How Intermittent Fasting Saves Me Money
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional, and this post is not medical advice but for entertainment purposes only. Before trying anything new or changing your diet, consult a doctor.
So what is intermittent fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting is the new “diet” craze that seems to be on everyone’s radar recently, and for good reason, as there are a lot of credible people claiming it’s benefits. And I am one of those people who has been intermittent fasting (IF) now for 3 months and can also state that it is doing wonders for me, both physically and also financially.
IF is basically just when you restrict the time frame that you eat in a given day or week. Some people follow the 5/2 method, where you don’t eat two days per week and eat normally the other five days, or others follow a 8/16 method, where you go 16 hours per day fasting and then only eat during an 8 hour window each day. This is the method I went for. So each day I wake up and don’t eat anything, except for drinking water and tea/coffee, until about 6 hours after I get up or usually at 12-1pm, and then I usually finish eating for the day at 8-9pm after dinner.
I chose to give IF a try for a few different reasons as follows:
- I was a slave to my blood sugar levels. I was constantly battling with low energy during the day whenever my blood sugar fell (usually a few hours after eating). It was very inconvenient and was making it hard to be productive.
- I started working out in the gym to gain strength and researched IF as a great way to get lean and lose fat at the same time.
- Research has shown that IF is great for stabilizing blood sugar levels, increasing insulin sensitivity (marker of great health), preventing cancer and heart disease, and also improving cognitive function. As a naturally curious person, I wanted to try this out.
So why would anyone do that to themselves?
To many people, the idea of skipping breakfast, which has often been stated as the “most important meal of the day”, sounds crazy or terrible. But there is growing evidence that skipping breakfast and delaying feeding until later in the day is a more natural way of eating, and it’s great for our bodies as long as you consume enough calories in total each day. To me, it doesn’t make sense to shove cereal in your face right when you get up before you actually USE any energy. I thought it makes much more sense to burn some energy first and then eat later in the day.
IF has been proven to have numerous health benefits including:
- Weight loss: if you shorten the time window in which you eat each day, it is physically not possible to eat as much food as if you eat constantly throughout the day, preventing overeating. Your body only takes in what it needs, not what you eat just because you have low blood sugar or it’s a scheduled “meal time”.
- Reduced Inflammation and Cellular Repair: After you have gone about 12 hours without eating, your body kicks up repair processes, such as battling inflammation and cleansing the body of damaged cells.
- Increased Mental Function: Once your body adjusts to the new feeding schedule, your blood sugar stabilizes in the early parts of the day and begins to burn fat for fuel. This gives your brain consistent energy and allows you focus without a heavy meal or low blood sugar slowing you down.
Another great benefit of of IF is the convenience factor. Not having to worry about eating in the morning or preparing food has just been great for productivity. I simply have a cup of tea or coffee and get to work tackling the most important tasks of the day.
Let’s get to the money
So nutrition and biology lesson aside, I have noticed some accidental financial benefits to IF as well. After a few weeks of only eating 2 meals (lunch and dinner) everyday, I began to notice that my body and bank account were sending me new messages. I could tell that I was only eating when I was hungry, as opposed to eating because it’s a scheduled meal time or because my blood sugar was low.
And because of this, here are the 3 biggest financial benefits I have noticed:
Financial Benefit #1: No more impulse eating and food purchases. I no longer feel the need to stop and buy snacks, drinks or to-go meals throughout the day just to keep my energy levels up. Going a few hours without eating is a lot easier since my body is more adept at using other energy sources.
Financial Benefit #2: Only eating two meals (and sometimes a snack between) per day means fewer meals to cook/buy. Whether it’s cooking two meals at home or going out for the occasional meal, I just end up spending less money on food. I eat larger meals now to get the calories I need, but I’m able to cook in bulk and buy fewer ingredients.
Financial Benefit #3: Less food waste. Back when I ate 3 meals a day just because that’s what I was used to, I ended up with way too many leftovers, ingredients that spoiled or leaving food at restaurants because I was full. Now I only buy what I need and eat it all!
I’ve noticed that my total food spending (restaurants and groceries) has dropped by a one or two hundred dollars per month since I started my IF schedule. So the financial benefits aren’t huge, but when you factor in the health benefits, I find that IF is win-win overall!
Have you tried intermittent fasting or been curious what it’s all about? Leave a comment or send me an email!