Intermittent Fasting

Guys… Do you SEE that cover photo? Gorgeous salad. Awesome fonts. You probably thought this was gonna be some fitness person with a stellar blog and ripped abs. Wrong.

Average person here- hiya!

I’m sad to admit that I’ve read more about diet and fitness than anyone ever should. If I spent half the time I spend reading actually cooking and working out, I’d probably be fit as heck. My newest diet find is referred to as Intermittent Fasting (IF), a diet used by many accidentally, and others very intentionally. Now, I’m not a fitness blog so I won’t bore you with all the science surrounding IF, but I do hope to be able to share my results with you, and update this post as I discover new things about IF. I’m barely one week in, and I can definitely see that there are pros and cons. I don’t feel its the right time to share those thoughts as I don’t think it would be fair to you, me, or the diet to jump to conclusions, but I will update you as it goes. I’m following the 16:8 plan, meaning that from 8:00 pm – 12:00 pm the following day, I’m “fasting,” followed by a window of eating all my day’s calories from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Hence 16:8, 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating. As someone with a late night snacking problem, I immediately knew this would help. Here’s to the next 8 weeks- I’ll edit this post ~once/week for the next 8 weeks with my updates. Check back soon!

WEEK 1 UPDATE:

So I’ve officially completed my first week of intermittent fasting. I’ve been fairly consistent in my plan to stop eating by 8 pm every night and start eating again at 12 pm the next day. When I first decided to start this diet, I thought there was no way I could make it to lunch without eating anything- especially without any late night snacking. The first 2 days were somewhat difficult. I was experiencing a lot of discomfort around 9-10 am, when I usually eat breakfast. I knew I only had to to persist 2 more hours though to meet my fasting requirement, and retrain my brain to know food was coming at noon, not 9. Since then, its been pretty easy to stick to the plan. My stomach is growling as I type this, but it doesn’t have the same effect it used to – the growling isn’t automatically accompanied by a feeling of starvation. Its odd. I obviously haven’t noticed any crazy weight loss since its only been a week, but I have noticed that I feel very slim in the mornings, most likely because I’m not bloated, and I feel more satisfied when I eat. Yesterday, my lunch was so big I grazed on it for almost 2 hours at work, and it still totally fit in my meal plan for the day. I also have ceased all late night snacking as a result (so long, 9 pm ice cream binges), and I know this will have a positive effect on my goals. I will note that the first couple days, I was eating lunch at noon, then going to the gym around 4, but not eating anything beforehand. My lunches were only ~300 calories, which was not enough, and my workouts greatly suffered. Later into the week, I bumped up my lunch portions, and added a pre-workout snack and was back on track. Many people recommend a fasted workout on this diet, but it just doesn’t work for me yet.

WEEK 2 Update:

Holy cow, it was a bad week. I’m not afraid to admit I nearly threw in the towel. Last Wednesday, I was hit with a horrible headache. I ended up skipping the gym and ate pizza on the couch instead. The weekend was filled with fun activities- we tried Melt Columbus as well as had dinner at The Old Mohawk in German Village. My meals were inconsistent and unhealthy for the most part of the week. However, on a positive note, I tried my first 2 fasted workouts (Saturday & Sunday) and powered right through. I felt a tinge of hunger but nothing unbearable. I was light and it felt good. I’ll definitely be trying that again. I’m back on track with my diet this week, and looking forward to some positive results.

WEEK 3 Update: 29389009_1852273361450741_8136734169821609984_o
This is definitely a program I can stick with. I don’t have a lot of updates to how I’m feeling, but overall, this program is going well. I get such satisfaction from eating a couple large meals a day rather than 6 tiny “snack-size” meals. Nothing beats finishing a workout and eating a big plate of lean meats and veggies (AND CARBS!). The  photo is a progress picture- I didn’t start IF until 2/27, but you can get the gist of the progress I’m seeing. The scale says I haven’t lost any weight. I think these photos tell a different story. I feel like I’m making progress for the first time in a long time, and its keeping me motivated. I’m not quite half-way through this (but I’m 6 weeks out from my wedding – eek!), and I don’t fear the next half like I have certain programs in the past. My diet isn’t overly restrictive- just loosely following a macro plan- and I don’t feel trapped. Finally!

Final Update:
I did a really horrible job keeping this updated and I apologize. I was busy getting married and stuff… and losing weight like crazy! IF went really well for me for the first few weeks. I had some rough patches, but overall, I really enjoyed it and saw results. Towards the end of my 8-week review however, I experienced some severe stomach issues. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it was unpleasant. Eating made me uncomfortable and I craved bad food choices. As a result, I slacked off a good bit and was eating whatever I felt I could. I tried my best to always stop eating by 8 though.

All in all, I highly recommend this to someone who doesn’t like meal-prepping (I only had to make lunch each day to take to work instead of breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.) or tends to overeat. When your eating window is cut down nearly in half, overeating becomes less of a concern because you’re allowed to eat large meals. My final IF progress pics are below. Happy fasting!

P.S. The dress fit like a dream!

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