I love to eat. I hate working out. My weight has fluctuated from my slimmest around 148 pounds in my 20’s to 180 pounds in my 40’s, months after giving birth to my second daughter Alice. With diet and exercise being the two tenets of a healthy and fit body, I had to figure out the diet part. I can get the exercise right, but diet has always been a struggle. I tried eating smaller meals throughout the day, but that didn’t work. I tried cutting carbs, but I was always hungry. Forget cutting sugar. That didn’t work for me either. What diet would work for me and help me achieve my weight goal?
My husband mentioned intermittent fasting to me as an option. According to Healthline, Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating. There are different intermittent fasting patterns to suit a person’s lifestyle. The most popular is the 16/8 method, where one fasts for 16 hours a day and eats during an eight hour period. I’d been familiar with fasting, having done so during the annual Christian season of Lent. But I had never thought of it or considered it for my own personal weight loss. Since exercise alone wasn’t helping me shed the baby weight, I knew I needed to find a diet plan I could commit to. Intermittent fasting seemed doable, as long as I could maintain both the diet and exercise.
So, I started my intermittent fasting journey slowly. I started with eating breakfast slightly later. Rather than eating breakfast at 7am with my children, I ate at 9AM. I coupled that with working out at least 4 days a week. After a few weeks, I stretched it to 11AM. I am not going to lie, it was hard. I love breakfast. I love breakfast foods. It takes serious discipline to not make toast for myself. It takes discipline to not nibble on whatever bits of pancakes my daughters don’t finish. During this process of retraining my body on when to eat, I realized that I wasn’t always hungry first thing in the morning. When I am running around getting the girls ready for their day, a cup or two of coffee suffices. To deal with the hunger pangs that resulted from the new eating pattern, I drink more fluids. I fit exercise in before my first meal of the day; it gives my brain and eyes a break from the computer.
As of today, I’ve been doing the 16/8 intermittent fasting eating pattern for a month. I feel wonderful. The combination of the intermittent fasting and exercise (running is my exercise of choice) have improved my stamina and slimmed my body. I’ve lost almost ten pounds since I began my fitness journey in March, and the weight is staying off. Intermittent fasting may not be for everyone, but I am loving what it does for me.