As I mentioned in a previous post, I am taking a human nutrition class this semester. This class has been great so far, even though we haven’t learned much yet. We have only covered basic information. Food groups, vitamins, nutrients, etc. are a few of the things we have learned about so far. If I learn anything particularly interesting or something that pertains to a plant based diet, I plan on posting about it so stay tuned to the blog.
Later in the year, each student will be giving an oral presentation over a certain topic. We were given a list of topics to choose from and it was first come, first serve in terms of choosing topics. As expected, my first choice was the topic “are vegetarians healthier than meat-eaters?”. Unfortunately, this topic was already taken. I did get my second topic choice however. This topic was “is intermittent-fasting a safe and healthy way to lost weight?”.
I was actually very excited to get this topic as intermittent fasting is something I have been trying on my own and doing some research about. There are all kinds of different ways to fast. Various religions have encouraged followers to fast for one reason or another for thousands of years, so fasting is nothing new.
What’s the point of intermittent fasting? I am no expert on the topic, but I have done a small amount of research up to this point. The general idea of intermittent fasting is to help promote weight loss. It is an easier way to restrict caloric intake as you only eat two meals a day. Plus, fasting helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels, while increasing human growth hormone.
You can learn a lot more about intermittent fasting from the great interview with Dr. Jason Fung, an expert on the matter.
Related: Why Start This Blog?
My Experience With Fasting
I have been trying the 16-8 fast. This is a daily fast where I eat for a 8 hour window and fast for a 16 hour window. So I typically have lunch at 12 for my first meal of the day. I may snack on some fruit or nuts after lunch throughout the day. For dinner, I typically eat at my food hall around 7 or I have a smoothie around that time. This will be my last meal of the day and I stop eating until lunch the next day. The windows of time do not have to add up exactly to 16 and 8 hours, it is just a general guideline. There are other types of fasting people do, such as a 2 day fast every week or an occasional 3 day fast every few months.
I have lost roughly 10 pounds since I started intermittent fasting. However, I started fasting around the same time I switched to a plant based diet. So it is difficult to tell if the weight loss is from fasting or my diet. Most likely, it is a little of both. The reason I like fasting is because for some odd reason when I eat breakfast I actually get more hungry throughout the day between meals. I find myself needing a snack an hour or two after breakfast. When I fast until lunch, I don’t get hungry until around lunchtime. I am not sure why this is, and everyone will have a unique experience with fasting, but it has worked for me.
The whole point of this oral presentation is for the students of the class to become highly knowledgeable on a certain nutrition topic. This is why I chose the topic of intermittent fasting. Although I know a small amount now, I am excited to do some heavy research on the topic and learn significantly more than I currently know. I will keep publishing updates throughout the semester and I am excited to provide you with more information!