Intermittent fasting fascinates me. A break for your digestion. Re-training your appetites. Realizing your self-control. Choosing when and how you eat. Breaking free from schedules. Enhancing your immune system. Reducing cancer risk. Really, what’s not to love?
Truly, I hold intermittent fasting in high regard (see more here). I believe in its health benefits. All those things above? I.F.ing did that for me. It was wonderful. For six months I tried I.F. in various forms. Two 24 hr. fasts a week. 16 hours fasting/8 hours eating. 20 hours fasting/4 hours eating. It all worked like a charm.
Except for one little thing. I didn’t lose a pound. Not one! In fact, over the period of those six months I slowly put on five pounds. Is intermittent fasting all about weight loss? NO. But, that was my goal. And, my new motto is, “If it doesn’t work, why are you still doing it?!” So, I’ve stopped.
It’s been two months. Even though I now eat three times a day on most days, instead of just once like before, I haven’t gained any weight. The caloric differences between those styles of eating should have made me gain lots of weight. (It proves to me that weight-loss isn’t simply calories-in; calories-out. But, that’s another topic for another day!) Before I started intermittent fasting, I had read that it didn’t always work well for women. No one seemed to really know why, but the same did hold true for me unfortunately.
I certainly don’t have all the answers but I will leave you with this: If you feel like food is controlling you, and you want to choose when to eat, try I.F. If you are concerned about the general wear and tear your body has seen over the years, try I.F. If you are a man, God bless you, try I.F. – It always seems to work for men!
But, if you are a woman and feel like you are a bit trapped by those last 5, 10 or 50 pounds, check out this podcast by Chris Kresser on body fat set-points (it includes a transcript for those of you who hate listening to podcasts). Hopefully you will be a bit more compassionate with yourself. Weight loss is a crazy and complex thing. Your answer is out there. You just might not have found it yet. 🙂
PS – For those of you ready to take the I.F. plunge, I have an excellent guide to internet resources for intermittent fasting here.
To Your Health ~ Crunchy