Intermittent Fasting

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Here are my updates so far *listed by date.* Keep scrolling down for the latest posts.

6/4/17: Today is Day 1 of my week-long trial with IF (Intermittent Fasting). Inspired by my favorite workout gurus online, I decided to give this eating pattern a try. Basically, IF is when you eat for a select number of hours (typically 8) then fast for the next 16 hours. When I woke up today, rather late because I did not get a good night’s sleep, I was revved up to begin IF. It did not occur to me until later in the afternoon I probably should have started this process on Monday. However, I could not contain my eagerness to begin after reading up on the fat burning science last night. Anyways, it was around 10 am by the time my lazy-self rolled out of bed, so I only had an hour before I could start my first meal. The good news was I did not have to wait long to start eating, so tomorrow will be a different story. Most people choose to begin eating around noon or one, though I opted for an earlier time to stay true to my breakfast-obsessed ways. I had a cup of coffee during the brief intermission. When 11 am arrived, I heated up a Cookies and Cream Quest bar in the microwave. I would have otherwise made an egg scramble right away, but I was all too ready to get my meals started. Around 2 pm, I made a quarter cup of egg whites with two whole eggs, added in some peppers and a pinch of cheese, and ate it on my favorite “Let’s skip the sandwich” wrap. For a snack, I had some Fage 0% greek yogurt with some slices of banana and peanut butter granola. Right now (5:50) I will try to get a quick workout in. For dinner at 6:30 pm, I will heat up some homemade Turkey Chili from the fridge. 7 pm ends the eating for the day. I will keep you updated into nightfall if I have any hunger pains. Right now, the living’s easy!

8:40 pm: Noticing some stomach discomfort, although nothing crazy. Going to try to go to bed at 10:30 pm so I’m up early for the first day of work. I’m naturally a night owl so tonight I will cheat with some Unisom or Benadryl to get sleepy. Until then I’ll be watching Netflix. I think this will be my one and only check-in unless my stomach goes crazy in the wee hours of night. Truth be told, I am a bit of a snacker so this is a whole different ball game from what my body is used to. See you Day 2!

6/5/17: Here comes Day 2. Highlights: First day of work and it was a SUCCESS! More details to come. Anyways, back to IF. Sending this report out to you all with less than 5 minutes remaining of my eating window. So today I woke up feeling not that hungry at all, strangely. I had a cup of coffee and headed to work around 7:45 am. I did not feel peckish until around 10:45 am but after those slow 15 minutes I devoured a Quest bar. Around noon I had a Chocolate Brownie Think Thin bar and a banana for lunch. Then, at 3, I snacked on some vanilla greek yogurt. After work (4:30) I went to an Asian restaurant and had Vietnamese lemongrass chicken with string beans and brown rice, edamame, and a ginger salad (I was STARVED by then!) When I got home to satisfy my cereal craving, I had Kashi Go Lean (Original- 12 g protein) with almond milk. I actually went above my calorie limit for the day (by 155 calories), and over my carbs by 32 g and fats by 13 g. However, I do plan on exercising to get back to calorie deficit (as far as the other variables are concerned I am not sure of their fate just yet). I don’t think I would have “lost it” at dinner (i.e. ate my heart out) if I had a more filling lunch. Maybe my appetite also is charged up by my fear of eating as much as I can within the 7 pm mark. Hopefully tomorrow is a more successful day as far as hitting my macros are concerned.

6/6/17: DAY 3! Fortunately my day started at 9:30 am so I got to sleep-in until 8 am taking time off the wait-time to eat (as per usual: all mental effort goes towards planning my next meal). By 10 am after my team’s morning meeting I was SO HUNGRY. This morning was worst than others. An hour passed and then I gobbled down, no surprise, a Quest bar. I made sure to have a more filling lunch around noon to not make the same mistake from the day before so I ate up. Lunch included a ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat, a banana, and Master Brew Kombucha in Rasberry Lemon flavor. Later that day I snacked on a Chocolate Brownie Think Thin bar. For dinner at 6 pm I had rotisserie chicken, Go Lean cereal, and Fage Total 0% greek yogurt with clover honey. I met my macros today to a tee so I feel quite proud of myself! Definitely a step-up from yesterday. I plan on doing a HIIT workout (glute and leg focused) tonight. I forgot to mention yesterday I had a 30 minute total body workout with a focus on abs and arms. When I evaluate IF as a whole, I realize the morning piece of this 8-hour eating window is the hardest stretch but afterwards the night time portion is not bad whatsoever. I wonder if by tomorrow my body will be closer to familiarizing itself to this new lifestyle.

6/7/17: Guys… DAY 4 I CHEATED! I ate one hour early! *gasp* By 10 am I was silently praying at my desk not to cave but I figured “why the @$*#&% not!” and ate a meal bar. I knew that in reality it only discontinued the 16 hour fasting streak by a measly hour so it was not a huge deal. Plus, I could stop my eating window at 6 pm instead of 7 pm to stay abreast with my cycle. Morning, as you all know, is really the hardest part of this whole process for me. If one hour makes all the difference to my sanity then it’s fair game. Also, for physique updates, I do notice a general reduction of bloating and protrusion of muscles after workouts, now more than ever (especially in my abs). I am sure readers want to know how much weight I have lost, but like I have previously mentioned, I do not track such things. Especially in the process of losing fat and gaining muscle, seeing numbers go down is not always a good thing. I want lean muscle to stay right where it is! I also found an informative video by one of my home girls Abby Pollock. She explains some of the principles behind IF in this video and the fat burning fat science during periods of fasting when insulin is not spiking (i.e. when carbs are not being consumed). Abby also offers informative tips on supplements if you are looking into that department (I personally love my protein powder and creatine and might consider adding BCAAs into the mix). Anyways, for laziness I will leave out all the things I ate today but as you probably can imagine I had a Quest bar, banana, greek yogurt, and chicken of some sort (among other things!). My diet is pretty much routine day-by-day and not structured due to “discipline,” yet simply perpetuated by my laziness, to be perfectly honest. The only thing that changes is whether I hit my macros. Making sure I eat all that is expected of me in my diet plan is difficult in an 8 hour window. At times I fall prey to overcompensating by eating more than I am hungry for to ensure I “check off” the grams in my fats/proteins/carbs before time is up. It would be interesting to search online forums and see if others who do IIFYM also face this issue with IF. Anyways, I’m signing off for the night. XO!

6/8/17: Day 5. Hey all— I’ve come to realize something today that did not occur to me until this stage of IF (wow, it hasn’t even been a full week and I sound like I’m some sort of seasoned professional of the subject). I understand that the purpose of shortening the window time of eating is to obviously create a fasting environment where your body burns fats more effectively but it also assumes, appropriately, you will be doing less snacking. With only eight hours to eat, I am sure most people opt to have three or so larger meals to make sure they fill their bodies needs in the allotted time. With my work schedule, this is really an impossible feat for me. I wake up and am dying of hunger (this has been a fact of life forever hence why breakfast gives me ~life~). By the time I can actually eat (10 am, now), I only have time for a quick protein bar then lunch at noon. This midday meal is generally a sandwich and another protein bar (yes, the creativity is REAL). Then, I will use this window to buy snacks (like more meal bars) to keep me satiated. As soon as I’m off work, I have to scramble to have dinner so that I don’t miss the 6 pm window. All the while, I am CONSTANTLY thinking about food while eating more processed items like bars (because I obviously have little means of transporting prepared meals in my purse). I was feeling the momentum of this eating-ritual earlier on but I feel disgruntled how the act of eating, which was never really something on my mind this often, is becoming of top concern in my day. It is distracting and makes me feel like I’m probably eating more in general because I’m in a race to beat the clock and prevent hunger later on. When I have breakfast, as I have done in the past (“past” being five days ago— I blow myself away…) I start off with a fullness that propels me for the rest of the day and guides my eating decisions. Obviously, it would be unwise to change my eating window to begin at 8 am, have a satisfying breakfast (finally), then stop eating at 4 pm (I repeat: FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON!!) When I did some private investigation on YouTube before beginning this journey, I realized I was following the IF advice of fitness bloggers who spend most of their days MEAL PREPPING and GOING TO THE GYM. This is not my life, sadly, and although I workout, I spend all of my day doing my duties and assisting my superiors. That being said, if you are reading this and you balance IF and a job please send over any words of wisdom you can offer. I am beginning to think that in two days when I’m done with this trial I will once again eat my beloved breakfast as usual but stop eating earlier in the evening regardless of when this meal takes place (8 am, 9 am, etc). I think this is a great way to end night-time snacking, the time when your body is not actively converting to carbs to energy. If you were excited to do IF, I don’t want today’s account to mess with your mojo. I just think I can probably do less eating and be more focused if I eat my morning meals in peace. I’ll check back tomorrow with you all!

6/9/17: Day 6 Unfortunately today I did not go to work because I have a horrible throat ache and sinus problems… Anyways, back to the regularly scheduled program. At 10 am I had a Think Thin bar and at noon I had a whole platter of fruit (cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, mango, and pineapple) and Go Lean Almond Flax cereal. I’m going to rest up and report back if any snacking occurs in the meanwhile but I’m pretty dang full (granola and flax seeds, man). Also, my throat makes eating pretty unpleasant so I’m not in the mood to stuff myself even if I wanted to.
> > > OK I’m back! So for a snack I had greek yogurt with honey and carrots. Then I had an early dinner of Explore cuisine Organic black bean pasta! TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY!

6/10*/17: Day 7– Recorded late! Sorry to disappoint everyone on the late timing, this weekend I fell ill to a virus so I did not have a moment to log my last day. It went much like the other days, however, that morning I treated my boyfriend and myself to a stack of pancakes in celebration of the IF journey. I feel like it has been a real learning experience and required much patience. Although as I write this (on Sunday) no longer bounded by IF “technically,” I still chose to stop eating around 6 pm in the IF fashion! I think having an earlier dinner this past week has influenced a pattern on me that I can retain. There are certain qualities of the eating program I admire so much, such as the overall reduction of bloating. Nevertheless, I am still interested in seeing fat diminish in certain “problem areas” so I might continue a less-restraining version of IF into next week but try to limit my processed food intake to see if that charges up the process. Hope you could take away something from my experience!

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