Tag Archives: intermittent fasting

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.

Intermittent Fasting

20 Feb

I love food.  But I want to fit into my pants so I’m trying it.

When I heard about intermittent fasting I was VERY skeptical.  My mom bought me a book.  I was still skeptical because the author only had a Bachelor’s I think.  But he name-dropped Marion Nestle and I have 3 of her books and trust her knowledge for the most part (I can’t get on to encouraging owners to make their own pet food).  So I hung in their and finished the book.

What I like about it is you don’t have to moderate your foods and portions and think about what you’re eating all the time.  And I like that you net less calories during a day even if you have say, Taco Bell.  I also like that fasting is giving the middle finger to big food corporations that are marketing abusively and hurting us ultimately for their own profit.

I was/am suspicious about hypoglycemia.  The author says the disorder is under diagnosed, overrated, and probably people who think they have it are actually just anxious about not eating.  Except, I had symptoms before I ever knew what blood sugar was, let alone hypoglycemia.  I wasn’t making shit up or having symptoms because of some anxiety.  I had and have some low blood sugar side effects.  But I tried to disprove it by looking up real research on Google Scholar, and everybody across the board was complementary of Intermittent fasting.  They even said it could be a cure for diabetes!  So I figured if people on insulin could fast without a problem so could I.

I tried it.  At first I wanted to get used to it so I just skipped breakfast and snacks every work day.  Which amounted to a 16 hr fast.  And it was kinda sucky.  I thought about food a lot.  Felt hunger a LOT–not just briefly either like the book promised.  And my stomach growled loudly, despite (always) drinking copious amounts of water.  I felt like I might get a headache and had a sort of lightheaded feeling.  Concentrating on work was difficult.  I felt like I looked pale, and I was definitely peked.

We started having a spoon of that super-food powder and on the 16 hour fasts, that does help take the edge off and fix the headachey/lightheaded feelings.  Not so much for the 24 hr fasts.  That headache is here to stay despite many asprins and boat loads of water.

Finally after 3 weeks (taking of weekends) of fasting for 16 hr every work day it wasn’t totally terrible.  So I thought I might try 24 hours.

I went dinner to dinner and got so hungry by noon that it was suffering until 5 Pm when it was time to break the fast.  I skipped our run, strength workout, and our creative intervals because I was so hungry.

The book said if one time doesn’t work, just shift the fast to a different time of day.  So even though my lunches are usually a smaller portion size, and less substantial foods than dinner I tried going lunch to lunch.  Oh and it made a big difference.  I still got hungry in the morning, but only for a few minutes at a time (vs. voracious and constant on the other).  So I have no idea what the difference is, but lunch to lunch is what my body prefers.

So after having finished 3 weeks of 16hr fasts per day and now 24 hr fasts twice a week for 2 weeks:  I don’t like how hard fasting is.  Nor do I like how I feel during a fast.  I do think I’m fitting into my clothes better and I like being able to eat the same as always at other meals and not upset my entire eating everything.  I also really like sticking it to the crooked food companies.  I do not think this way of eating will be a long term thing, and I don’t think I could sustain it over the long term.  Just because being hungry sucks.  But I will try–and hopefully with practice it will get easier.