Healthy Eating Healthy Lifestyle Healthy Living

Intermittent Fasting

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

And yes, I do see an irony in posting about a “diet” on the day of candy and chocolate, but…meh.  I’m not a huge celebrator of Valentine’s Day anyway, so it is what it is.

As most people do, I kind of overdid it around the holidays.  Between all the delicious, delicious food and the celebratory wine drinking, it was a bit much.

One thing I know about myself is I’m not a “diet” person.  I can’t cut a whole group of foods out of my diet or exist in any way on 1200 calories a day.  It’s not sustainable for me.  I will get angry/hangry and not want to do things and just do bad things (like say screw it all and eat a whole box of Goodie Girl gluten-free fudge stripes in anger).  It just doesn’t work for me.

I know I am someone who needs to “diet” in a way where I feel like I’m not depriving myself but still taking care of myself.  It’s why I have a tendency to do better with lifestyle changes rather than diets.

The idea of intermittent fasting was brought up to me a few months ago by a friend who was doing it.  At first, I’m like…umm….you mean I can’t eat for a day? Nope.  Nopenopenope.  She’s like, well there are different kinds where you just don’t eat certain parts of the day, or on certain days you do it.  Basically, there are variations.  But still, I’m like “nope”.

Then a couple of weeks ago I realized (aka I was told by my husband), I don’t really eat anything during the day.

And I know how that sounds, so let me elaborate.

I’m a high school counselor, which basically means I’m running 24/7 when I’m at work.  I either have students with me or I’m in a class or in a meeting, something is always going on. For me to actually sit down and have a full meal; never happens.  If I’m eating anything throughout the day, it’s grazing; a little snack here, a few bites of something there.  My only real meal was dinner.

Realizing that, my brain went back to intermittent fasting.  My only real concern about it was it was restrictive, telling me when I can eat and when I can’t when in reality, I’m already kind of not eating most of the day, so why not actually try intermittent fasting?

Me being me, I did some research and saw that there are in fact several different variations, such as:

*Eat-Stop-Eat This version you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.  so you could eat dinner one night and then not eat anything until dinner the next night.

*5:2 Diet This version, you eat 500-600 calories two, non-consecutive days per week and normally the other 5 days.

*16/8 Leangains Method This version you fast for 16 hours (which would include skipping breakfast) and then you eat for 8 hours.

Since I was kind of loosely already doing the 16/8 version, I decided to actually legitimately try it out.  This version doesn’t really have as many guidelines as the 5:2 or other versions do regarding how many days a week you can/should do it or anything like that.  But I’m me, so I put some guidelines on it to make it more realistic for my life and easier for me to stick to.

  1. The fasting will only occur during the work week (currently I’ve done 3-4 days per week and am trying to the whole week if possible).  Weekends are times when we have the ability to relax a little more and, most importantly, we also have a tendency to go out to brunch.  And I’m not missing my brunch times.  Plus, I fully believe in “cheat days”, so weekends will be when I eat whenever I want (plus it’s when I have the time to do so).
  2. I will fast from dinner to lunch.  So my 8 hour eating time will be 11am-7pm.  If I’m able to get a full lunch in, I usually would that around 11:30 or 12:00 and I’m almost always done with dinner by 7pm.
  3. I’m not counting calories.  I don’t do that, it drives me crazy.  I will still eat healthily, but I’m not heavily calorie restricting, fasting is restrictive enough for me right now.
  4. Diet coke doesn’t count! It never does.  And I will not stop drinking it.

I have been doing this for about a week so far (along with increasing my water intake, we know I’m bad with this and am always trying to do better) and I can’t say that it’s mind-blowing in results, but I feel like I’m noticing some things.

  1. I’m not as bloated, which could just be me increasing my water intake, but either way, yay!
  2. I’m not mindlessly snacking.  It’s what I did more often than not at work, I’d feel a hunger pain and just grab some crackers or something to tide me over until the next one hit.  I’m being more intentional about my food in terms of when I eat it and what I’m eating.  I’ve had salads for lunch the past week, which is better than some other options I’ve done and it works because if I can’t eat it all at once, I can pop it in my mini fridge in my office and come back to it later in the afternoon when I have time.
  3. I’m eating better overall.  I’m making better food choices whether it’s at home or when we eat out.  I want to feel satisfied, not bloated at the end of a meal.

I don’t know that I’vee necessarily lost weight because I don’t really weigh myself, I just go by how my clothes fit and they still fit somewhat the same.  If I’ve lost anything yet, it’s likely water weight from bloating, which is very possible.

But I’m going to give this a try for a while and see how it goes.  For me, it seems like it would be relatively easy considering my career and lifestyle right now.  I’m going to give it a few weeks and see how life works out.  I will update as I go through it!

Disclaimer: Obviously, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I’m not advocating that you should go out and do this.  I have researched this and spoken with my doctor and I do believe that it could be good for me in terms of results as well as health benefits.  If this is something you’re considering, please do your research as well and speak with your doctor before you begin any sort of weight loss program.  Everyone is different and just because I’m trying this doesn’t mean you should, nor does it mean it will work for you.

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