I’m sharing my unique experience with intermittent fasting. If you have questions on the basic ins and out of intermittent fasting, check out my initial post. When we left off, I had decided to take the plunge and begin the 16/8 intermittent fasting method. I was skeptical that it would work for me.
A Dominate Hangry Gene?
You see, I have the tendency to get hangry, and it comes on fast and furious. My husband says I’m dominant for the hangry gene and that I’ve passed it on to our son Will. I cannot confirm nor deny this. With that said, I decided to ease my way into intermittent fasting. I started with a 12 hour fast and a 12-hour eating window. While doing this, I ate my last meal of the day around 6 pm and had breakfast at around 6 am.
I survived this and moved on to 14 hours of fasting with a 10-hour eating window, following pretty much the same schedule as the 12-hour fast. But, I tried to get dinner in a little earlier and ate breakfast a little later. After that, I made the transition to 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour eating window, also knows as intermittent fasting 16/8. I did this for 4 weeks before our girls weekend in Vegas, and it made a huge difference! During that time, I lost at least 10 pounds and felt so much better in my skin (and my jeans and bikini).
Practical Advice for Intermittent Fasting- 16/8 Method
I learned a few things while doing intermittent fasting that I thought would be good to share, so you’re not going into it blind.
Give Yourself Grace
Unless you are training for a bikini contest, give yourself some grace! There’s no scientific research that 15 hours and 23 minute fast is inferior to a 16 hours fast. If this is a significant change for you, it’s okay to ease into it.
There will be things that make this more difficult like travel, or a sick kid or whatever. Just do your best. I will say, I found this simplified my life. For example, on work days, I didn’t have to get up and make breakfast for myself. I could pack a whole days food in my lunch bag the night before.
Coffee During Fasting
Speaking of breakfast. You’re going to read all different opinions about coffee. Typically, it’s recommended to drink your coffee (or tea) black with no additives that could break your fast. Some experts say a bulletproof or fat only coffee is fine too, though there’s some argument on that one. I don’t plan on cutting out coffee anytime soon. Coffee is life. So, I followed the general rule that if you drink something with less than 50 calories, it doesn’t affect your fasted state. I nixed the sweetened creamer and went for a splash of milk in my coffee in the morning. If I wanted to stop at On the Grind or other favorite coffee haunts, I did it during my eating hours.
It’s a Team Effort
If you have a family or live with roommates, you should tell them you are doing this and adjust your schedules accordingly. Otherwise, they will offer you food or get takeout for you when you’re fasting. If you have children or a spouse that need to eat dinner and depend on you to make it, you may want to start fasting after said dinner.
A Way of Eating, Not a Fad Diet
Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet; its a way of eating. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want during your 8-hour eating window. This is what I love about intermittent fasting! With that said, if you eat better food, you will have better results. Plus, if you waste your 8-hour window eating all junk, you won’t feel good, and it’s going to be hard to fast. I tried to eat a balanced dinner with protein and veggies as my last meal of the day whenever possible.
Working Out is Optional
Let’s talk about working out. Before kids, I loved to run, do home workouts, go to classes. But honestly, in this season of life, I have a hard time getting excited about it. Hence the need for something to help with weight loss!
For all you others who are currently enjoying fitness and keeping your heart healthy, keep doing what you’re doing. The intermittent fasting gurus are all over the place about whether you should work out during your fast. I would follow what works for you. I have been running a few times since starting intermittent fasting, and I always do this during my eating hours. I need a quick snack before a workout (remember the hangry gene), and I wouldn’t change that now. However, if you typically get up early and work out and then eat breakfast, you can probably keep that up while intermittent fasting as long as that feels good to you.
Drink Lots of Water
Stay hydrated. I can’t stress this enough. You can drink low sugar and low-calorie beverages like water, coffee, tea, and broths whether you are fasting or eating. I found that drinking water helped me feel less hungry and prevented me from eating out of boredom at my desk at work. If you get tired of plain water, try La Croix or Topo Tico.
Give Intermittent Fasting, 16/8 a Try!
That’s all I got. I definitely think intermittent fasting is something I can maintain long term. It’s not a fad diet, it’s just a timed way of eating, and it’s totally doable if you are a working mom who’s busy trying to live her best life. Don’t forget to reach out to me if you want to learn how you can have healthy hair along with your new healthy lifestyle!