This week, I’ve been thinking about the benefits of intermittent fasting. It’s not for everybody–like those with hypoglycemia or diabetes. But it’s been one of the most effective ways for me to keep cravings in check, and prevent myself from overeating on the regular. That means that it’s healthy for me. I still consume the right number of calories per day, but I do so in a limited window of time. If you don’t know what intermittent fasting is, that’s kind of the gist: you only eat during certain hours of the day. For me, that’s 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 or 7 p.m. (depending on the day). I do this most days of the week, though sometimes have to alter the window or pass on it for the day because of weird work schedules.
Part of why this works for me is because I am competitive. Primarily with myself. If I have a goal, especially something super achievable like not eating after 7 p.m., I’m pretty good at beating it. I might be craving junk food, or even just some extra peanut butter and jelly banana chip dip, but if my cut off was 7 p.m. and it’s now 8 p.m., well, I have to say “No.” Mainly because I want to beat my goals.
The one draw back is that occasionally I forget to eat until 8 or 9 at night (I work from home and get caught up in it), and so I either have to chuck in way below the minimal healthy calories for the day, or I have to break the window and eat too late at night for my body to properly digest and work through the food I eat.
I’ve tried setting alarms in the past, to remind me to eat. In fact, I have alarms currently set to remind me to feed the cat on a specific schedule. She’s Pavlov’s kitten, too. Anytime she hears that Beatles’ song, she goes to the kitchen and waits for the bag. I guess being Pavlov’s writer wouldn’t be too bad. Maybe that would help train me to be hungry at reasonable times again?
If you’re considering intermittent fasting, be sure to consult your doctor first. If you have any health issues, the doctor should hopefully know if intermittent fasting would be a healthy option or not.