So I’ve talked about changing my lifestyle before in order to spend less and save more money, which includes adopting intermittent fasting into my everyday lifestyle.
If you haven’t read my article on that topic, and also to learn the other changes I’ve done, you can read it here.
In that article, I’ve mentioned that I actually tried intermittent fasting cause I’ve been gaining weight ever since I started my corporate job, being very close to a 24/7 cafeteria.
And to be honest, when I first started intermittent fasting, I didn’t do enough research to justify why it’s beneficial to adopt in my everyday lifestyle.
I guess I was desperate to lose that muffin top. (I will explain more on it here, for all you beginners out there)
Another crucial point to bring up here is that I have scoliosis. 40-degree curve scoliosis to be exact in an S shape – so it’s not exactly the most obvious thing when you see me, but yes I do have it.
Here’s the proof ?
Why this is an important thing to note on a post where I talk about losing weight you say?
Well, because of my curved spine, I’ve always had a problem with a bloated tummy. And sadly, I’ve never found a way not to unbutton my jeans after a meal..
And intermittent fasting was the perfect cure for this (I wish I’d found intermittent fasting a lot sooner..).
So yes, this post is all about adopting intermittent fasting and how I managed to lose my cute muffin top without stopping to eat food I love!
AND a bonus point, being able to save money at the same time!
Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work
What’s Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is basically having a schedule on when to start and stop eating within a day or a week.
When I told this to my friends (who are not a fan of intermittent fasting) a lot of them had the impression of people being really sick and weak when they don’t eat.
On the contrary, you can feel a lot more focused when you don’t eat as much.
Humans can actually go on for days without food. So it’s no harm for us to do intermittent fasting on a daily and weekly basis.
It takes some time to actually get used to fasting, but after a while (usually, it takes around a week to get used to) it seems pretty natural. Your body will start adjusting and soon, you’re no longer sure why you had to eat 3 times a day before.
Also, have you ever realized that you tend to get sleepy after lunch/meal?
Apparently, due to our tend-to-be heavy sugary meals, our body will secrete insulin that can make us feel sleepy or tired after our meals (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or anyone who’s had a thorough education on this, so this comes from my own internet research).
Therefore, I find that I get to focus a lot better and feel a lot less tired when I do intermittent fasting as I really track on when and what I eat.
I totally skip breakfast – I’m not a believer in breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this just gave me a whole lot of energy for at least the first half of the day!
Now, I’m not gonna explain much about the benefits of intermittent fasting because one, I’m not a medical professional who’s eligible to give you advice on this. And two, there are a whole lot of articles on the internet to tell you the benefits.
For this post, I’ll share how I did it and how you can easily do it too.
Will You Binge Eat When Breaking Fast?
No. Not in my experience, at least.
I tend to drink a lot more when I do intermittent fasting – which can’t do me any harm, my skin looks amazing when I adopted this by the way!
So even when I don’t eat, I don’t necessarily feel like as hungry as I wanna-eat-everything-by-12pm. I do feel like wanting to eat something but not a big meal. I can just go with a sandwich or a wrap as lunch.
And due to this, it actually helps me lose weight, as I take in fewer calories and sugar every day.
Just because it’s time to eat, doesn’t mean that you HAVE to eat. If you’re a beginner at this, it can be hard to adjust. But as you go on with your journey, you’ll find that snacking isn’t really necessary, especially when you’re focused on your work.
I’m personally not a fan of snacking, so this wasn’t really a hard decision on my end.
The Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
There are a lot of ways of doing intermittent fasting. It really depends on you on which one you wanna try according to your lifestyle.
But the 4 famous ones are:
- 16/8 method – 16 hours of fasting & 8 hours of eating window per day
- 5/2 method – normal eating for 5 days, 2 days of fasting every week
- Alternate day fasting
- 20/4 method – 20 hours of fasting & 4 hours of eating window per day
Feel free to research more methods of doing intermittent fasting! I know there are a lot out there, but I just want to give you guys an idea of the whole intermittent fasting schedule thing.
I personally do the 16/8 method – I think that it’s easier to achieve and get done when you’re just starting out.
I have a friend who does 20/4 which is a bit on the extreme side but he wanted to lose weight and build muscle and he did it in a very short period of time. His result was amazing. Also important to point out that he coupled intermittent fasting with Keto diet & hit the gym pretty regularly to lift weight.
In a nutshell, there’s no way right or wrong on which method you want to do.
I went for the 16/8 method first just because it’s the easiest, BUT I’ve also met with people who are doing the alternate-day fasting and they swear by their method. So there’s really not one method that’s the best for everyone.
I guess it’s really a test and learn for each one of us.
My First Impression
So let’s get back to how I first started considering intermittent fasting.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve gained a few kilos and I wanted to find something that’s easier to get done without hitting the gym every week. I’m not a newbie to the gym per se, but I’ve always struggled with going there on a consistent basis.
I always try to find a reason not to go and end up failing my lose weight plan miserably – I hope I’m not the only one feeling this way.
But anyway, I’ve started going to the internet and I just wanted to give intermittent fasting a go. I didn’t really know much about all of the other methods but I thought the 16:8 method was pretty easy to achieve considering that I usually fast 13 hours a day.
Not true at all (at least for the first couple of weeks).
I still struggle to get used to the routine. My routine has always been going down to the cafeteria in the morning before starting my work, have breakfast (no matter how light or heavy they are) with my colleagues, have my coffee at my desk and then work.
Now, when I started IF, I couldn’t join my friends for breakfast anymore. And I had to control myself not to eat even when I could smell the delicious pancakes being made in the cafeteria (we have an open office and the cafeteria is literally a floor down).
I had a lotttt of cups of coffee the first couple of weeks just because I wanted to “snack” or something in my mouth.
Another struggle was lunch.
See, a lot of people use the 16:8 method by start eating at 12 pm and end their schedule by 8 pm. I couldn’t do that because my family eats dinner late. We usually have dinner by 8.30 pm or 9 pm.
So with that, I also have to start eating lunch late. And I had to miss going to lunch with my colleagues, again. After a while, they kinda get my routine and try to accommodate my lunchtime which is usually from 1 pm to 1.30 pm. If I feel bad that they had to wait, I’ll let them know to go on without me.
It’s not just the hungry struggle, but also struggle to have a life with your friends and still keeping to your eating schedule.
Dinner was easy but not when you have dinner appointments with friends. ?
Sometimes dinner runs late or they want to snack close to midnight. And you have to gather every ounce of energy left within you to courteously say no to your friends.
My first take on intermittent fasting wasn’t all good and rainbows. Other than feeling hungry and getting used to the schedule for the first couple of weeks, I had to also adjust my social lifestyle to fit in with my new healthy-yet-questionable intermittent fasting lifestyle.
P/s: Prepare yourself mentally for the holiday season – where you have to control yourself to stick to the schedule ?
Tracking Fasting Hours
When I first started, I just tracked my eating schedule by looking at my watch.
I knew on my schedule when I had to leave for lunch and when I have to get dinner. Once I can see my colleagues are leaving for lunch, I just knew my lunchtime is coming soon.
And once I’m done with work and going back home, I also know how much time I have left to get home and have dinner with family.
But, it wasn’t perfect. It worked, but sometimes you tend to forget (not that it was such a big gap).
It’s okay not to be perfect by the way.
After a while, my friend introduced me to an app called Zero that can help you track your intermittent fasting schedule.
If you’re someone who’s a freak at tracking everything, this could be your savior. (P/s: if you’re interested, I also write on how to track your expenses. Read here if you wanna learn more!)
This app helps me to really track to the T on how well I’ve been fasting. And to be honest, it’s kinda satisfying to see your weekly performance on the app.
If you’re interested, do check out the Zero app.
I’d Lost 5 KGs!
So after 6 months, I weighed myself again in my office gym because it was convenient and accurate, also because my ex-employer loved to pamper us by buying this top-notch extravagant weighing scale. ?♀️ (Did I mention we had a physio lab for FREE where I often frequent for a massage? Yup)
Anyway, my usual weight when I was in college is about 47kgs (I’m 155cm or 5 feet tall).
Before I did intermittent fasting, my weight was 53kgs – which made me feel a lil insecure cause I’ve never been heavy my whole life. It got me good when I could no longer fit properly to a lot of my pants. I just knew that it’s time for me to take this matter seriously.
Ps – this is just me, and my own feelings plus opinions towards myself and body. There’s no right or wrong on how you wanna treat your body. You do you boo.
After 6 months (from March 2018 to September 2018) of doing intermittent fasting religiously, I’ve lost 5kgs and back to my normal weight at 48kgs.
I was ecstatic!
I didn’t do a makeover on what I eat – I’m Asian and I love my food. I could never depart from my food so I know that another diet that got me to stop eating what I usually eat is not gonna work for me.
If you’re someone like me, this could be a lifestyle change that could work for you too.
But, what I realized is that even though I didn’t change my taste in food, I don’t crave food as much. I do still love chocolates and that sugary stuff but the cravings are not as often. I’m not sure whether this has something to do with intermittent fasting, but I defo could feel the changes in my body.
Due to the fact that I didn’t really change my type of food intake, it could be the reason why I didn’t lose weight faster.
I do believe if you control your food and you do intermittent religiously, you could be losing a lot more.
But this is just my story.
I wish I could show you proper photos of before and after (Sorry I didn’t know I’d be writing a blog on this sometime in my life!). But here’s me trying to show you the difference ?
It’s not much, but you could see that I have more “meat” on my thighs in the picture on the left. The picture on the right is how I’ve always been since young. So once I lost those weight, I realized that my thighs got smaller, no more muffin tops and my jaws are back popping!
Will You Give It A Go?
So, there you go! That’s my take on intermittent fasting.
It’s not as hard and I definitely don’t think it takes a lot of hard work to make it work. You just need to be disciplined and stick to the schedule. But it’s definitely NOT the bigger type of discipline like going to the gym!
If you’ve been trying to find ways on how to lose the extra muffin tops, do try to give intermittent fasting a go 🙂
Also, because I only have 2 meals in a day, I save so much money just getting rid of the extra meal in my day.
Right, I think that’s it from me on this post. Have you considered intermittent fasting before? If yes, what’s stopping you from giving it a go now?