Intermittent Fasting: Pros and Cons

After talking about my intermittent fasting journey and the intermittent plan, today I want to talk about the pros and cons of intermittent fasting. There are a lot of misconceptions about intermittent fasting, as there are with many diets. You hear conflicting things, and there are always “studies” people can quote to support their point. I’m no exception, I suppose. I have been doing intermittent fasting since January and love it. It’s the first plan I’ve found that I feel like I can do permanently, and make it a lifestyle. Having said that, I’ll give you what I believe to be the pros and cons of intermittent fasting.

Pros

1. Save time. With less food and meals to cook and eat, I have gained at least a half hour or more time into my day. Yes, I do have to feed my son, but now that he’s getting older he’s slowly preparing his own easy breakfasts and lunches. While Andrew is eating I use that time to read to him, clean up the kitchen or do other quick tasks.

2. Save money. Since I’m only cooking one big meal a day, I have saved about $30-$50 a week in groceries. I do keep breakfast and lunch foods handy, but not nearly as much as before.

3. Less waste. Less food means less waste from packaging, etc. That should make all the “green” people happy. 🙂

4. More energy. Since starting intermittent fasting, I’ve gained more energy than I’ve had in a long time. I’ve read that some people complain that they don’t have energy if they don’t eat, but that’s not really true. When fasting, you get your energy from your FAT, allowing you to have plenty of energy.

5. Your organs get a break. During the fasting period, you have your digestive system, pancreas and other organs a break, allowing them to work at optimal level when you do eat.

6. No food restrictions. When you follow other diets and food plans, you are often restricted in what you can eat. You have a list of foods you can and can’t eat. When a person is restricted, especially from foods they love, they often binge and over-consume.  Now, it’s true many people who follow intermittent fasting often restrict their intake of carbs or other foods, it’s their choice. In reality, you can eat anything you want within your five-hour window.

7. Less food obsession. Some food plans require you to count points or calories or want you to keep a food diary of everything you eat. I’ve been there, done that and it doesn’t work for me. I spent way too many hours stressing over what to make for each meal, how much I can have, writing it all down. With IF, I think about dinner and usually a snack and that’s it. Now, I can go most of the day without thinking about food at all. That’s liberating to me!

8. Full Feeling. With IF, when I eat, I feel like I’ve actually had some food. Sounds crazy, I know. With other plans, especially ones that require you to eat 6 small meals a day or menus where you eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal and a piece of fruit for breakfast, 5 almonds for a snack, etc., I  was eating frequently but I never felt satisfied. With Intermittent Fasting, after eating a large meal I feel satisfied and full.

Cons

I tried and tried to think of a lot of cons to balance the pros, but in all honesty, I could only think of three:

9. Get Hungry. With intermittent fasting, you aren’t eating for 19 hours. This includes sleeping time, but still, you are going for a long period of not eating. The first week I did IF I was sick so I kind of had it easy because by the time I was better, I was already getting used to the fasting schedule. But there are times I feel hungry, especially if I didn’t eat enough protein the night before. I am trying to make a point of drinking lots of water and herbal teas which helps. And truth be told, being hungry won’t kill ya. 🙂

10. Temporary weight gain. If you do IF, I recommend weighing yourself in the morning. When you eat a large meal, a person can easily gain a pound or two until the food starts to be digested. It’s a false weight gain for sure, but a weight gain nevertheless.

11. No food crutch. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know for myself, I would often eat for other reasons besides hunger. I’d eat when I was bored or stressed or happy or sad or just to do “something.” When you are fasting you aren’t eating. I have to find other ways to prevent or stave off those triggers that used to get me eating. Praying and trusting the Lord is essential (for me).

Related links

Here are some links about Intermittent Fasting you may find useful.

Running on Empty

Diabetic experiment

Pros and Cons

If you do intermittent fasting, I’d love your input. What are your pros and cons for following intermittent fasting? Next week I’ll answer an important question about intermittent fasting: “Is Intermittent Fasting healthy?”

Comments

  1. I’ll be interested in the post next week about the healthy part. I’m curious how blood sugar stays regulated; that’s something I’m hypersensitive to after being on glucophage for PCO for the non-pregnant portions of the last several years.
    Kathleen Basi…recently posted…We Are Not Rugged IndividualistsMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      A lot of the articles I’ve read bout IF talk bout insulin and blood sugar, but some of it is a little confusing to me, but I’ll talk about that next week. 🙂

  2. Camilo Salas-bowen says:

    Would eating the Eucharist, break the fast? I love your article. Keep up the good work.

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      No, at least not in my opinion. In receiving the Eucharist we are receiving the boody, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus and the blessings of receving our Lord trumps all.

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