Pinay College Student Spent 2019 Trying Out Intermittent Fasting, Here’s What Happened
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before starting a diet or trying a product, consult your physician or a health care professional.
Camille Puentespina, 20 years old, began her Intermittent Fasting (IF) journey in the beginning of 2019, with the goal of living a healthier lifestyle. Not a big fan of diets like keto, low carb, and juicing, she found intermittent fasting to be the easier and more practical option, feeling that she didn’t have to sacrifice as much. “Even before embarking on the diet, I was already unconsciously doing the Circadian cycle (12-hour fasting a day) since I was never a fan of eating breakfast early,” she says.
How she started
Camille transitioned into IF gradually, starting from a 16-8 (16-hour fasting and 8-hour eating window), to a 20-4 (20-hour fasting and 4-hour eating window). She would usually eat at around 12 noon, then finish before 4 p.m., after which she would restart her 16-hour fast. At one point, she was only eating one meal a day, with a few snacks, since she always felt too full for more, with the one meal being enough to energize her the whole day.
While only drinking water and tea during her fast, she was less strict about her food during her eating hours. “I still try to make my meals balanced, but I’m not too hard on myself with food restrictions,” Camille explains.
Although she remained diligent throughout the diet, she always made it a point to never starve herself or put her body at risk during her fasts.
Despite her prior experience with fasting for long periods of time, however, her first weeks of practicing IF weren’t the easiest. "I still felt the hunger pangs and temptations to just eat away here and there, and a lot of the time nothing really motivated me to continue ‘cause I wasn’t seeing results despite religiously working out. If anything, I felt way more bloated the first month of trying out IF,” she shares.
Undeterred, Camille continuously powered through her diet, and her persistence gradually began to pay off after a few months. She started seeing her muscles more, especially around the hips and stomach, and she felt herself growing more proportional.
She continued to challenge her body, slowly increasing her fasting time and shortening her eating window. This in turn reduced her appetite for binging and made results more visible. “I was at the peak of both work and workout, and not only was my built getting leaner, but it was also [giving] me a very good and healthy outlook,” says Camille. “I was highly productive without feeling burnt out, and even my mental and emotional states have been stabilized.”
Effects of IF
As someone who loves being in action and is constantly juggling acads, orgs, training, and other commitments, Camille certainly noticed the effect of IF on her personal productivity. For instance, in order to distract herself from the feeling of hunger, she’d end up doing more work and getting more stuff done. After finally getting past the stress of a learned appetite (your body’s way of conditioning you to feel hungry at a certain time of day), she felt like she had more time and energy to fuel through the day without feeling drained from a lack of calories. With the help of increased water consumption and a better meal set during her eating window, her body felt lighter and her mind clearer.
Camille also noticed that she still had enough energy to work the whole day, even during times when she had only gotten 4-5 hours of sleep. “I don’t really eat carbs, or anything for that fact, hours before sleeping, so I don’t necessarily get the food coma, and the body itself ‘reformats.’ In this way, I get more time to work on whatever it is I need to do, and it almost always feels like I have more than 24 hours in a day,” she explains.
After nearly a whole year of IF, which she vividly describes as “passing through hell before getting a taste of heaven,” Camille has certainly been reaping the rewards of her disciplined lifestyle. “I haven’t felt as confident as I did in 2019 in a long while, and a good chunk of the reasons why was because of the lifestyle change together with IF,” she shares.
Is IF for everyone?
As for her advice towards college students considering a similar lifestyle, Camille first acknowledges that IF isn’t the ultimate diet out there, and it isn’t for everyone; but if you’re willing to put in the work, it’s completely doable.
Expect some changes in your lifestyle: not sacrifices, she clarifies, but more of better management and awareness of your eating time and listening to your body’s rhythm. Before getting into the fast, she recommends first listening to your body’s needs and understanding your health risks, daily activities, and calorie requirements.
After experiencing the effects of IF herself, Camille vouches for the diet as an effective way to achieve weight loss, and encourages those interested to try it out themselves to see if it works for them too. “Do not underestimate your body—it’s more adaptive than you think!” she adds.
What professionals have to say about IF
What exactly is IF? According to Maricar M. Esculto, RND, MD of Makati Medical Center, it isn’t exactly an eating pattern. “As its name suggests, intermittent fasting is more of alternating eating and abstaining from food. It is a way of eating that focuses more on WHEN than on WHAT you eat.” By consuming food only at a certain period, the calories you consequently intake are also limited. “It lowers the insulin level in the blood and if the person has no intake of food for a prolonged period of time, fat will be mobilized to supply the body’s energy needs.”
But just because you have certain hours dedicated to eating doesn’t mean you should spend it binge-eating. Dr. Esculto warns, “It’s still all about eating sensibly, avoiding high-calorie foods, and practicing portion control. If you binge-eat after your fast, then you are sabotaging your weight-loss goals.”
For those ready to try out the IF lifestyle, always remember to listen to your body and know your limits, because no diet or fitness regimen is worth putting your health and body at risk for! As for living healthier and getting fitter, never forget that moderation is the key.
With additional reporting by Mylene Medonza
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The journey of how I won people’s hearts by having a winning heart
Whatever happens tonight, I am a winner. That was the last line I delivered in front of the roaring crowd. My knees were trembling and my smile was shaking. I wanted to radiate confidence but I knew inside me were whirling storms of uncertainty. I wasn’t sure how to carry on for the rest of the night, it was only the first hour and my soul was already exhausted. I stood in front of an unfamiliar sea of people, I felt uncomfortable as they fixed their glances on me. The stage was bright and flashy as my co-contestants glazed the platform with outstanding physique and beauty. I couldn’t look straight at them because every time I did, a bucketful of insecurity was being poured on me. The whole pageant took about a few hours but it felt like eternity to me. I repeatedly asked myself questions every single time I stood on that platform. My vision was impaired by the blinding spotlights and all I could hear were the deafening roar of the audience combined with the booming music of the event. My head was filled with questions like “why are you here?”, “Will you be okay?” What will others think of you?” “What if you fail?”. Every step was heavier as I continued to overthink.
For a moment on stage, I felt like I was floating. I was staring blankly at the end of the gymnasium. I was awakened by the loud cheer from the front row, I fixed my glance and saw large letters A-B-Y. it was like a snap to reality, I realized that’s my name. This time I could hear the synchronized cheers of people screaming my name. I smiled, walked away from the spotlight as I whispered to myself “let’s do this”. As the curtains opened, I walked towards the stage I felt lighter and different from the person a while ago. Walking was much easier and my knees weren’t trembling any longer. I stood at the edge of the stage, wandered my glance, and smiled genuinely. Flashing those pearly whites took barrels of longtime stored courage from within me. I marveled at how I could see the rainbow in the lights, the spotlights weren’t blinding anymore.
My feet started stomping to the music every time I pose and my hips would flawlessly sway to the music. The roar of the audience was overwhelming no more, it was like whispers lost in the beat of the music. I knew as I stood there, all I needed to do was smile and be myself. My name was called accompanied by the thunderous applause and booming cheers of the crowd. I stood there alongside with other contestants. I was holding a bouquet and a trophy. I could feel the heavy crown on top of my head. However, the trophy beside me was much bigger, the lady beside me wore an even flashier crown, it was the crown of the titleholder. That night I landed the first runner-up spot. My head was filled with “what ifs”. What if I did just a little better, what if I exerted more effort and so on.
As I stepped down on stage, several people rushed to me. They were jumping, screaming and clapping. It was so chaotic that it took me a millennium to recognize them, it was my family. They were hugging me from all directions. When I saw their smiles I knew I did great. I realized that was what I meant when I said “whatever happens tonight I am a winner”. Their presence, genuine smiles, and warm hugs meant more than the trophy and sash that night. For them, I was a star who shined through the darkness of the night. Before leaving the venue, a hand tapped me from behind “Congrats,” she whispered I turned to see her, and to my surprise she was a schoolmate who used to tease me because of my chubby physique.
I smiled as I expressed my gratitude towards her. As I walked away, I realized that I accomplished something legendary that night. I was able to showcase that pageants are not only for thin-looking, tall people. I managed to snatch everyone’s attention with this average height and chubby body. That night started with so much uncertainty and insecurity. As I stared at my reflection, I looked exhausted but I was wearing a different smile. A smile of victory and bravery. A smile that defeated the stereotypes and stigma about people like me. That night ended with a realization that maybe winning isn’t always about winning the crown, it’s about winning people’s hearts and having a winning heart.
I've always wanted to open an online business for me and my mom. My mom is a great cook and baker. So this quarantine, I've decided to finally create an instagram page and a facebook page for our business called Mars' Kitchenette. We offer various kinds of dishes like Lasagna, Tuna Pesto, Carbonara, Palabok, and the crowd's favorite, Brazo Cups. We are planning to expand our business by gradually adding dishes to our Menu. We just started yet we already have so many inquiries and orders. I am happy that me and my mom's hobby and bonding time, can actually make a profit. Visit our social media sites: Facebook page : mars_kitchenette Instagram: @mars_kitchenette Hit Like and Follow us!
5 Mystery-Thriller Novels to Read
If you’re stuck at home and out of Netflix shows to binge-watch, then you might want to try and read these mystery-thriller books to match your homemade Dalgona Coffee.
1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The debut novel, and Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019, follows Alicia Berenson, a well-known painter married to an esteemed fashion photographer. Life seemed perfect for Alicia, until one evening when she shot her husband five times, and… never spoke again.
2. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
From the author of Final Girls comes this page turning novel about an infamous building in Manhattan called the Bartholomew. After stumbling upon an ad to become an apartment sitter, Jules Larsen has set out to look after apartment 12A under strict and somewhat odd conditions. Not long after stepping foot in the building, Jules has been met with unfriendly tenants, eerie noises in the apartment unit, and an abrupt departure of a fellow sitter named Ingrid.
3. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
If you loved Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, then this book is for you. After the disappearance of her Aunt Vivian while working as a night-shift clerk at the Sun Down Motel in 1982, Carly has set off to Fell NY, to work the same job at the same place as her Aunt had 35 years ago – with hopes of uncovering the truth lurking behind the Motel walls.
4. Verity by Colleen Hoover
While known for Young-Adult Novels such as Slammed and Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover offers readers a romantic thriller about Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling author who was given the opportunity to finish the three remaining novels of a successful series after its original author, Verity Crawford, suffered an accident and has become immobile. After receiving an invite at the Crawford manor to sort through Verity’s notes, Lowen discovers an unpublished autobiography revealing the truth about Verity. With the eerie atmosphere of having Verity confined in her own home, and who is seemingly aware of her surroundings, Lowen is certain Verity is not what she appears to be.
5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
A mind-bending science fiction thriller from the best-selling author of Wayward Pines – Dark Matter is packed with the concept of the Multiverse and the philosophy of existentialism. The novel follows an ordinary Physics professor, Jason Dessen, who was looking forward to dinner with his family while walking the streets of Chicago. The next thing he knew, he was being held at gunpoint – by a man wearing a mask – and injected with an unknown drug and blacks out. When he regains consciousness, he learns that the world he woke up to was different from the world he knew.