A few weeks ago I gave you a bit of insight into intermittent fasting (which you can find here if you missed it) and told you that I was going to give it a go, which I did! I kept a record of the first five days of my experiment, which you can read below.
Please remember I am nothing but a girl experimenting with how my body reacts to different methods of eating. This is is the 16:8 method, so 16 hours of fasting and eight hours of an eating window.
Day One: Monday
7.15am: I did some research and while everything seems to be a bit up in the air (can you drink it, can you not drink it?) when it comes to determining if pre-workout does or doesn't break the fast- I am going to do this week with pre-workout, just because I see a bigger difference in my training when I do use it and I always feel better if I've done a good workout in the morning. On weekdays I always train fasted, that is just how I like to train so, there won't be any struggles here, nothing out of the ordinary.
8.30am: Usually this is around the time that I have some breakfast or a smoothie, because I trained myself into that routine my stomach is grumbling but I will be strong. I'm sure that once my stomach realises that we no longer have breakfast all will be fine- it's all about creating the habit, which I think may be a bit of a struggle to begin with.
11.43am: Less than an hour until I can break my fast, of course I'm not counting (Yes I am).
12.40pm: MEAL 1.
Annnnnd the fast is broken. Surprisingly after drinking a bit of water during the fasting period the hunger wasn't as noticeable. I think water is going to be my new best friend for the first few days of developing the habit. My first meal of the day was rice cakes with avocado and tuna on top, I just needed something quick and simple today, nothing that I really had to think about making (yes I should have meal prepped, no I could not be bothered yesterday- it was a lazy Sunday okay).
1.16pm: I am an avid drinker of coke zero (except now I am stuck with coke no sugar, which is basically the same thing, isn't it?) but for the purpose of this week I am going to try my hardest to really cut back on it, I'm sure my stomach will be thankful for it. So, I've decided to go with a Twinings Digest herbal tea, I have been having these when I am feeling a little bit bloated lately, and at the moment I feel like I've just eaten Christmas Lunch, except it isn't Christmas and I've barely actually eaten.
3.32pm: I am hungry again- the best thing about having your own office- minimal people notice if you leave to get food, except when you get back and there are multiple people waiting in your office for you (yay). Because I am still in my eating window its fine- you are supposed to eat everything you normally would just in a smaller amount of time. I think I should have had a bigger lunch and then I wouldn't have to be ducking off to grab another meal.
3.45pm: MEAL 2.
I went home and prepared a brown rice and quinoa microwave bowl thing and added in a tin of tuna, a little tiny bit of mayo and some cherry tomatoes. I needed something that was going to keep me going through my boxing class at 5:30. I have now recognised I have eaten two tins of tuna in the space of less than four hours, I am not going to feel well tonight (tuna doesn't often sit well with me).
6:30pm: I had so much energy for boxing today, probably because I had two meals before doing the workout. If I had eaten something any later than the last meal I had I would have ended up with cramps and a very sore stomach. I still think I should have stuck with a bigger lunch and just a small snack, like an apple before boxing.
7:00pm: MEAL 3.
Chicken burritos for dinner- I was still full from my other two meals so I didn’t eat all the much, instead I struggled through one burrito, which is unusual for my Mexican food loving self. I needed to lay down after that meal though, the food coma is real ya'll.
Okay so I rewarded myself with one single caramel crown- 73 calories of delishiousness!!! No regrets at absolutely all. I have just remembered to mention that I am counting my calories, I don't think I need to share them with you, but just letting you know that I am counting. I will probably only be counting for the first week or so, just so that I have an idea of what foods fit into my cals and what don't, just to help me out with my intuitive eating while intermittent fasting.
8.00pm: Sleepy tea and time for sleep. The fast begins again!! My thoughts on day one revolve around the fact that I ate too much, I think I was under the impression you were supposed to fit all three of your meals into one feeding widow, but that just isn't going to work for me. Tomorrows game plan is two meals- lunch and dinner and a small snack (fruit, ect) around three thirtyish.
Day 2: Monday
7.15am: I am up for a workout but holy hell I for sure ate too much food yesterday, while it was all good food, I just ate too much of it- granted it was three small meals, but I've woken up feeling very bloated and crampy, will not be making that mistake again.
8.30am: I did have pre-workout again today, and given my sore and bloated stomach I decided to take things easy. What was supposed to be a HIIT session became a full body Pilates type thing (I don't know how to describe it). I would not have been fine with jump squats and burpees today.
9.42am: My stomach has been making the most ridiculous of noises since I sat down at my desk, but I have found that constantly having a water bottle near me prompts me to drink more water, especially when trying to silence my stomach. I'm not hungry, its just the habit of having breakfast is a hard one to break.
2.00pm: MEAL 1.
I've only now just broken the fast, I unexpectedly had to drive to another town and didn't think to pack my lunch. With limited options I settled on what I thought would be a healthier option of a chicken rippa roll from Red Rooster (in comparison to McDonalds), sans chips and with water. Wrong- once I logged it and saw the calories I was perplexed and confused, the roll was not good enough to be worth the calories I had just consumed, like if maybe I should have just gone to McDonalds, probably the same amount of calories but tastes better.
3.51pm: I'm not sure if it was the food itself or the knowledge of how shitty the food actually was but there is a bad feeling in my stomach. I know I said this would be the time I had a snack or something small but I'm going to have to pass on that one.
4.00pm: Am going to attempt some more pilates/yoga/stretch out this bad stomach. No energy too, but I definitely need to do something. Why I thought it was a good idea to have fast food on top of a bloated and sore stomach I do not know.
7.02pm: So, I ended up having a nap after I stretched- my stomach was still not 100% and I was running out of ways to make myself feel better. I had a digestive tea before my nap and woke up feeling so much better. I love sleeping when I feel shitty, its the human version of turning something off and then on again. Should probably not have slept so close to bed time but that is future Elyssa's problem. Now that I am up and cooking dinner I feel fine- hungry, but fine. I snack on some dried mango while cooking, again it isn't the most calorie friendly snack but I love mango, but cannot stomach the fresh version- dried is the next best option, right?
7.35pm: MEAL 2.
Tonight I made Skinnymixers chorizo meatballs with pasta for Brodie and zoodles for me. Absolutely full again. One of my favourite meat balls recipes, probably because they are steamed instead of friend and that means they always stick together!!
8.15pm: I am ready for bed again. I did have my single caramel crown again tonight, just because I needed something sweet and it was far too cold for Halo Top ice cream. Sleepy tea, bed and the fast begins again. I am seriously hoping that I do nothing to upset my stomach tomorrow, because right now I am feeling pretty good and three days in a row will leave my grumpy and tired yet again.
Day 3: Wednesday
7.15am: I am up, drinking my pre-workout and getting ready for a full body strength session. I woke up with a slight headache and grogginess, nothing too extreme. Even though I am feeling a little bit off I am keen to get a workout in, after stretching yesterday I am super keen for full body strength.
8.45am: I felt weaker in my workout today than I have lately, but this could be more to do with the fact that I have been feeling really sore lately than to do with the whole intermittent fasting fact. It was a little bit deflating and frustrating to be so keen for a good workout and leaving feeling flat.
9.25am: I am actually starving right now.. must drink more water.
11.52am: I am still hungry and contemplating ending my fast a little earlier than sixteen hours, I won't though. I am really trying to do this right, I need to see if this eating habit is going to be beneficial to me or not.
12.37pm: MEAL 1.
The fast is over and I have broken it with some seasoned chicken with baked pumpkin, cauliflower, onion and zucchini and some spinach. Again, I should have meal prepped because I was late back from lunch oops. For dressing I went with Greek yoghurt, lemon juice and salt and pepper, so simple but so delicious, I've been using it on a few of my chicken lunches lately.
1.00pm: no longer hungry, thank God for that.
2.24pm: making myself a digestive tea, as feeling slightly bloated and I am not in the mood to be bloated at all, I have too much to do to be feeling shitty. I have been so impressed with how this tea has been helping me lately, if you think it would wokr for you I seriously suggest trying it out, I mean it isn't one of those expensive, pretty Instagram ones, its simply from Twinnings (any Coles or Woolworths will have them).
5.06pm: I didn't snack at all this afternoon so I am rewarding myself with some dried mango from the scoop and weigh section at Coles, I bloody love that stuff! It seems to fill me up enough to have some more energy and get a bit more work done.
7.22pm: MEAL 2
Tonights dinner is going to be steak, sweet potato "chips" made by yours truly, some grilled vegies and some Skinnymixers Garlic Sauce. Is Brodie going to be happy about the lack of "chips and salad" in this meal? Probably. Am I worried? Not really.
8.00pm: I feel full from dinner- over full actually, I found that my portion sizes and how much it takes to make me full has decreased, I think because I am eating my meals closer together. Time for tea and bed. The fast begins again.
Day 4: Thurday
6.45am; I am up earlier today to get my full workout in before I do school drop off for my sisters and brother. I added slightly more pre-workout into my drink this morning (I usually don't have a full scoop) because I had absolutely no energy due to the fact that it was so bloody cold, the weather is such a demotivation lately. I did my warm up with two jumpers on- that's how cold it was.
8.54pm: I have been at work for four minutes and my mind thinks I am hungry. Am I going to make it until 12.30pm? Who bloody knows. This is going to get easier, isn't it?
10.45am: Struggling hard. Must drink more water. Must not focus on stomach grumbling. I honestly think this is just my head telling me that I am hungry, but I won't be giving in because soon the habit will form and it will be easier to get on with the fast.
11.50am: I almost caved and went for a biscuit from the office kitchen- I didn't, but I almost did.
12.30pm: It is time to break the fast!!! One serve of veggies with spinach, chicken breast and Greek yogurt to satisfy my stomach. I usually have the same meal two days in a row because I make two serves on the first day for a quick and easy lunch on the second day.
3.30pm: I had two of those Arnotts shortbread biscuits because I have no self control and they were right next to me. Sorry about it, also everyone else in my office was eating them and I didn't want to be left out. Everything in moderation right?
6.30pm: Usually I have a muesli bar or something similar before netball but after those biscuits I wasn't really in the mood to eat. I managed to play four quarters and still had a bit of energy at the end- impressive.
8.26pm: This isn't normally what happens after netball, but tonight I am driving my sister to another town- an hour away. This is usually the time I would be having dinner but because I have absolutely no time to cook and I haven't got any meal prepped food left we're getting take out. As I said, we don't do this all the time, it's just a rare occasion.
10.24pm: MEAL 2
Finally, I am bloody starving. We have pizza for dinner tonight- Vegorama thank you very much. I only eat two slices because hello its ten o'clock at night and I am beyond tired. I am not a vegan or a vegetarian but I am trying to reduce my red meat consumption, this is more because of the way it makes me feel than to do with anything else. Because I have eaten so late at night I probably won't last the full sixteen hours tomorrow but I will go for as long as possible. The verdict at the end of day four is that this was probably one of my crappier days, a habit is hard to form! I think the first two days were easier because it was something new and exciting but my body began to question what was going on.
Day 5: Friday
6.30am: It was almost, dare I say easy to get up this morning- I felt good! I still had pre-workout as I usually do and head to a upper body workout. I know it's only been five days, but I feel leaner this morning, I mean there is probably no physical difference but within myself I feel like this habit is helping me lean out more.
11.32am: I've made it this far without thinking about food- so thirteen hours into the fast. I can obviously make another hour and finish around my normal time of 12.30ish. I think the secret to IF is being adaptable and accepting that you aren't always going to be fasting for exactly sixteen hours.
12.35pm: I had left over vegorama pizza for lunch, I couldn't eat all much to be honest, usually I could eat for days but after two pieces I couldn't stomach anymore and I think that is more to do with how late we ate dinner last night, again you've got to be adaptable.
3.25pm: After picking my sisters and brother up from school I still wasn't that hungry but felt like I needed a snack to keep my energy levels up because it is Friday afternoon and they are plummeting- so I asked (bribed) my sister into going into the shop for me to get apples (I sill haven't gone into the shop, its been like three months haha). I found that a single apple will usually leave me feeling satisfied.
6.30pm: Fridays are usually our "easy night" where we just have something simple for dinner, but because we pretty much had that last night it was time for a bit of change up. Tonight's menu consisted of slow cooked beef and red wine casserole, minus the red wine and replaced with bone broth and a whole heap of veggies- perfect for a cold winter night!
7.45pm: I usually avoid dessert on a Friday like the plague, because of the fact that it is usually an "easy night", but because we had something that was healthy I relented and accepted a bowl of sticky date pudding- look I have no regrets at all. I mean I for sure could have whipped up a healthier version, but could I be bothered? No. I mean it still fit in my calories and I would have still eaten it even if it didn't, nothing further your honor.
Two weeks later.
Okay I have just finished two weeks of intermittent fasting and am back to give you some more thoughts. In my second week I was very flexible with IF, on two days I had early morning flights and that meant if I didn't eat before I left I wouldn't be eating until mid-late afternoon and the person next to me would be listening to my stomach make weird noises (plane food? no thank you). On both of those days I just had small breakfasts though.
After two weeks of IF, I am really trying to stick with it, which is getting easier every day, the more I do it, the more it becomes a habit and like second nature to me. I'm going to continue because it makes me feel good and helps me with the amount of food I am eating. Honestly, I don't expect to stick with it every single day- I mean, if someone wants to get breakfast out I am not going to say no just because I am fasting, you feel me?