When I first heard of Intermittent Fasting (IF) after I gave birth, the two words were intimidating enough – hence it took me a while to get around it. My first IF journey began in 2017, only because I needed to feel comfortable in my skin again. Different dietary restrictions work for different people – there is no real right or wrong. Intermittent fasting is alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Many studies show that this is very effective for weight loss, improves metabolism and many other health benefits.
The best part is – it does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.
5 types of Intermittent Fasting methods
- 16: 8 – An 8-hour window to eat and the rest of the day is fasting
- 5:2 – Eat only 500 calories for 2 days and the rest of the days you can eat as you like (preferably healthy).
- Eat Stop Eat – This restricts you to fast for 2 days a week and the rest of the days you can eat as you like.
- 20:4 – This diet restricts you from eating all day and you’re allowed to eat one large meal at night. The restriction guidelines of what to eat at night can be hard to follow.
- Alternate Fasting allows you to eat every alternate day.
When I read this, I told myself, “I’m not going to do this to myself.” The fasting window will only make you think of food – not because you’re hungry, but because that’s how our minds are trained. We always want what we can’t have. Believe me, once I put my mind to it, it was a breeze through. First, I started with the 12-hour fasting and then I moved on to the 16-hour fasting. The 16-hour fasting is the most effective, but I recommend to always start slow and not to shock your body all at once. But the real key is always prep your meal way ahead of time before you get into a food panic mode. Meal prep is like me-time for me and I make sure I include a lot of greens, cheese, nuts, curd and healthy carbs like barley, oats, jowar, brown rice into my diet. IF is more effective when you restrict yourself to eating carbs only once a day and maintain a healthy lifestyle. After birth, I was struggling with my weight and I tried multiple diets. With intermittent fasting, I lost 10 kilos in 12 months (of course, I had my cheat days and holidays). You just need to regimented. Your day should look like: 8-hour eating window, eat light and exercise away!
If you’re wondering how to start this? There is no real answer to that. I would just take the plunge and start slow by attempting the 12 hour fasting period first. These healthy recipes and quick results will motivate you through the day.
My 8-hour eating window is from 1 PM – 9:00 PM and my food looks like:
Vegetable Pancakes is for lunch because it’s packed with vegetables- making it a filling lunch and this will get you through until snack time.
Barley Salad is also a lunch option because it has good carbohydrates and filled with greens.
Chaas is usually my 4 PM meal and the curd cools my body down on a hot day and fills my stomach enough until dinner.
Spinach smoothie is my evening drink and the good nutrients just refresh my day.
Pumpkin Soup is usually my dinner plan and I start with the soup so I fill my stomach with good vegetables and there very little room left for a big meal.
Hummus – my dinner is also packed with vegetables that are high in calories like avocado and the hummus keeps me full until the next day.