Diets and Intermittent Fasting

Bjorn with trainer giving a thumbs up to the camera with mural in background

I am an inherently curious person. I not only want to understand things and how they work, I want to (if possibly) experience them for myself. Through the years I have tried many different things when it comes to diet. I have tried to stop using dairy, sugar and flour. I have stopped eating meat for a period of 6 months, I have been a vegetarian, I have tried the Keto diet, I have tried juicing and I could go on and on. The reason for all these experiments was to find out how different things affect my body.

In late September 2007, my children were 6 and 4 years old, and at the time I was working in the financial sector in Iceland. It was the height of the financial boom, so I was very busy taking meeting after meeting, and my drinks of choice were coffee and Pepsi. My kids had become curious about soda, and I remember them asking me if it was tasty and if they could try my Pepsi. My reply was that it was bad for their teeth. They looked at me with those probing eyes and asked back “isn’t it bad for your teeth also”? On that day I decided to stop drinking soda. I do all the grocery shopping at my house and because I never buy sugary soda or energy drinks, my children don’t drink soda or caffeinated energy drinks and hopefully never will. You should be aware that whatever you do, eat or drink your children are likely to mirror your behavior so it is up to us to set good examples.

Some of my CrossFit friends in NYC were talking about intermittent fasting in early 2019 and me being the curious type I decided to try it immediately. They were fasting as well as on a Keto diet. I had tried the keto diet, but I didn’t like it. I found it to be very meat heavy and I missed eating a lot of the vegetables and fruits that are a no-no in the Keto diet. Also, I lost a lot of weight fast but as soon as I started eating carbs again, I regained the weight.

So, I went in full force with the intermittent fasting. My routine was and is 18/6 which means I stop eating at 8pm and fast until 2pm the next day. If I feel hungry, I have a glass of water and the hunger feeling goes away. What I have found to happen to my body is the following:

  • I have lost weight - the window of eating is only 6 hours, and this eliminates late night snacking.
  • I feel more focused - the fact that most of the carbs have been used up in the fast, my body is starting to burn fat, which is a much more sustainable fuel source for the body (reason why people choose the Keto diet)
  • I enjoy my meals much more - I choose my meals, the combination of carbs, fat and protein and because I have a short window of eating, I really do my best to make them nutritious and delicious.
  • I can eat everything - which was not an option on the Keto diet for example
  • Nothing serious happens if I miss my fast - so if there is a late-night dinner party or an early brunch, I don’t have to feel guilty about changing the routine for a day or two

Intermittent fasting however requires commitment, dedication, and willpower - willpower to stop eating at a certain time and not to break the fast until a certain time. But then again, most things today require willpower. Those who are not willing to put in the work will not see results.

I don’t believe in diets, or fads, I believe in lifestyle changes and for me intermittent fasting is not a diet or a fad. It should be a part of your life and I intend to make it a part of mine.

Overall, I feel happier, healthier, more focused.

Happy fasting everyone.