A couple of months ago I decided to give intermittent fasting a go.
The decision was largely fuelled by ongoing injuries, health issues and finally a broken road bike that put a pause on my triathlon training.
Going from 25 hours of endurance training to only 5 hours a week the 5000+ calories I was consuming a day quickly became my body's haven for fat storage.
I’ve always been intrigued by fasting after witnessing friends go through a time-restricted diet. Either for religious reasons or because they jumped on the trending diet several weeks out from a holiday.
My experience was 50/50. It didn’t change my life, nor did I lose an enormous amount of weight. However, I did notice some benefits physically and mentally.
Pros — Weight loss, appreciation of food, and a better understanding of my caloric intake.
Cons — Constipation, mentally tired, and a drop in training performance.
Quick side note — I’m not a nutritionist, nor did I consult my Doctor before starting this diet. However, I have been in the health and fitness game for a while, with the past 5 years spent training for Ironman triathlons and marathons.
I understand my body enough to know when I need to eat for performance gains, and when to cut down on certain foods if I’m putting on weight. Depending on my goals I can safely go from a 90kg muscular guy who lifts weights to a 75kg endurance athlete within a few months.
Therefore, with any advice you read about online, do your research and consult health professionals before making any drastic changes.
I followed the 16:8 diet which consists of fasting i.e., not eating* for 16 hours followed by a period of 8 hours on when you do eat.
*This also includes not drinking products that contain calories such as juice, milk, etc. Anything that contains sugar which is surprisingly a large range of items. What you can drink however is black coffee, black/herbal tea or just water.
For example, if I ate and finished my evening dinner, which would be my last meal of the day at 6 pm that meant I would fast until 10 am the next…