How I Made Intermittent Fasting Work For Me
I don’t think I can intermittent fasting. Won’t last a week. Can’t imagine doing this while working. I might get hangry and take it out on my teammates. There’s no way I’ll survive while stuck at home, too much food in the fridge.
Excuses… nothing but excuses. I feel ya ‘coz these were my exact words too!
I’m not going to write about the benefits of intermittent fasting to your body though. I mean, so much has been written about that already. Besides, if you are still reading this, you probably know about it already.
Still, if you’re interested, but too lazy to Google, below are some references for your benefit.
So instead, let me tell you how I was finally able to make IF work for me.
I Started Slow.
When I first tried IF, I went straight for a 16:8 fast. 16hrs fasting, 8hr eating window. Big mistake. I only lasted a couple of days.
When I restarted, I went easy. Started with a 12:12, first. That was actually super easy, because I usually had a shorter eating window but it did help me become more mindful about my eating schedule. After about a month, I turned it up to 14:10, then finally to 16:8 after another month.
I thought about going for an 18:6 but decided against it. Instead, I would simply go beyond the 16:8 fast once in awhile. Now, this is a personal mind hack for me. I love streaks and I feel that being too strict might end that IF streak, and make it difficult for me to restart. Might work for you, or it might not. You be the judge.
Part of starting slow is not to start exercising when you start IF. If you’ve already been doing some physical activities, great… but do not start these two habits at the same time.
It’s not just about being mindful about your eating schedule, you also have to be mindful and intentional about WHAT you eat.
No, I am not going to lecture you about eating the veggies and avoiding sweets and all that. I’m sure those are important, but I can’t preach what I don’t practice.
Commercial break: Check out one of my fasting feast and you’ll understand why I can’t preach this. 😅
When I say intentional, I mean don’t just eat what’s in your fridge. Plan your meals. Make it something you will enjoy.
Again, you might want to include some stuff you may not like, veggies (eeew!), but always pair it with something you will enjoy. That way, you will look forward to your meals, and not just go through them mindlessly.
You’re not hungry. You’re just bored.
I’m not sure about you but this is actually true for me… most of the time. Eventually your body will get used to it but, at the start, your mind will be craving like crazy.
So… drink lots of water! Period.
Here’s a list of other liquids you can consume while on fasting, in case you get sick of water: Acceptable Liquids with Intermittent Fasting
Get Everyone at Home Involved
This is super important at the start. They don’t have to be on an intermittent fasting with you, but at least they will be mindful, especially about eating in front of you.
When I was starting out, wifey joined me. She did not really need to fast, but she wanted to support me because having her eat, or even cook, while I was in my fasting window was too much of a torture.
By the time she stopped, the cravings were not as bad.
I no longer mind the smell. There will be times I would still crave, but I have better control now.
Be Mindful of your Triggers
What do I mean by triggers…
Do you stress eat? Because of work? Because you are pissed off at someone?
If not, good for you! I was guilty of both.
Ready to get started
Are you ready to get started? What help do you need from me?
If you are on your fasting journey, please share what benefits are you getting that’s keeping you on it? What other tips do you have that you want to share?
Bonus Tip for OMAD (One Meal A Day Fasts)
I turn on the timer as soon as I stop eating. That way, when I crave, I look at the time that passed and think about the amount of fasting time I will waste! Yet another mind hack 😜