Sunday, February 5, 2017

Intermittent Fasting: Weeks One Through Seven

Rockin' the pants for Boeheim's 1,000th win
This is the first time I have attempted Intermittent Fasting to lose weight.  I have tried: low carb, low fat, no sugar, cabbage soup diet, writing down what I eat, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, watching what I eat, and exercise. Over the past two years I have put on almost 30 pounds, due to family and work stress, early menopause, chocolate, and wine.  I finally got fed up after Thanksgiving, and really wanted to feel good for my 45th Birthday. A friend of mine has had success with IF, so I figured, What The Heck, lets try it for a few weeks and see what happens.

At first the idea of not eating for several hours at a time was daunting.  Then I looked at what I ate for breakfast, and brought to work for lunch. My bag was full of snacks for when hunger struck, carrots and hummus, trail mix, cheese sticks, apples.  This is in addition to the turkey sandwich I ate at lunchtime.  Then the piece of chocolate I had in the afternoon for a treat.

The funny thing is, even with all this food, I was really hungry in between.  Then a light bulb went off, and I figured, if I'm going to have a grumble in my stomach, just let it grumble, and not feed it.

The week before Christmas I decided try to IF. I googled and went on Pinterest and read about the three different methods to fast.  Fasting has been practiced for various reasons other than weight loss, during a fast insulin levels drop, human growth hormone increases, cells repair themselves, and hormones regulate.

I decided to fast for 16 hours and fit my food into an eight hour feasting period.

The first thing I do in the morning is drink water, followed by one cup of coffee.  I put a tablespoon of natural creamer that is 30 calories in my coffee.  Apparently if you stay under 50 calories, your body will remain in a fasted state.   There are recipes to add grass fed butter to coffee, to help the body feel full as you fast, but I haven't tried that yet.  I drink a great deal of water, between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m I drink 50 ounces.

I tend to break the fast around 2:00.  Mike and I eat dinner late, a habit that we formed when we were living in NYC, So if we eat at nine, I don't eat again until 1:00 the next day.  Every day is different, it was tricky to try this type of eating during the holidays.  The first few days I was really hungry.  But I kept busy and during my lunch hour I went to the library or did errands.  As my co-workers brought in treats, it was easier to avoid them completely, instead of having a little taste that kept me yearning for more.

After Christmas break I looked forward to getting back to a routine, it was easier to be at work with no temptations.  When it's time for lunch, I have an apple or a salad to start, then eat whatever leftovers we had the night before.  I still have a cookie or chocolate for a treat, as well as wine with my dinner.  I didn't restrict any foods, I wanted to see how my body reacted to fasting alone.  My plan was to try fasting until January 31st, my birthday.

I started to feel lighter, less bloated.  My skin looked clearer.  I have been working out when I can, on the weekends I go to the Y before I eat lunch. If I can't fit a visit during the week, I walk on my treadmill or walk the dog.  I am still waiting for my new orthotics so I can't run, but I have been using the step machine or the elliptical, followed by whatever weight machine that is available. This is a busy time of year at the Y!

Last week wasn't the greatest workout wise. We went to the SU game at noon on a Saturday, we had passes to the free beer and snack tent, which was fun. My birthday was a few days later, which meant not one, but two birthday cakes.  I had PTA meetings and dinner out with a friend another night, so my Y visits and walking did not happen.

That said, I have definitely lost weight. I wore jeans to work the other day, not my size 12, not the size 10, but the 8. Granted I had a muffin top but I wore a sweater.  I put out my clothes for work tomorrow, not the size 12 dress pants but the size 10.  I wore a dress last week that I hadn't worn since Thanksgiving, it was noticeably looser,  I'm not going to get on the scale, because I don't want anything to mess with my momentum.  I have a long way to go, and I know slow and steady is better, so I'm going to continue IF until April Break.  I usually go for my yearly check up then, so getting weighed then is unavoidable.

I am hungry during the day, and there are moments when I am STARVING, but I drink water or have decaf tea, and the moment passes.  I thought my energy would drop, or I would feel lightheaded, but it hasn't.  Although when it gets close to lunchtime, I am more than ready to eat, but when I look at the clock and see that I have a half hour to go, that time is nothing.

I do need to be much more consistent with my workouts.  I get up at 5:45 so there is no way I'm working out before work.  After I get E off the school bus, I'm heading back to school to get L from swim practice which narrows my workout window even more, as I have to make dinner and so forth. But there is a way and I will figure it out.

I also need to focus on my diet.  The daily chocolate (Christmas and Birthday leftovers...don't get me started on Valentine's Day) needs to be more of a weekend thing.  I do feel fuller sooner than I used to, so maybe my stomach is shrinking.  There is even more meal planning now, to make sure I fit enough of the right foods into that 8 hour window.

I feel good, which is more important than anything, and will keep in mind that summer bodies are made in winter.

Wish me luck!