This week marks the second week that I have been practicing intermittent fasting. While others usually do intermittent fasting by eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours, I took the most uncomplicated approach by doing alternate-day fasting, which is fasting one day and not fasting the next, also known as the (prophet) David fast.
My reasons for fasting are simple. First, because my weight sometimes ranges in the 80s kg. This is already over the limit, as I usually weigh in the 75s kg. Even 75s kg is already plump, as it should ideally be in the 70s kg as my height is only 167 cm.
Second, for health reasons: Lack of exercise, a fat belly, easily tired, and sometimes struggle with the illness. I also intend to reduce the consumption of unrecommended food such as sweet, salty, fried, ice, etc.
The third consideration is that I don’t want to become a food addict. I want to become someone who can control their desires, sleep, eat, and talk. I didn’t eat enough when I was a child due to our poor condition, so my subconscious sometimes pushed me to eat as much as I wanted, especially if I met a food I liked.
Before trying alternate-day fasting, I used to think, wow, it’s cumbersome to fast one day and not the next. It turns out just normal.
I started alternate-day fasting on Monday last week. I woke up around 3 o’clock, then had “sahur” (pre-dawn meal), prayed, and did my usual activities.
At first, I had a normal sahur with rice and side dishes. Later, I didn’t eat rice and had sahur with boiled sweet potatoes or bananas. Sometimes I also added boiled eggs, corn or fish, or chicken.
I also broke my fast like that. I didn’t eat rice and rather ate bananas and sweet potatoes as substitutes. I like both of them, so there is no difference for me. I often eat boiled bananas with fish or fried chicken.
I eat rice twice daily in smaller portions on a regular day (when I am not fasting). I also try not to avoid ice, fast food, noodles, sweet drinks, etc.
What are the results? Am I hungry and thirsty? So far, I haven’t felt too hungry or thirsty. It may also be because I am still busy taking my daughter Vivian to school, working at Excellent, and doing my college assignments.
In the beginning, for almost two weeks, the main thing I felt was exhaustion because my sugar intake decreased dramatically. I used to drink sweet tea for breakfast before doing alternate-day fasting. I may also be drowsy because I wake up earlier. Shubuh is currently around 4 a.m., so sahur must be at 3 o’clock or, at the latest, at 3.45.
What about weight? I check, and it’s still up and down. But the range is a trend of decreasing. At the beginning of the fast, I was in the 79s. This week it ranges from 76 to 78. It’s okay for me as it is gradually decreasing. In Atomic habits book by James Clear, one of the tips for success is not to make this a goal but instead to make it a lifestyle. As a way of life and habit.
I once talked to one of the IT staff at a client company in the EJIP (East Jakarta Industrial Park) area, Bekasi, Indonesia. He has been practicing alternate-day fasting for a long time. When I asked him why he fasted, he said he had an almost fatal illness, which drove him to do the alternate-day fasting.
Even though I am fasting, I still balance it with exercise. At least in the form of a treadmill. I do the treadmill while watching documentaries on Curiosity Stream, NatGeo, or Netflix. On fasting days, I do the treadmill in the afternoon around 5 p.m.
I also bought a sit-up bench device to push abdominal muscle training to be stronger and not easily sag, hehe…
Want to try alternate/intermittent fasting too?