IF

IF, what?  Intermittent Fasting, of course.

So, I’ve been experimenting the last few days and I’ve come to some interesting conclusions.  But first, some of the reasons that I decided to give this a try:

  1. Just like with Primal(ish) eating, there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence out there that shows people not only lose weight using this tactic, but gain control over their hunger as well.
  2. It simplifies life — by fasting from dinner until my mid-morning breakfast, I no longer have to find something in the house to eat in the evening, and I can forgo my protein shake in the morning (or whatever I have for my “first” breakfast of the day).
  3. It simplifies decisions — is it after dinner?  Then, no, I cannot have a snack.  Is it 10am yet?  Then no, I can’t eat whatever might be laying around the office.
  4. It’s a very black and white strategy, which might prove useful for this very black and white girl.
  5. Curiosity.  It may have killed the cat, but hey, who likes cats anyway? (I kid! I kid! All you cat lovers out there don’t come after me…)
There are a couple of different methods of IF.  You can do anything from a full 24 to 36 hour fast every few days to doing it the way I chose to — a 14-16 hour fast by eating dinner and then not eating breakfast until mid-morning the next day.

I was a little dubious going into it — I had always bought into the “eat every few hours” advice that’s been floating around for ages now because it seemed to make sense.  I mean, it seemed like every time I ate a little meal, it wouldn’t be long before I was hungry again and looking for food.  So how would I be able to go that long without any food?  To give you an idea, when doing the food every few hours thing, I’d often eat right before bed and still wake up hungry (whether or not that was exacerbated by poor food choices, I won’t touch on right now).

The first night it was difficult to not snack in the evening — it was habit to have something to nom on while I was watching TV, reading or working on my computer.  But I’ll tell you — it felt good to abstain, especially since I knew I had enough for dinner and shouldn’t need anything more.

The next morning I woke up a little hungry, but not as bad as usual.  And all morning my stomach was a little grumbly, but if I was busy working on something, I didn’t even really notice.  Turns out that waiting until 9:30am or so to eat (depending on what time I finished dinner, of course) wasn’t all that difficult.  

And then once I did have that meal — and it was fairly substantial (eggs, piece of fruit and some cottage cheese) — I wasn’t really hungry until lunch rolled around.  Of course, by this time I’m not technically in the “fasting” stage, but it wasn’t hard not to snack between meals.  And if I’m not snacking because I’m not hungry, then those are calories that I didn’t need anyway that I’m not consuming (did you follow that?).  #FTW

I’ve been keeping track of my weight, and it’s been slowly inching down.  Perhaps this might be a strategy that helps me reach my goal?  It’d be nice if it was, because it’s not all that difficult to implement and — ironically — I don’t feel like it’s at all restrictive.  All I have to do is not eat when I’m not supposed to. Even my pea-brain can handle that.

As a footnote, I’m more “-ish” than Primal these days.  Perhaps I didn’t give it a fair shot, but I really do feel more satisfied when I add some carbs into my diet.  For what it’s worth, they are mostly “smart” carbs (fruit, sweet potatoes, more complete grains like quinoa and wild rice) and I’m otherwise eating pretty clean.  There’s something to be said for feeling satiated, which strictly Primal doesn’t seem to do for me.

So – onward.  I’ll keep tweaking what I’m doing, figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t.  In LE terms, I’m starting to write my owner’s manual, documenting how I run best (though I think that’s a book that will never have a “The End” tacked onto it… well, at least not until I cease to need an owner’s manual…).