The 16/8: We Tried Intermittent Fasting for 5 Days

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BY
VALERIE


Skip meals? We've tried it. Eating salads? Been there, done that. We know the truth: Weight loss does not come easy. In fact, I don't think it can happen without exercise (the truth hurts, but lies worse *shrugs*). However, it never hurts to have something else we can do to make the whole process easier. That's where intermittent fasting (IF) comes into play and I tried it to find out if it's really rad, or simply all a fad.

I first chanced upon this on Youtube. It was new, strange and .. positively intriguing. The moment I watched one video on IF, more videos on it starting popping up in the "next video" queue. Soon, I had cleared more than 10 videos on the topic and was rearing to go. Here's a brief breakdown of what IF is and my log of the 5 days on it.

 

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

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HOW IT WORKS / WHAT IT DOES

Essentially, to put it in the simplest form - we produce insulin when we consume food > Insulin stores fat > Reduce the eating time and blood insulin levels are reduced. Also, human growth hormones increase > that facilitates fat burning and muscle growth. It's also said to increase energy levels throughout the day. 

MY GOALS

1. Lose abit of weight

2. Greater focus and clarity through the day

3. Cut down on late night snacking

 
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HUNGER LEVELS: 3

ANGST LEVELS: 1

CHEATED: NO

OUTCOME: My eating window is 12-8pm. I'm not big on breakfasts, in fact I don't do breakfasts. Hence it's practically the timing that I eat on a daily basis. No biggie. So far so good. It was a struggle at night though to not snack.... but it feels good to have some sort of control over myself. Did my morning weigh-in and well yeah, I really need to lose some weight (hahahaha). Still not feeling anything though. BUT IT IS ONLY DAY ONE. Also, I am extremely pleased that I don't have to avoid specific foods. But of course, I'm not going to have McDonalds everyday either. Or am i...? Moving on.

 
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HUNGER LEVELS: 3

ANGST LEVELS: 2

CHEATED: NO

OUTCOME: Well hello hello. Day 2 is over and so we meet again. I'm still fine. I don't think the eating window is too much of a challenge for me (since I am already in the habit of having my lunch as the first meal of the day). But, I have to admit, this whole situation on not snacking at night is making me feel all kinds of weird. I go to the kitchen, open the fridge and remember that I'm on this fast, so I close the fridge and head back to whatever I was doing prior. And then, the cycle repeats - I pick up my packet of peanuts, only to pause mid air for a few seconds and recall that I'm on a fast, and I put it down. However, if anything, I am noticing how much I actually snack at night. Crazy! Well that, and the fact that i dropped 0.2kg at this morning's weigh in. So far.. so-so?

 
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HUNGER LEVELS: 1

ANGST LEVELS: 1

CHEATED: NO

OUTCOME: I'm not hungry. I really am not. Also, another 0.2kg down. This is weird. I'm shook. I really am glad that the numbers are going down. It's exciting, but what I'm really glad about is how practicing IF is making me more determined to eat better. I had a salad today - with raw spinach. RAW. Raw enough for Gordon Ramsey to flip a table. Who am I??? But... Okay. I'm here and I'm all for this. Another thing to note - today was the first time I noticed that I'm.. awake. Despite having gone to bed at a later hour, I feel clear and focused and.. not sleepy. So far so-okay! TOMORROW IS DAY FOURRRRRR. 

 
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HUNGER LEVELS: 4

ANGST LEVELS: ?!?!!? !?! !? !? !?! ?! THROUGH THE DARN ROOF UGH

CHEATED: NO (SHOCKING TO EVEN ME)

OUTCOME: Morning weigh-in over and I dropped 0.3kg today. That is close to an accumulated 1kg in ... under a week. Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? I carried on with a salad lunch today as well (raw spinach and the works).. But the thing is, I'm not sure if I'm getting too obsessed with seeing the numbers go down..? I mean. Let's be real. It's great and all but, really? But one thing I've definitely realised these few days is that, I don't really need to eat much to sustain my body healthily. Perhaps I've been eating more than I need to every. single. day. And that blows my mind! When I feel a pang to eat, I make sure to drink a glass of water first. That determines if I'm craving food, or if my body needs food. I've learnt how to discern when I'm hungry, and when I'm not (harder than I thought it was). And trust me, most times.... it's not hunger. 

So all was fine and dandy in the day but, night four?! I don't know what came over me.

I WANTED FOOD. I. WANTED. FOOD. So much. I thought I was going to crack. How did it even come about? Was I not doing fine?! WHAT A SUDDEN SPIRAL. I thought this would be cheat day number 1. I went to look at the food emojis on my phone. And if I was not already dramatic enough, I even made a video. I hope day 5 will be a better day.

 Screenshot from the above mentioned video that almost but did not make it to my instagram story. i was a wreck.

Screenshot from the above mentioned video that almost but did not make it to my instagram story. i was a wreck.

 
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HUNGER LEVELS: 3

ANGST LEVELS: 2

CHEATED: NO

OUTCOME AND FINAL VERDICT:

The final day is here! Another 0.1kg down. I think I'm going to keep on keeping on with this. Even if I don't lose more weight, what I truly like about this is how it makes me feel in terms of being able to differentiate between when I'm hungry and when I'm just itching for a bite. Clearly there's more to work on, but so far recognising the appropriate amount of food to eat  and not overeating is a big step for me. And stopping the late night snacking has proven to be wonderful. I'm craving sweet things a little lesser and I'm craving water more too.

 

While it's not a miracle... I still have to give it up to intermittent fasting. Even if we don't make it a permanent lifestyle change, the flexibility of it allows us to simply incorporate it for a week or two as a kickstart/reset to healthier living. Hoorah for IF !

P/S I'm going to try for 2 weeks next!