Intermittent fasting got me in my best shape

Intermittent fasting benefits for body shape and fat loss

You will have heard of intermittent fasting through your friends or on social media. If not, I suspect you’ve been hiding under a rock! Fasting is hot topic at the moment, especially in Malaysia where I am, due to the holy month of Ramadan. I wanted to join in the celebrations: suhoor, fasting and itfar and then of course Eid, or Hari Raya as it’s called here, which might still be possible if the movement control order is lifted in Malaysia, but as we’re in lockdown, I’m going to do my own fasting, for health reasons.

I am not talking about religious fasting. I did do the first three days of Ramadan to see if I could, but as I am recovering from injury and want to use the rest of lockdown to get back in shape, I decided against not taking in water and will be doing intermittent fasting instead.

I did it while I lived in Malta for the most part and actually had my best results (above) along with a regular gym programme. Incidentally, starting running, I feel that I lost some of my shape. That’s where I’m at now – a year of running/cardio over gym and on the back of an injury/covid-19 hampered running programme.

Before doing intermittent fasting, or changing a diet I do a lot of reading, watching videos and I just wanted to share those resources in one place and give a bit of my experience, just like when I wrote about my vegan experience. I have returned to mostly plant-based now, this time with the knowledge of the effect of B12!

First of all, a really good starting point is Thomas DeLaure on YouTube. This video gives a very good understanding of the hows and whys of fasting and I’d recommend watching it before you think about starting!

The following video by Med School Insiders is also great and gives a bit more science.

As for how long you should fast for, I use the app “Zero Calories” to do the timing and recording. It’s really good as you can measure your body too and it charts the progress of fasting versus body shape/size. In this app I read about autophagy and ketosis, only having heard of them briefly before. So I looked into those and a longer fast once in a while of 24+ hours is beneficial, say 3 per month for example.

Autophagy is the natural process by which cells disassemble and clean out or recycle unnecessary or dysfunctional components so you can create new healthy cells. Autophagy reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, and taking steps to enhance autophagy may help reduce the risk of getting a number of chronic illnesses. 

Stephanie Eckelkamp

The above is from the article on mindbodygreen called What Are The Minimum Number Of Hours You Can Intermittent Fast & Still Get Benefits? that I recommend looking at when deciding on the length of your fasting.

EDIT (20/05/20)

I came across this article today by James Clear and it’s another good read for those beginning, answering a lot of FAQs and linking to some scientific studies.

If you have any more links or resources, and there will be hundreds, if not thousands, then do send them my way.

I’m going to do a 16:8 fast as a regular thing with the odd 24 hour plus fast (as I’m writing this I have reached 24 hours and 30 minutes, which I hadn’t planned) and my aim is to get in shape, lose fat, but ultimately, live as long and healthily as possible.

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