A week’s musings

I have been intermittently fasting for the past nine days, and here are my thoughts and findings.

Findings

  • Hunger: Although there are a couple of times each day (typically breakfast time and lunch time) that I feel some hunger twangs, I am amazed that if I wait them out, they don’t last long, and really aren’t that uncomfortable.
  • Snacking: Most of my adult life, I have had troubles with frequent food cravings, or just the bad habits of eating constantly. I would have one small snack, and I wouldn’t want to stop! Repeat trips to the cupboard were often a problem. By deciding NOT to eat until 5:00 p.m. each day, the temptation isn’t as great. Sounds illogical, but it is true! It is like potato chips…it is easier to not eat any, than to eat them in moderation!
  • Fasting Schedule: I have found it most tolerable to fast about 20 hours each day and eat between either between 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. or 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Since my primary trouble time with eating has always been the evenings, this works well for me. I now have permission to eat in the evenings!
  • Glitches: So far, the only times I’ve chosen to eat before the evening are the two times I have gone out to lunch. When that happens, I fast in the morning till lunch. I then eat a lighter dinner and try to stop eating a little earlier in the evening.
  • Low carb: I feel best when I choose to eat low carb foods. Unfortunately, I only accomplish this about 1/2 the time or every other day or so.
  • High carb: When I eat higher carbs, I feel bloated and tired. My tummy swells. My blood sugar goes over 200 in the evenings and it takes a day or two for it to come back to baseline.
  • Clarity of thought: Before I started IF, I was concerned about working all day on an empty stomach and that I might not be able to think clearly. I have found this difficult to assess due to the nature of my work. I am working on a project that is quite confusing and challenging right now. I am in meetings with ambiguous agendas and my project team members and I don’t have clear direction from leadership. All this leads to feelings of confusion and feeling like I’m trying to see through a fog. I think the feelings of fogginess are due to work conditions, but time will tell.
  • Blood Sugars: When I choose to eat low carb for at least two days in a row while doing IF, my blood sugars come closer to normal than they ever have, even if I test an hour or so after eating. From the research I have done, I suspect this is due to improved insulin sensitivity and the rest my pancreas gets all day while I’m fasting.
  • Weight: My weight has stabilized. Before I started with IF, I was challenged to keep from gaining weight. It has only been nine days since I started IF, but so far, I have lost a little weight. I don’t want to use IF to lose weight though. The point for me is to feel better and to control my blood sugar better.

Thoughts/Feelings

  • Deprivation: I have not felt overly deprived. I know that once a day, I get to eat a nice, large meal. I get to eat until I am satisfied. By the time I eat in the evening, I am hungry, but for a nice healthy meal.
  • Body: I like the way my body feels. My tummy is smaller during the day.
  • Clothes: While I’m at work during the day, my clothes feel better on my body. I don’t have that fullness around the waist after lunch.
  • Cooking: I don’t have to worry about cooking breakfast or bringing a lunch to work. This saves time, effort and money!
  • Energy: I don’t feel sluggish like I expected to while fasting. If anything, I feel peppier. I think part of this is not feeling like I’m stuffed into my pants. A problem I have had before starting IF is that of feeling fatigued after eating. I don’t have that problem anymore during the day.
  • Sleep: I can sleep in a little longer on work days since I don’t have to make time for cooking and eating breakfast! I LOVE that advantage!

Future Plans

  • I would like to continue with IF for long enough to determine a trend. Will I continue to feel better? Will my blood sugars come down to non-diabetic normal ranges? Will I be able to maintain this way of eating? Is it going to be an ongoing life change for me?
  • I would love to stop having carbfests every other day or so. That has been an ongoing challenge for me though.
  • I would like to plan better for my evening meal(s) so I have good healthy food around when I sit down to eat.
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