back now, is completely ridiculous. Without wanting to sound like a complete d*ick I didn’t need to loose weight or tone up, I was perfectly healthy as I was.

So I started intermittent fasting (the 16/8 pattern). Truth be told, I found it hard. I love breakfast, it’s my favourite meal of the day and I am one of those people who can wake up and eat. I actually had to train myself to reach 16 hours. And what’s worse, I started to drink a lot of coffee to suppress my appetite (note: if you do this, it is NOT healthy).

After a while I noticed I started to get feelings of guilt when I didn’t fast and became rigid around when I ate. I got stressed if I ate late, or if there was a reason I couldn’t eat at a certain time the next day. It started to impact my daily routine and general well-being. I found it harder to socialise because of this eating style. It felt like another form of disordered eating.

As you can probably guess, I nipped it in the bud. Luckily, I was able to recognise how it started to impact my mental and physical health, however not everyone may be able to do this. Especially as we’re told by society it’s ‘healthy’. Since I’ve stopped intermittent fasting I’ve notice a change in energy levels (I crash a lot less, if at all), mood (I’m generally a nicer person to be around), and a crave waaaaay less (no late night binges here).

The Lesson

The lesson is we are all different. Just because it works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for another. All these health trends and diets, they may work for you, but they may also make you feel like sh*t. The only person who truly knows what works for you is you. You just have to be in tune and willing to listen to yourself.

If you’re finding you have rules around food, feelings of guilt associated with food, or your style of eating is impacting your well-being, please reach out for support. If you’d like you can contact me or book a consultation, it’s completely free.

Here’s to living with food freedom 🥂

Love Emma x

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