I tried intermittent fasting for 5 weeks and this is what happened

Nutrition is the most confusing thing ever when no one - even professionals - agree to say the same thing: should we eat gluten, or should not? What about dairy products? What about meat? Seems like other than vegetables nobody knows what's healthy for their body and what's bad.

While I love to test several types of food, one diet particularly caught my attention since several people have confirmed to me that it has worked miracles in their lives: intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a way of life that consists of fasting part of the day (or sometimes a full day), and eating only for a short time (between 6 and 12 hours, on average). Expert opinions are very divided on the subject. On the one hand, some nutritionists believe that you need to eat around 6 small meals a day to have a balanced diet and energy level. However, some swear by it to burn fat and educate their customers about what they put in their bodies. 

Many nutritionists offer this option to lose weight because there is a limit to the number of calories that can be ingested in such a limited window of time. So I pushed my research to fully understand the risks and avoid them during my month of testing.

According to some online surveys, you have to be careful with this diet. After trying the talked-about diet herself, she realized some big risks with adopting it, especially in the long term. 

Among other things, there is a tendency to eat too large portions (or unhealthy or processed foods) because you have been waiting to eat for too long. There is therefore also the risk of developing eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.


According to his research, fasting stimulates certain hormones circulating in our blood and in charge of influencing the feeling of satiety. So the less you eat, the less hungry you are and vice versa. You have to be careful with this since too low a calorie intake can cause the body to go into "survival mode" and possibly to draw its energy from muscle reserves.


While I have read and listened to a lot of testimonials on the subject, the preferred method for someone like me was 18-6. So it was for something that looks like this that I learned, doing a kind of 17-7 since the 18-6 was less well with my schedule and I wanted the most stable thing possible, to have a full immersion. 

My meals, therefore, stretched between noon and 7 p.m., but I tried to consume them either between 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. (or before), or 12:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to get as close as possible to the 18-6 formula that I sometimes managed to reproduce. I went there on a fast that allows black coffee and tea.

The first days

Many say the first few days are the worst (after the excitement of Day 1, say) as you get your body used to something different from the usual. For my part, the first few days were not difficult at all, whereas they rather made me realize how much I was putting in my body unnecessarily. 

Limiting my meals, I wanted to go strategically and not give empty calories to this one. I was also advised to break the fast with good fat (nuts, for example) and not carbohydrates. Starting the day with sugar will make your body want to consume more of it during the day. After I broke my fast, I tried to go with a healthy recipe.

Not being able to snack in the evening made me realize how unnecessary evening snacks are and clearly not demanded by our stomachs but rather our greed.


To my surprise, I noticed a major change from the first days. We are not talking about silhouette, but rather about my body. While I was afraid that fasting would make me crave big, the opposite happened. I eliminated the cravings for sugars and energy downs that I had in the afternoon that made me crave sugar or coffee. I craved sugar so much more that I had to freeze fruit that I was going to lose, something I never would have done before.

My first week

My first week went well and I stopped feeling bloated. While I started this diet coming back from vacation - and therefore from a week of excess food for my body - I quickly lost the 5lb that I had taken during this hard week.


Day 10 was rather difficult as I had to break my fast because of a friend's supper and a birthday that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Wanting to live intermittent fasting as a way of life and not as a strict and frustrating diet, I decided to break it, and allow myself this kind of break once in a while so as not to experience frustrations, a kind of like allowing yourself a cheat day in another diet. 

What I found difficult was the limit. I allow myself to have a drink with friends, but there is a bowl of chips on the table, do I allow myself that too? I found this debate with myself quite difficult as my whole relationship with food was called into question with every gap.


However, I still tried to compensate by eating my first meal around 1:30 pm the next day.

My one month experience  

At times, it was really difficult when I had to refuse a lot of invitations. The biggest problem with this diet I would say is nutrition management. I was so used to getting up and not eating when I wake up, that one weekend I spent 21 hours fasting without even realizing it ... I'm not sure that 'is very good for our body, so I would advise people who opt for this lifestyle to have a better structure than me.


In general, I found it difficult at times not to have lunch; I love breakfast, it's my favorite meal. On the other hand, the benefits were so numerous that it was enough for me mentally.


After 5 weeks, I saw an improvement in my energy, my figure, and my health. Despite the difficult relationship I had with food at times, I found that the benefits were more present than the inconveniences. However, I had to stop because I was going on a trip, and I realized that this way of life did not adapt well to mine in the summer. In winter, I work as a sports team coach 5 evenings a week in addition to my usual 40 hours. 

The discipline is there. My 3 months when I have fewer obligations in the summer (1 to 3 practices/week), I take the opportunity to dig, go out, do outdoor activities ... No question of going kayaking in the sun hungry!

When it comes to weight loss, which is why many try it, I would say it's true. However, I regained those few pounds when I resumed eating normally, so it is an alternative for weight loss that should be practiced over the long term. In my eyes, it is not worth it to go on such a diet for less than 3-6 months.

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