Lifestyle Journey-Intermittent Fasting

A lot of people practice intermittent fasting to help regulate their blood sugar levels and lose weight or maintain weight loss. I personally know a few people who intermittent fast daily, and I have tried it in the past but wasn’t able to find a way that worked for me so I gave it up. That was almost a year ago.

In my current lifestyle journey I have adopted a more intuitive way of eating by listening to my body and only eating meals when I’m hungry. What I have discovered as I adopted a whole-food plant-based diet and have eaten meals when I’m hungry is that my body’s natural cycle is one of intermittent fasting. Eating two meals per day feels natural to me. Because I only eat two meals per day, I consume food in a 5 – 7 hour window daily and the other 17-19 hours I fast. I tracked this for a week to come to this conclusion. I didn’t consciously decide upon a window of time to eat and a window of time to fast. This is my natural default.

Once I had the real data collected for about two weeks, I then decided I wanted to choose actual windows of time to eat and fast and follow that for awhile to see how it felt. I split the difference and decided I would only eat in a 6 hour window and fast 18 hours every day. Because I am mostly at home I am usually able to eat my two meals between noon and 6 pm. So I fast from 6 pm until noon the following day. It’s not that big of a chore, though some days I will start getting hungry around 10 am, I actually like that feeling of being hungry. This was my main complaint with Bright Line Eating, which was the program I followed the first two weeks, I never felt hungry and most of the time actually felt extremely full of food.

I like feeling hungry, that lean empty feeling before you fuel up. It actually seems like I can feel my body burning the stored fat for energy. It feels good!

During the fasting time of my day, I drink black coffee, herbal teas, water or sparkling water the same as I would normally. It’s generally accepted that anything below 50 calories doesn’t break your fast, so I guess I could even add a splash of milk if I was so inclined, but I like all my coffee and tea black anyway and my sparkling waters are plain, unsweetened, zero calorie drinks.

I usually break my fast with a lunchtime type meal, rather than breakfast. So I’ll heat up some leftovers or bake some potatoes or make a big salad usually rather than have oatmeal. I eat supper kind of early, around 430 or right at 5 pm. Many days it’s the same meal I had for lunch. Depending on how tired I am and what kind of a workday I had, it might only be a couple of apples and some peanut butter. At 6 pm I am done eating for the day. I’m usually in bed by 9 or 10 anyway and then up by 5 am. But I was never a breakfast person, I never woke up starving for breakfast, I always waited a few hours before eating. Breakfast was a meal I learned to eat because everyone always said it was the most important meal of the day. They don’t say that so emphatically anymore. I like being free to wait until lunch before eating.

I don’t even begin to feel hungry until I’ve been up for 5 hours already. It’s not a big deal to hold off another couple of hours before I actually eat. If something happens to come up, a breakfast meeting, a dinner banquet or evening party with food, then I just adjust my window so the event falls within the 6 hours eating … or I skip a day! Easy peasy! My rules are never absolute, there’s always room for adjustment. I am allowed to veer off the path from time to time. I think that’s real life, being able to go with the flow and not get stressed out about it. As long as I consistently follow my routine, 90% of the time, I know I will achieve the results I want.

If you’re following your own lifestyle journey, be kind to yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And life happens to all of us. As long as you don’t allow it to stop your journey, you will be okay. Start where you are, and keep going.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Mood: not hungry
Drinking: black, dark roast, pour-over coffee
Listening To: my neighbours answering their door
Hair: to cut or not to cut, that is the question

2 thoughts on “Lifestyle Journey-Intermittent Fasting

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  1. It’s great to hear your experience. I’ve IFed for about two years now, and eat within a six-hour window too (basically two big meals without any snacking in between). It simplifies my day so much and I’ve maintained a lean body (especially compared to my old self) since. Not sure if I’m getting many other benefits like autophagy and stuff, but I’m feeling great! Good to see all’s good for you too 🙂

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