Fitness Tips: the benefits of intermittent fasting

I’m following up to my post a few months ago on The Skinny of Intermittent Fasting. I’ve been meaning to follow up on my progress with fasting and have been putting it off.

This morning, I let out a whoop as I finally noticed a shift in weight. It’s finally heading in the right direction. Even though the change is minor – I feel better overall. Even my tape measure is showing changes around my waist and I’m down a couple of inches. It’s taken SO LONG to get here.

So, let me share some benefits that I’ve noticed with intermittent fasting.

More Energy

Waking up in the morning is getting easier – as long as I’m in bed by 1am. The last few nights – not so much given we were in a heat wave. But I find once I’m out of bed, I feel good. I have high energy and feel motivated to exercise, continue to eat healthy and get all the things I want to get done during the day. I also have more stamina when it comes to working out.

I have slacked a bit on leg exercises – so I need to get back into that. But I actually sat on my knees last week while cleaning – and I didn’t scream out in pain. So progress!

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Not as hungry

With eating in an eight or nine hour window, I make a point to ensure my meals are filling and healthy. I’m still using My Fitness Pal (mostlysingle) to track what I eat during the day.

I’m down to two main meals – lunch and dinner and something sweet for dessert before 9:00 pm. So, my window for eating is 12:00 – 8:00 pm – give or take. It all depends on when I get up.

I do find it hard sometimes to fast in the morning if I’m awake before 8 am. I’ll fill myself up with coffee, water and a glass of almond milk.

But throughout the day – I find I have less cravings and am less hungry than I would be normally. This morning was hard to wait until noon. But by drinking more water, I think it helps to fill up an empty stomach.

If you’re finding it difficult to fast this long – then try snacking on protein shakes in the morning or eat something low carb like a hard-boiled egg.

Flexible meal plans

Unlike my attempt at keto, you can eat most foods with fasting. By tracking my calories, I make sure to stick to under 1500 calories per day. On my cheat days – I will order in things like sushi or flatbread pizza or Chinese food. It’s okay if I go over the 1500 calorie one or two days out of the week – because according to My Fitness Pal, sometimes I barely make 1200 calories – even eating all the right foods. It’s because of the types of foods I eat – like vegetables, eggs, high protein and low calorie items.

With fasting, I can eat things like pasta, rice, ice cream – or even have a piece of cake if I’m craving it. I find this helps to prevent binges later on.

Allowing yourself treats in moderation is key. It’s hard to do this with keto and I found I didn’t like the taste of almond flour used in keto baking.

This makes me happy though. It means I can enjoy the simple things in life. And unlike keto, I can still eat the foods I love in moderation like bread!

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Sleep Improvement

Other than the last week with the heat and battling a migraine (related) – my sleep was almost back to normal. I was sleeping five or six hours without waking up. For two weeks – it was great. I was up by 8:00 am in the morning, I had good energy and felt well rested.

Once that migraine hit – it was game over. I woke up at 10:00 am today. But — I have good energy and that’s the thing that counts. I am desperately trying to regulate my sleep schedule before going back to work. The heat has gone down and I think that will help now.

I’ve managed to go several weeks without a nap and that’s a great sign too.

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Actual Weight Loss Progress

While the progress has been minimal, it is a huge relief to finally see progress when measuring my waist. I’m just a few inches away from my goal – where I was ten years ago. The bulk of the problem is in my hips and this is taking a long time to shed. I blame hormones.

I see my doctor next week and will see if she has anything to suggest. There are medications to help with weight loss and I really don’t want to go back on hormone replacement therapy. My cycles have pretty much gone back to normal.

I’m hoping when I return to work – whatever that looks like – I can stick to part time hours and only work three days a week in the office. Ideally, I’d like to work from home especially with cases of COVID spiking here — it’s bad. Worse than it has been.

I would like to, when things return to normal – to join a fitness class – like water fitness. I miss it. I think it will help with sleeping too.

So, if you’re like me – and you’ve tried everything there is to try to lose weight – definitely do some research into intermittent fasting. I’ve included some related posts below to get you started.

Let me know in the comments what’s working for you!

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