Intermittent fasting has been all over the internet these past few months. Mainly the headline is “how to lose weight fast!”. But I have been doing intermittent fasting for six months now to help alleviate my IBS symptoms. Since finding out about my IBS eight months ago, I’ve been trying to change my lifestyle to remove the daily symptoms I experience. Such as not eating dairy or gluten because it causes inflammation in my digestive system. So I use intermittent fast (IF) to help give my digestive system a break during the day and a chance to heal.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is no joke. I thought for a couple of years it was nothing, till my symptoms started to get worse with a variety of different foods. Finally I took the steps to figure out what was wrong. Since my diagnosis I have been doing what I can to improve my quality of life.
IF is a method of not eating for a period of time during the day. There are different fasting schedules, but I mainly do the 16:8 method. In a twenty-four hour period you fast for sixteen hours, and eat during the eight hour period.
This is my schedule:
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Then I fast till 9:30am the next day. That’s my sixteen hour time frame. Now, if you were to google you would see a different schedule. I’ve seen many different fasting periods that have you eating at 8pm at night. Personally I find I can’t eat that late or I’m up later in the evening. On average, I’m in bed by 9pm. So I make a goal of not eating after dinner which is pretty easy for me. And then I get to eat earlier in the day than the traditional intermittent fasting schedule, which is also another bonus because of my busy life. Going too late in the morning before I eat leaves me feeling insatiable, then I end up over indulging when it is time for me to eat.
To help me feel full for longer, I focus my diet around eating a good amount of protein, healthy fats, whole grains and fewer sugars. These foods take longer to digest, and provide longer lasting energy compared to sugar, refined foods and high carbohydrate meals; which give you short periods of energy.
The goal is to have a sixteen hour period of fasting, but don’t feel like you have to go the whole period without eating. Some days I need to eat earlier depending on my activity that morning or the day before. I find if I push myself when I am hungry, I end up eating more than I should and my IBS symptoms flare up. And be cautious with IF because some studies show that it can make your symptoms worse. So when you start maybe speak to a dietician about IF. Or start slow, and take your time.
Now I fast everyday, it’s become my natural routine. I love having the time period of no digestion to help my guts heal. Which has resulted in decreased bloating and has given me more energy everyday. Some tips are to eat healthy when you IF. Eat foods that don’t cause inflammation. And reduce your activity level when you IF if you chose to eat fewer calories. I eat my daily recommended amount because I need the energy. And I fast not for weight loss but for my health. But I highly recommend you speak to a professional if you chose to fast.
For me it has changed my life and my IBS symptoms. Not using medications and slowly using my diet and fasting as a symptom healer.
Thanks for reading,