So what’s all this hype about intermittent fasting anyway?
I have never been one for dieting fads. I have honestly never been on an official “diet,” until recently. For some reason, I have been struggling with my weight again. Not as I did when I was struggling with my fears of the gym and eating a horrible diet, but more like people do when you are 5-10 pounds from your dream weight and you can see your muscles popping under a layer of chub. Does that make sense?
I have to be realistic with myself and with all of you. I am a size two. I get that I am in wonderful shape for being 35. I said it. I’m 35! However, I also feel like I’m 24 – until I spend time with 24-year-olds that is – in my head, so this struggle is frustrating to me.
As I’m coming up on my first national pageant, and one I’ve poured my heart and soul to prepare for, I had to do some soul searching on what was going on in my life to cause this problem. I was popping abs at the pool two summers ago without really trying… I realized something I didn’t want to realize.
I am a night eater. I will eat an amazing, well-balanced, healthy diet all day long. I don’t restrict myself, but I maintain proper portions and eat very healthy. Then at night, I eat very large portions of my healthy dinner, followed by a snack way too late…
After doing some research on how to curb this horrible behavior, I discovered that many people deal with this same issue. One of the highest recommendations for fixing this issue was intermitted fasting. Now, before you chide me or accuse me of starvation, hear me out!
There are plenty of ways to do this, but the recommended way is to way until later in the day to begin eating to allow yourself to have all three meals in a shorter timeframe. This lets you have your dinner early in the evening before your cutoff and then you are done!
I’m a rule follower, so after my 7pm cutoff that’s lights out on snacks. It doesn’t help with portions, but when you have only been eating for 6-8 hours (I chose 8, because I’m not a glutton for punishment.) you are not as hungry as when you’ve stretched out your meals all day. So, you don’t eat as much even if you overfilled your plate.
So, how’d it go?
Well, I’m on Week 2… so time will only tell. For Day 1, I will tell you that it was not as hard as I would have expected to be honest. I actually worked out with a pretty intense spin class at 6 am, so I firmly intended to be dying by 11 am. But, I wasn’t! I made it until just fine. I pushed lunch until 2:30 pm and had dinner around 6:30 pm. I actually wasn’t hungry the rest of the night. I know I’m as surprised as you are! The rest of the week was pretty much the same. We are traveling right now, so I haven't been able to stick to the cut off every single night due to dinners out. But I feel better when I do.
My thoughts on it are that I was in a pattern rather than responding to true hunger. It was time to eat, so I “felt” hungry. So, I ate. And, it tasted good, so I ate too much! It was an unhealthy pattern! I’m not sure how I’ll feel in a week or a month, or if I’ll make this a lifestyle or if this will just be long enough to break my night eating patterns. They say it takes 90 days to change a habit, so I’m going to stick with it for at least 90 days. And then reassess. I will report back!
** Please be sure to discuss any dietary changes with your nutritionist or doctor.