I realised something today, which may be really obvious to everyone else and I knew it on an intellectual level but the truth of it dawned on me. I’ve recently started the 16:8 eating plan. It involves fasting for 16 hours and consuming all of your calories in an 8 hour window. I found even though I eat pretty healthily and exercise a lot I just wasnt losing weight.
The 16:8 eating plan is not a diet, its better than a diet. I love food, and eating and cheese and chocolate and restricting myself just doesn’t work. My husband is a chef, I can’t let that go to waste by eating boiled bland food! So I didn’t want restrict what I eatso now I just do all my eating in the 8 hour window. I havent changed what I eat, I’ve essentially just skipped breakfast. I thought it would be super hard but it hasnt been. Its only been a week so far but I’ve found the adjustment pretty easy to be honest. Especially at work, I just try to drink a lot of water, I’ve got myself a two litre water bottle and it takes me a few hours to drink that, and all of a sudden its 12pm and I’m off to the gym for a workout. After I get back to work its one o’clock and my glorious 8 hour eating window has opened!
Now, it doesn’t mean you can eat until you keel over, just what you would normally have for lunch. Basically the gist is you’ve cut all the calories you would have normally consumed for breakfast out plus fasting itself has some outstanding health benefits. Without wasting energy on digestion your body is free to concentrate on other areas of your body. Blood levels of insulin drop when you are fasting, which facilitates fat burning, repair processes kick off in your cells and levels of hormones that facilitate fat burning and muscle gain increase. There are heaps of other benefits too, google it. I actually have been feeling better this week than I have in a long time. I feel like my general mood has picked up and I have more energy. I sort of expected to be tired, but it’s the opposite. When you are not spending time eating and digesting it frees up a lot of time for other things too. It might sound weird but my body also feels like it’s in a natural human state, it feels efficient and evolved, strong and dynamic. I kinda feel more connected to my body and what’s going on with it. I don’t think I’ve lost any weight on the scales yet but I feel like my clothes fit better.
The only time I’ve found it hard was this weekend. I guess I wasn’t quite distracted enough watching cartoons with my son. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is to have a delicious haloumi and tomato wrap for breakfast. This was when I had my realisation, while dreaming of scoffing my favourite breakfast I realised my tummy wasnt rumbling, I wasnt hungry at all, it was my mouth that craved the food, the tastes I loved. I was actually moving my tongue around in my mouth like I would if I’d taken a bite and was savouring it, feeling the textures, my mouth salivating. All this time I thought I had been constantly hungry but it has taken intermittent fasting for me to realise I’m not hungry all the time, I just like the tastes of food. This realisation has made it a lot easier to be a bit more disciplined about what and when I eat. I’m going to continue my 16:8 journey and see what comes of it, if the results are anything to go by so far then I think it will be a long term lifestyle choice.