By Prudence Wade 

YOUR mum might have told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there are schools of thought that challenge this traditional piece of wisdom.
While I’m not one for fads, intermittent fasting (IF) appealed because instead of changing what you eat, you alter when you eat.
My main reason for wanting to try intermittent fasting is because I suffer from an upset stomach, and research suggests it could help cut inflammation in the body (which is beneficial to health in many ways) and aid digestion.
There are several types of intermittent fasting but the 16:8 method is the most common. The rules are simple: you only eat during an eight-hour period during the day, and fast for the remaining 16. For me, this means skipping breakfast.
Here’s what I learned from practising IF for two months...

It’s not as intimidating as it sounds
If you’re a food-lover like me, the word “fasting” can sound daunting. It screams deprivation, which is never something I’m on board with. However, the 16:8 method is manageable – and it’s not a diet, it’s an eating pattern.

At first it’s pretty tricky
You should be prepared to feel hungry in the first few days. When I started skipping the first meal of the day the morning hunger pangs were fairly severe. It took a couple of days to get used to the new pattern.

You get used to it very quickly
After just a few days, I didn’t wake up expecting food, so it became easier. I stopped craving breakfast altogether.

You feel better if you break the fast with a balanced meal
Most days, I broke the fast at 12.30 with a salad or stew, packed full of vegetables, which made me feel great. The odd day I’d opt for a chocolate biscuit and it made me feel sluggish.

You need to be hot on hydration
If you’re not eating for part of the day, good hydration becomes more important – unless you want to suffer from raging headaches. Plus, it helps keep the hunger pangs at bay.

Don’t skip breakfast if you train in the mornings
It’s not generally healthy to skip meals before exercising, as your body will need the fuel to power through the workout.

You feel more sprightly
I have ditched the scales and go by how I feel – and by this judgment I deem it a success. I wouldn’t say it has magically given me a endless energy but I feel sprightlier and leaner.

Work out what’s best for you
There are lots of ways to do intermittent fasting, so it’s all about finding out what works best for you. For me, the 16:8 method is ideal.