After hearing in multiple health podcasts how great Intermittent Fasting is for you, and having read about it for some time, I have been keen to try it out but a little wary.
I think most people have heard of 5/2, where you eat normally for 5 days then eat very restricted (around 500 calories) on the other two, I follow a lot of people on Instagram who do this, and while it appeals, (and definitely seems to work) I think I would really struggle on my two fasting days. Food is an important part of my day, the thought of only have 500 calories twice a week just makes me sad.
Another form of fasting I heard of used Eating Windows. This is where you only eat within a limited number of hours of the day. After doing a little reading, I found that even limiting your eating to 12 hours a day showed positive side effects, and weight loss. This may seem like common sense, but for me, on a general day this never happens. I get up and often have breakfast by 5 am, don’t have dinner until 7 and sometimes a snack/pudding as late as 9. There is not a lot of space in there! Plus, I have always always always found that if I eat late at night I don’t lose weight. That seems to go against the common thought now that it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat, all you need to do is eat the right stuff. Well, I eat the right foods, even if I have a bowl of cherry tomatoes in the evening it will affect me the next day.
After reading about eating windows I thought I would jump right in and give it a bash, my plan is as follows:
I will finish eating by 7:15 pm every night (except maybe one day at the weekend)
I’m running again, now very early in the morning, 5 am, so on running mornings I will have my breakfast at 7:15 am. I leave for work at 7:30 so I need to be ready to go before having breakfast. This gives me a 12 hour eating window.
On days where I’m not running I will take my breakfast to work and not have it until at least 9:15, however I will attempt to extend that as far as I can. Once I’m in work sitting behind a computer I forget about food more than if I’m up walking about.
So 3 days a week I will do roughly a 12 hour fast, 3 days a week at 14-15 hour fast, and 1 whatever I fancy, fast or not.
I’m 5 days in now and how am I finding it? Fine. Like, totally fine. I’ve lost a pound this week, and I lost two last week (probably due to be restarting running, a post on that is coming soon), so my weight is on the move again.
Another thing to note, I don’t feel anywhere near as bloated in the morning, and I find running a little easier. I am running on an empty stomach (fasted cardio I believe this is called), not for any particular reason other than this is the only time I have to fit it in, but it feels good!
I may eventually stretch the fasting period to 16-8, but it’s hard when I’m out working and not home till 6pm, for the next few weeks though I’ll keep this up and see how it goes!