Tag Archives: diet

Starting to Intermittent Fast? Tips to Make It Bearable

6 Feb

If I could out-exercise my fat, I would strongly prefer it! I love, love, love food. And as such, it’s the kitchen that makes me fattest, and therefore, intermittent fasting helps me way more than my running, strength training, or abdominal workouts (which I do all of nearly every day). Body weight is calories in vs calories out, so even with all those physical activities I can eat over what I burn. The fasting is a good way to stay OFF a diet (no way, I don’t wanna torture myself, limit myself, make sensible choices, or miss out!) but still maintain my weight.

Find the time of day that works best for you. If dinner to dinner makes you suffer, try to fast from breakfast to breakfast instead. Experiment with time of day before giving up.

I suggest splitting your fast with a sleep. Even if I’m starving at dinner, I always wake up feeling normal. Going to bed in the middle of my fast helps a great deal.

Fast on your busiest days. I do it on work days so I’m automatically focused on something else.

This isn’t in any book, but the components that help me get through a fast are: Fiber, protein, and sodium. Those three things have left more feeling less starving, and able to complete the fast better than anything! I thought pasta would be good, but carbs left me hungry after just an hour or two! Not fair. And the 3 suggested components should be together, because chicken and salty dip alone left me hungry also. So make sure it’s fiber, protein, salt. Nachos before a fast (with chili, black beans, or refried beans as part of it) is absolutely perfect *chef’s kiss*. Chili with wheat thins (or crackers crumbled in it if you’re not addicted to Wheat Thins like I am) is another favorite of mine. Soup with chicken and beans was good. Stir fry. Sushi. A ham & cheese sandwich with tomato soup. Rice and beans with chicken. Starting out well seems to set the whole tone. Don’t eat more than you usually would (defeats the purpose), eat smarter.

Stay hydrated! If you feel icky, try Gatorade or one of those green nutrition drinks with all the vitamins and minerals. Sparkling water is also a treat. Before, during, and after the fast drink a lot!

Speaking of beverages, I still have my morning (black!) coffee during a fast. those Itty calories aren’t going to un-do the benefits, but caffeine withdrawals will make everything worse.

Keep busy, don’t fixate on it.

If you are just not going to make it–try drinking some chicken broth before cheating and having a burger. The salt really helps pull you through, but it’s light enough not to ruin everything. I mean, this is a band aid and a bridge, but for your first couple, if it’s too tough, try the broth before quitting.

Keep your exercise schedule. I work out hard, I’m even hypoglycemic, but fasting and exercise doesn’t cause me trouble. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR OF COURSE. And, bonus, it even leaves me feeling satiated for awhile afterwards.

Avoid food commercials. Don’t smell food–this is THE most terrible for me. Don’t go into the cafe, lunchroom, or dinner table, because it’s torture. Just take a walk. Do something else. Don’t think about it, watch it, smell it, or be near food.

When you break the fast, eat slower! You will want to hoover your food. But every time I’ve eaten after a fast, my stomach/mind takes a long time to realize I’m full. So don’t eat a big portion, and don’t eat too quickly.

DON’T QUIT, just try a different strategy or start slow, or play with the variables.

And if you just can’t do a 24 hour fast, try a different one. There are at least 5 fasting schedules, and any one of them are going to cut down calories. So don’t feel like a failure and quit–just try a 16 hour fast, or a different type. And you can work up to 24 hours over time, or just keep one of the other fasting intervals.

Sure, they’re showing you GYM, but weight loss mostly happens in the KITCHEN.

How to Eat Less (At Least, What Worked for Me)

12 May

I used to have a magical metabolism.  I ate whatever I wanted, in whatever amount, all the time and was still thin.  I was never a heavy kid or teen.  And I got a little more hefty my first year of college when I was living off Domino’s Kickers and gummy worms, but only like 5 extra pounds.  I had this gift of a metabolism until I turned 34.  Then, things started catching up with me.  Suddenly, I had to pay attention to what foods I ate and how much.  And I did not like it.  It was different.  I had never, never had to pay attention before!  And it first, it was like I noticed it, but it didn’t really impact my weight.  But my clothes just fit different.  Then, clothes I’d worn since 6th grade, suddenly just didn’t fit.  Then my cute-stuff shorty-shorts didn’t fit the same.  Then, I suddenly couldn’t wear my jeans.  Abruptly, my weight shot up!  At an alarming rate, too.  Once the number budged, it just kept going up and up.  I was upset and heartbroken, yet I didn’t really want to stop eating like I had.  I love food!  So I tried to out-exercise it.  Instead of just the 1 mile per day, I added strength.  And crunches.  Those did help tone me, but did not fix my clothes situation.  And I was determined not to buy a whole new wardrobe!

So I knew I had to reign it in.  And it was a slow process, with a lot of embarrassingly loud stomach growls as I retrained my body.  Here are some hints that helped:

–>here is a key point:  -small daily** changes<– 

Seriously, don’t punish yourself.  Just like anything else, you have to work up to it.  Yes, hold yourself accountable.  Have goals.  But just go for one small change in habit every day.  Just one.  And when that gets slightly easier, challenge yourself a bit more.  Until you’re really getting somewhere.  Accountable and challenging, but don’t beat yourself up or too push too much, too fast.

-packing snacks in zip locks or tiny tupperware.  Because my appetite could have polished off a bag.

-Prioritize.  When I am trying to get my food under better control, I suddenly have to choose between foods instead of having them all.  Just do your favorites.  If you could take or leave donuts, don’t let yourself auto-grab a donut just because someone brought them to the meeting.  If you love pasta–fine.  But have smaller portions of light foods the rest of the day to counteract all those carbs.  Choose solid calories (vs drinks) because, let’s face it–it’s a waste to drink your calories and feel starving afterwards.  And remember, artificial sweeteners are 100x sweeter they so increase hunger.  Make what you eat count.

-Drinking more water.  And yes, at first this makes you feel even more hungry, but over time (like a span of months, so don’t give up) I think it really does help.

-Picking the right snacks.  Produce was like eating nothing at all.  I was starved out of my mind, hangry and cheatee.  But a handful of nuts, especially those flavored ones with wasabi or chipoltle were somewhat satisfying.

-Honestly, what really helped in those very early stages was adding a bit of soup broth to my water.  That salt (bad long term) really helped get my hunger back in check.  Just don’t over-do it, because soup is too salty for the heart and hydration status.

-Use smaller plates and tupperwares so you don’t SEE deprivation, and so you can clean your plate without overindulging.

-eat more fiber

-eat more protein

-I’m not good at eating my meals slower–ain’t nobody got time (or patience) for that, but I would pack a bag of Triscuits and just eat one every time my stomach growled at work.  So I’d work on a bag throughout the whole morning.  More power to you if you can stand to eat your meals slowly, chewing extra and all that.

-KEEP BUSY.  It’s all caps because it’s a big factor.  Don’t just sit there thinking about hunger, cheating, your next meal, or how you want to give up.  Focus on work.  Do extra chores.  Do anything to take your mind off of it.  Yes, it’s very preoccupying, especially in those first 2 months.  But keep busy, busy.

-Did you know belly fat stimulates hunger hormones?  Which doesn’t seem fair, since the problem just keeps perpetuating.  So doing that exercise is actually helping reduce the hunger too.

-When I’m fatigued and tired, I make shitty choices.  I grab the ice cream, skip the workout, then feel regretful.  So get your sleep!

I’m not gonna lie.  It takes a long time to reign it back in.  There will be times you’re super hungry, healthy meals that leave you totally unsatisfied, and some cheating.  But do stick with it in the long run.  I’m back in my jeans, back in my cute clothes.  And more than that I feel better, and have more energy than when I accidentally got fat.  It’s worth it, and as cliche’ as it is, YOU’RE worth it.