Intermittent fasting (IF) is a trend I’ve been seeing all over the internet as of late. But what is it? IF is going without eating for an extended period of time, a.k.a. fasting. There are many ways to practice IF but the most common is using a 16:8 ratio, meaning in a 24 hour day you will have an 8-hour window where you can eat and 16 hours where you fast. Most people choose to start eating around noon or 1 pm and end between 8 and 9 pm. The great thing about IF is you can tailor it to what works for you and your lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is a pattern of eating. You are meant to eat the same amount of calories you normally would in a day, but in a shorter period of time.
The proposed benefits of IF include managing weight, improved digestion, cellular turnover and repair, hunger management, mental clarity and much more.
My goal in doing this over the next 10 days is to: manage my hunger levels, stop mindless eating, and lose stubborn fat.
Well I woke up at 12 pm today because I had gone to bed at 2 am. So I waited until I was hungry to eat, which was around 1:30 and had no problem getting all my calories in by 9 pm. Day 1 was easy but I’m attributing this to having woke up late in the day.
I’m the kind of person who prefers to workout in the morning. My biggest fear with this diet is feeling extremely hungry after a fasted workout and having to wait 3 hrs before I can eat. I know it’s important to eat after a workout but I decided for the purpose of this 10-day diet I wouldn’t. To be honest though, it really wasn’t that bad. I think it’s because I was busy in the morning and therefore my mind didn’t have time to think about food until it was time to eat.
If intermittent fasting has shown me anything, it’s how much I love to eat after dinner. I have the hardest time not snacking around 9-10pm. I usually sit in bed with any snack I can find and mindlessly eat until I’m stuffed. I came so close tonight to saying “Screw it! I’m having chips and hummus!” I know I’m not actually hungry, and my body doesn’t need food. I’m full from dinner but for some reason, I want to snack.
Not eating in the mornings is surprisingly not as difficult as I thought it would be. I thought it would be much worse because I’m someone who always eats breakfast, but after the first hour of initial hunger it goes away. The hardest part is not following my usual morning routine. It’s slightly unsettling. I’m not someone who deals well with change.
So far I haven’t seen any changes in my body but I’m sure it will take a few more days to adjust. I am going drinking tonight, which technically I don’t think is a part of the fasting… but oh well! I have a life! I’ve made a deal with myself that I can drink but I’m not allowed to get drunk food. I’m not confident in my drunk abilities but we’ll see how it goes.
I woke up late again today so skipping breakfast was extremely easy. Still no changes in my physique and I actually felt a little nauseous at work because I hadn’t eaten enough during the day. This is my own fault, but I think having eaten breakfast today would have been beneficial considering I worked from 3-8pm, which are prime eating hours during this fast.
I think I’m finally getting the hang of this thing. I had no problem getting my workout in without having breakfast. I had plenty of energy and woke up feeling amazing. I’m starting to think this is something I can genuinely incorporate into my daily life.
Finally I didn’t crave any snacks late at night. It could be due to the amazing vegan burger I had, but today’s eating was easy! Still no changes in my body though.
I’m starting to love not having to worry about eating breakfast in the morning. I have more time to sleep and don’t get as hungry as I use to. I know most people struggle with skipping breakfast but as long as I keep myself busy, it’s not a problem.
It’s here. The final day of the challenge! I’m actually not excited for this challenge to end. Intermittent fasting is not as hard as I thought it would be, as long as I make sure I eat my regular amount of calories during the 8 hour feeding window. I’m still eating 3 meals and a snack or two a day but in a shorter amount of time.
Things I learned:
- I snack on so much unnecessary food in the evenings.
- Sometimes I think I’m hungry, but I’m not. I definitely need to give my body some time to decide whether or not it’s actually hungry.
- If you’re hungry eat, if you’re not, don’t.
Overall, Intermittent fasting showed me how to actually listen to my body rather than letting my mind control what I was eating. Although, I didn’t see the physical benefits I did feel energetic and it’s definitely helped me manage my hunger. I eat a fairly healthy plant-based diet but I do eat a lot of unnecessary snacks. At first I felt really restricted but when I changed my mindset, intermittent fasting started to work for me. I think this is something I can incorporate into my lifestyle but won’t do daily. I tend to workout in the morning and not eating after a workout is bad for muscle recovery, therefore it’s not always feasible. However, I will make an effort to eat the majority of my calories in a shorter time period, and snack less late in the evening.
Featured image via La Bella Instagram Tumblr