Most diets involve two challenges: limiting your calorie intake or restricting yourself from eating certain foods. But the truth is whether you cut out bread or eat a fraction of your regular meals, the results may not be sustainable once the diet ends.

That’s why intermittent fasting appeals to so many people. It doesn’t involve any strict guidelines on what or how much you eat, but rather, when you eat it. Essentially, you can eat anything you want. The catch? You have to go through a fasting period to “earn” it!

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting, commonly abbreviated as IF, involves not eating for a specific time period. For this experiment I decided to try the easiest and most popular option: the 16:8 method. This fasting method allows you to eat during an 8-hour window after a 16-hour fast.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING?

Intermittent fasting advocates will tell you that they experienced quick weight loss, developed lean muscle, and noticed an improvement in their energy levels. Aside from that, IF also lowers the risk of diabetes, fights inflammation, and can help with your joints.

Truth be told, I initially didn’t think I was the right person to do it. I’m the type of person who loves to start the day with a hearty breakfast. But my snacking was seriously getting out of hand, so I needed to remedy it, stat.

Because of that, I decided to try intermittent fasting for a week, just to see if it would curb my cravings. Here are 7 things that happened when I did IF!

1. I LOST A COUPLE OF POUNDS.

The numbers on the scale don’t lie. I went down from 138 to 136 lbs in one week! I guess skipping breakfast does have its benefits (although I really, really missed it).

2. I EXPERIENCED LESS BLOATING.

I get bloated very easily, but when I did IF, my stomach didn’t feel like it expanded every time I ate.

This was because I was giving my digestive system a break. As a result, it regulated my metabolism to burn calories more efficiently.

3. I COULD SEPARATE EMOTIONAL HUNGER FROM PHYSICAL HUNGER.

Fasting for 16 hours is not an easy thing to do. I thought I was going to be “hangry” all the time—and in the beginning, I was!

Fasting made me realize that my personal experience with hunger was more of an emotional thing rather than a physical one. My snacking habit was rooted in my need for “mental stimulation” (i.e. if I had writer’s block, I’d have a snack while having a think). But during my fast, I couldn’t eat whenever I pleased. So it became a conscious effort to constantly divert my attention to other things (A.K.A. powering through mental blocks and getting more things done!).

4. I DEVELOPED A NEWFOUND APPRECIATION FOR WATER.

Water became my go-to during my fast. It was my source of comfort when the hunger pangs started kicking in. And because I was chugging more agua, I felt lighter and more energized throughout the day.

During my 8-hour eating window, I would switch to low-calorie drinks such as lemongrass tea and lemon water as a mini reward for myself. Then once the window closed, it was back to H2O.

TRY: Lemongrass Tea (30 Teabags) P165, True Lemon (12 packets), P150.

5. MY MORNINGS BECAME MORE PRODUCTIVE.

I didn’t have to worry about preparing breakfast first thing in the morning, which gave me a head-start on my to-do list. By the time my body adjusted to not eating breakfast on the third day, I noticed a boost in my energy levels. This is because the body starts to use body fat as a source of fuel. In other words, the stored fat is burned for energy!

6. I ATE HEALTHIER.

While breaking a 16-hour fast with a cheeseburger or a whole chocolate bar would have been instantly gratifying, I wanted to reward my body with nutritious foods instead. Why waste all that effort, right? The thought of consuming so many unhealthy calories in one go after hours of fasting just didn’t feel right.

I still snacked occasionally but on guilt-free, healthier alternatives that would keep me full for longer periods of time. My favorites included almond trail mix, healthy fruit crisps, and Greek yogurt sprinkled with flaxseeds and chia seeds. Please try! I swear you’ll like them, too.

TRY: Lifestyle Gourmet Almond Trail Mix (42.5g) P50, Mango Sweet Potato Banana Fruit Crisps P95, Manila Superfoods Flaxseeds (100g) P130, Manila Superfoods Raw Cacao Nibs coated in Coconut Sugar (70g) P115, The Green Tummy Chia Seeds (500g) P450.

7. I DEVELOPED A STRONGER SENSE FOR MINDFUL EATING.

Every time I broke my fast, I noticed that food tasted so much better. Eating became a reward-ritual: it gave me a break from work and let me savor my food with gusto. By being more mindful of what I ate, I was also able to stop eating as soon as I was full.

While doing IF for a week might be too short a period for muscle definition and dramatic weight loss, I definitely noticed positive changes that would eventually lead to that. And that’s why I’m going to keep doing it to see what happens next!

Have you tried intermittent fasting? Did you experience anything else besides the seven things I listed? Share with us in the comments section below!

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