My relationship with food growing up has never been significant in anyway. I liked eating it, sure, but I never had that much impetus to labour over what I ate or when for that matter. While I would happily go eat out on whim nowadays, a ‘foodie’ is the last label I would put forward for myself. Put it this way, if a hot new eatery with a great ambience had food the quality of a school cafeteria, I would still probably enjoy it.
The practice of intermittent fasting has knocked down and transformed my perception of food completely. I started with the 16:8 protocol for a couple of months, then transitioned into 18:6 for another month, and now I am settled with 20:4. When I started, I did not intend on transitioning into the stricter protocols, but as my body became more comfortable with eating in only a limited period of the day, I thought why not. The value of convenience and the overwhelming evidence for intermittent fasting as a lifestyle choice pushed me over the edge.
The first, and perhaps more obvious effect, is that I am more conscious of what I am eating everyday. One reason is because I am eating few times a day, but also, because when I ate poorly i.e. a less balanced meal, I would feel so poor afterwards. Before, I would generally eat a little, but a lot during the day. My meal portions would not be big enough to make my body react poorly should the individual meals be less balanced. Now eating two meals a day, my portions are a lot bigger, and often during the second meal, I find myself forcing myself to eat. It is a lot harder to get down simply because I don’t feel hungry, but I know that I need to get the calories down. What helps to do so is making sure there is plenty of veg and fruits. This is probably nothing new for 99% of people, but for me, it has changed the game. I now optimise my eating choices for how it makes me feel afterwards. For example, does it energise me and make me want to go for a run for example?