Archive for the ‘The IF Journey’ Category

Time after time

September 4, 2007

A few things about intermittent fasting…

  1. It takes time to see trends
  2. No path you choose to take is all good or all bad
  3. “Intermittent” doesn’t mean “constant”
  4. Overall, I feel better when I fast, than when I don’t

I am not sure what causes this, but there are times when fasting feels intolerably cruel. On those days, I feel fussy, picked on, unreasonable, and pouty.

Interestingly enough, the next day, I might be totally fine with the experience. I haven’t been doing this long enough to know if it is due to the types of food I eat the evening before my fussiness. Or perhaps if there is a pattern to how many days in a row I have been following my fasting pattern. (My fasting pattern is to eat from about 5:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. and to fast the rest of the time)

I traveled over the Labor Day weekend with my family and wondered how my eating patterns would be affected. You see, I haven’t spoken to anyone about what I am doing around food. I tend to get private about these things. I suppose this is due to years of unsuccessful dieting. Public knowledge or comment about a failed diet is humiliating.

Anyway, continuing with intermittent fasting proved to be easier than I expected. My husband doesn’t always follow a firm feeding schedule. He tends to snack, then not be interested in a meal. As a result, it was fairly easy to put off having a meal together until the evening.

It turned out well, too. We went out to several nice restaurants. Because I had not eaten most of the day, by dinnertime, I was hungry, and felt okay with eating and enjoying a large dinner.

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A week’s musings

August 24, 2007

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.