Phase 1 of my Lean & Strong challenge went really well, so I’m ready to move on to Phase 2 of my experiment to figure out what sustainable lifestyle changes I can make to stay at a healthy weight and to be lean and strong. I know I could completely overhaul my diet and eat perfectly and work out every day and achieve the same thing, but honestly, what kind of life is that?
I’ve decided that for the next 30 days, I will try intermittent fasting. If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting, check out these helpful links:
In a nutshell, with intermittent fasting (IF), you’re not changing what you eat, but when you eat. The idea is that when you fast, your body uses your fat cells for energy. People who do it swear that they lose weight, have more energy, and experience less junk cravings. But what really convinced me to try this was reading testimonies from women my age who have experienced weight gain and their frustrations with not being able to lose weight, despite eating a healthy diet and exercising. They finally lost weight after doing IF.
As you can see from the links above, there are several ways that you can do intermittent fasting. After doing a lot of research, talking to other people who have tried intermittent fasting, and considering my schedule, I’ve decided to do the 16/8 method. I’ll fast for 16 hours and then eat during an 8-hour window.
What appealed me about this eating method is that I don’t have to decrease what I’m eating. I only have to make sure that I eat within an 8-hour window. I won’t be depriving myself of calories. I’ll still continue to eat the healthy plant-based meals that I’ve been eating.
After reviewing my daily routine, I’ve decided to try eating my first meal at 11:00 a.m. and then stop eating for the day at 7:00 p.m. However, it’s flexible so that I can adjust my eating window as needed. My workout routine will not be changing.
I do have some concerns with this way of eating. First of all, I’m a bit skeptical that simply changing when I eat will help me lose weight. Secondly, I’ve always been a breakfast eater, and so I’m worried if I’ll be able to go until 11:00 a.m. each day without eating. I tend to get shaky and “hangry” if I wait too long to eat. However, during my fasting period, I’m allowed to have any no-calorie beverage, such as water, coffee, and tea. As long as I can continue to have my coffee (I drink it black) each morning, I’m hoping that I’ll make it to 11:00 a.m. without eating with no issues. You know, like say, biting my co-workers’ heads off, or passing out from starvation.
Have any of you tried intermittent fasting and if so what was your experience? I’d love to hear in the comments below!