The number one thing that I love the most about a Paleo lifestyle is that it is about finding what works for you as it is a way of life, not just a diet. This allows you to have the freedom to experiment with your eating and living habits without being controlled by a strict diet whilst also having some basic principles to guide you along the way. As I started my primal journey I delved deep into research and information about being Paleo, during which I stumbled across the idea of Intermittent Fasting (IF). At first I recoiled at the idea as I believed that skipping meals was detrimental to my health and there would be numerous negative effects but the more I learned about IF the more it made sense to me. So I decided to skip breakfast and morning tea for a week and see what happened.
Now hold up, don’t freak the eff out on me.
I know all of those studies allegedly prove that people who skip breakfast will be stupider and fatter and more likely to binge and have a higher rate of heart attacks and you need breakfast to kickstart your metabolism and blah blah blah blah. Trust me, I’ve heard it all and it all gets reiterated to me whenever I tell someone that I don’t eat breakfast. All of these ideas and preconceptions that we have are fed to us through mainstream media and conventional nutrition which have created a fear around the thought of skipping breakfast. But those studies alleging to prove of all this stuff didn’t involve me so I did my own study and analyzed my own results, which I was unexpectedly surprised about.
When I started experimenting with IF it was definitely a struggle for the first few days. The thought of food was constant, the belly rumbles were persistent and I felt really tired and irritable. Then I started to notice that these feelings were disappearing and my hunger was definitely subsiding, by the end of experiment I was getting to 3.00pm before feeling the need to eat. This feeling of not needing to eat every couple of hours was something I hadn’t experienced before, I felt in control of food rather than it controlling me and I liked it. I was expecting to not be able to cope, to be a walking zombie and to start piling on the kilos due to not kickstarting my metabolism and epic amounts of bingeing but the results couldn’t have been more different. By the end of my week long experiment I was bouncing off the walls with energy in the mornings, I felt light, clear headed and was able to better concentrate. I would see my colleagues hit that mid morning wall and reach for a snack, which is what I also did previously but no longer needed to. On top of this I also lost an extra couple of kilos without changing anything else in my routine.
So based on my personal experiment results I decided to continue with IF and am still doing it. Some days are harder than others, especially if I am really tired so I will grab a THR1VE Mountain Coffee to get me through to lunchtime though generally I don’t need it. I ensure that I drink lots of water and herbal tea to stay hydrated but other than that I don’t consume anything until I actually feel hungry.
I’m not saying that Intermittent Fasting is for everyone but for me it works and it has proven to me that sometimes we need to figure out what works best for us as individuals and not automatically accept what other people think is best for us.