Friday, 27 April 2018

My Journey with Intermittent Fasting

Firstly, let me credit this post to the beautiful Sian from Quite Frankly She Said, who introduced me to the concept of intermittent fasting back in January and goes into the "diet" in far more detail on her blog. Secondly, I'm obviously not advising that this will work for everyone and I'm not a dietician or nutritionist - I'm simply sharing what has worked for me. Thirdly, no I don't have any before and after photos because it's recently occurred to me that nobody ever took photos of me before Keiran and so you'll have to put up with these two instead of "afters".

Intermittent Fasting is basically when you fast for a certain amount of time each day, until your body reaches the fasting state and your body uses fat for fuel as opposed to food. As per Sian's post, I use the 16:8 method where I don't eat for 16 hours out of the day. Most days I tend to do this naturally anyway really, we have dinner with Sophie usually at around 6.30pm and I've found since starting intermittent fasting, I've not actually felt hungry any later than that. Getting ready in the morning with a toddler is like an Olympic sport and whilst she's eating her breakfast I'm usually in the shower or getting dressed which leaves me busy until 8.30am when I get to work. By the time I've done all of my urgent jobs first thing in the morning - I only have another hour or so to kill until my 16 hours are up. This is just the timings that work for me however, I know Sian does it differently and I'm sure a different time frame may work for you too.

One of the biggest things that Intermittent fasting has changed is my attitude towards snacking. I don't know about you but I used to snack most during the evening when I was just sat in front of the sofa, or I'd grab a kitkat for "breakfast" on the way out of the door. So both of those times are eradicated because they're not in my eating window and the rest of the time I seem to be far more conscious about whether I'm actually hungry or just wanting to eat because I'm bored. Obviously you have to be mindful of everything you're eating, you can't get to 10.30am and devour seven burgers each day and still hope to lose weight.

I've lost around a stone and a half in total since last November, although in fairness I lost a stone of that through plain not eating during my breakup and then put half of it back on after Christmas. So in total I've lost a stone since trying this method. I've done no exercise whatsoever really to accompany this and I still eat pretty much the same foods as I did before, just the junk in more moderation and no snacking in between. I'm not going to post my food diary as I'm a really fussy eater and I don't consider what I eat to be healthy. I've also had plenty of days where I've caved and had something sugary to eat or drink before 10.30am, but I try to forget about these the next day and start a fresh - which is one of the great things about intermittent fasting! The other rule that I bend is that if I do eat later than 6.30pm, I still start eating again at 10.30am if I feel hungry. I don't want to feel like I'm starving my body so even if I last ate at 8.30pm the night before, if 10.30am comes around and I'm starting to feel ravenous - then I'll eat.

I've found that Intermittent Fasting is flexible enough for me, the fussy eater who doesn't like to deprive herself, but has still shown me huge results in a relatively short space of time. It's also changed the way I look at food and my portion sizes are back under control too. I wasn't setting a healthy example to Sophie by eating rubbish first thing in the morning and it was only getting more difficult to explain to a toddler why I've got chocolate but she has to have a banana so to me, this works. I don't find that I'm sat at my desk thinking about all of the foods I can't have, I'm not counting calories and I can go to a restaurant and order whatever I like without feeling guilty!

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