I mentioned in my October recap post that I started intermittent fasting at the beginning of the month. It’s officially been one month so I wanted to give you a full update on how it’s going!
Before I started intermittent fasting, I read a lot of articles and blog posts on other people’s experiences. Three articles that stood out to me where Paul Tadalan’s post on his and his wife’s experience with long-term intermittent fasting, Liz’s experience, and Brooke’s results. Michael has also done IF a few different times, and it worked really well for him.
My desire to see how IF would affect my body was and is admittedly partially driven by the fact that I’m getting married in January. At the beach. My goal is to lose the extra puffiness around my mid-section. I work out pretty frequently, but I know that abs are made in the kitchen. A silly saying, but oh so true! Along with the goal of losing belly fat and bloat, I’m also really interested in the positive long-term health affects IF can have on your body and mental and physical state. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to spew scientific data here, I’ll let you do a little googling and research on your own if you’re interested.
When Do I Fast?
Before I jump into when I eat and when I fast, I use the Zero App to help me track how long I’m fasting each day. It’s super easy to use, and it’s fun to see a visual on the amount of time that has passed!
I generally try to fast for at least 16 hours. Everyday, even on the weekends. It’s not always easy. And I definitely cheated a few times this month – my bachelorette weekend and on my birthday. By “cheating” I mean that I broke my fast in the morning prior to hitting a full 16 hours of fasting.
In an ideal world, I’d love to be able to start my fast earlier in the evening, but with work, blog event commitments at night, and squeezing in evening workouts, I generally don’t finish eating dinner until around 8:30. To hit 16 hours, I have to wait until 12:30/1:00PM to eat every day. Sometimes I do have random days where my schedule just works out to where I eat an earlier dinner and therefore get to break my fast earlier in the day the next day.
Even though I don’t eat anything until 12:30/1:00pm each day, I do still have my morning coffee. I add a pinch of sugar and use a small amount of coconut creamer. I usually make two cups each morning, but I never drink a full cup. I’d say all together I consume one full cup of coffee throughout the morning. The small amount of calories in my coffee doesn’t set off my metabolism for the day – key to not breaking the fast. So long as you’re in a fasted state, your body burns not only carbohydrates, but fat too. My goal with my coffee is to stay under 50 calories all in.
When Do I Eat?
Like I mentioned, I don’t eat until 12:30/1:00PM each day. To ease a little bit of your fears you might be having about this … Before I started intermittent fasting, I was a total breakfast AND morning snack person. I wake up EARLY. Between 5:00 – 5:30AM during the week and between 7:30 – 8:30AM on the weekends. I thought I’d feel faint-ish and be famished by 1PM. It’s a total mind game, all mental. There are days when I’m really hungry and ready for lunch and even hangry, but most of the time, the morning flies by. The coffee really helps to curb my appetite!
I eat all of my food for the day between the hours of 1PM-9PM (give or take a few minutes).
What I Eat
Like I said, I’m a big breakfast person. So I usually break my fast at 1PM with breakfast-type food. I’ve been cooking a lot of scrambled eggs, bacon, and turkey sausage. I’ll also throw in an apple and peanut butter too. Ideally, I’d love to break my fast by consuming mostly protein, but I’m addicted to carbs soooo I usually have a brown rice tortilla (Trader Joe’s brand!) or Siete tortilla with my eggs/bacon/sausage.
Since I eat a later lunch, I’m usually not that hungry until dinner. Michael and I cook at home during the week.
On weekends, bagels are my weakness. I usually grab one on Saturday or Sunday morning while out getting coffee and save it for later – to break my fast at 1:00pm. I’d like to cut out this habit as I get closer to our wedding date. 🙂 I still drink alcohol on the weekends (limiting it isn’t part of IF), but I tend to only drink on Saturdays if I’m not traveling.
Is Intermittent Fasting Hard?
Intermittent fasting is a total mental game. It takes a bit of self control and planning to make sure you’re setting yourself up to stick with the fast the next day. But it’s not HARD. There’s no strict dietary limitations, there’s just a limited number of hours that you can consume food.
The hardest part for me is the weekend. Which is a little strange because I’m awake for less time during the fasting period. But on Saturday and Sunday mornings, all I want to do is walk to my favorite coffee shop, grab a coffee and bagel, sit, and people watch.
Intermittent Fasting Results
I’ll go ahead and let the cat out of the bag – I haven’t lost any weight on the scale. However, before starting with intermittent fasting, I hadn’t been on a scale in years. I don’t really care what the scale says. I care about how I look. Michael made me get on the scale just to see if IF made a difference in my weight. So no, I haven’t lost any weight from intermittent fasting.
BUT I feel great! It’s definitely a combination of consistently working out and intermittent fasting, but I can’t tell you the last time I could see mini abs trying to show through. I still have work to do on my lower belly, but I’m really pleased with how my upper abs are starting to show their little faces. And more importantly, I feel really great.
I’m planning on sticking with intermittent fasting until our wedding – January 19th. I’m hoping it will keep me accountable through the holidays. Work always tends to be crazy during November and December, which usually ends up derailing my workout schedule and ultimately my eating habits. I’m determined not to let this happen this year. I’ll be sharing monthly updates on the intermittent fasting along the way.
Let me know if you have any specific questions about intermittent fasting!