5 things that surprised people when they started intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting can sound quite daunting when we live in a society where food is almost always on hand and snacking throughout the day has become the norm. The idea of going without food for longer than usual and experiencing genuine hunger is a very real fear among new fasters – but one that we are pleased to say is short lived!

We asked the FastDay community what things surprised them the most when they began intermittent fasting – we hope their answers will reassure you…


1. Fasting gets easier

“I’ve tried every diet, and struggled with all of them. I wouldn’t call fasting easy, but I was surprised that it wasn’t as hard as it sounded!”

“I did find it easy!”

“5:2 was a diet I could follow without much difficulty… When I read about 5:2, I thought this was something I could do and I did.”

“I remember my first fast day well. I was surprised that it was so difficult. I thought I was going to die! Now fasting has become very easy. I am so glad I managed that first day.”

“Easy to fast until 1 p.m. With a cup of black coffee in the early morning, of course!”

“What surprised me was that it was relatively easy to fast”


2. Fasting teaches you not to fear hunger

“I think what surprised me was how easy it was to deal with hunger. It was something I had previously avoided, because I always felt like I would go out of my head, but that feeling passes pretty quickly. Have a drink of water, get busy with something, and it goes just like that.”

“What surprised me most when I started fasting? That I had no idea what it was like to actually be physically hungry. I hadn’t allowed myself to get actually physically hungry — Sure, I was often hungry for other reasons (boredom, emotional reasons, habit). But I ate so often that I had no idea what actual physical hunger was.

And I had no idea that it’s okay to be hungry, that I could go five hours without eating and wouldn’t pass out, and that when you’re actually hungry, even the healthiest food tastes great. Now I say “if I’m not hungry enough to eat an apple or carrots, I’m not actually hungry.”

“I didn’t feel hungry the day after a fast day.”

“That it is possible to work without eating the whole day. And mayby [sic] even More that next morning you are nottaa [sic] very hungry.”

“What surprised me was that… hunger was nothing to be afraid of”


3. Fasting works!

“I was surprised at how well it worked. I had had success with diets in the past, but not so much around the time I tried 5:2 (or 4:3 in my case). All my old tricks stopped working. So it was a pleasant surprise that I had a fairly steady downward trajectory.”

“The weight came off consistently and at a steady pace, which had never happened before.”

“I did so [follow 5:2] until I had lost more weight than I would have thought possible.”


4. Fasting helps you take control

“I could go out on a fast day and watch my husband eating cake etc and I was quite hapy to sit there virtuously with a mint tea without feeling envy because I knew I was finally in control.”

“after a while, I found that I didn’t get very hungry on non-fast days, so I was able to radically alter my way of eating.”


5. Group support can help

“The other really surprising thing is I’m not usually a support group type of person but having the Fast Day site and page available have really kept me going. Thanks!”

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