One of the perks of living alone is that you get to decide your own meal times. You don’t have to feel pressured into eating when the rest of the family does. Instead, you have the luxury of being able to skip breakfast, eat brunch and whatever suits your appetite. Because of this, I finally managed to try out Intermittent Fasting (IF) without creating any family drama and tension because you know how parents react when you don’t eat breakfast (oh the horror!).
There are many variations of IF available, such as: the 5/2 method where you eat for 5 days and fast for 2, the 16/8 method which seems to be the most popular one and also the one which I’m currently on, and a few others.
I decided to go for the 16/8 method because that seemed to be the most feasible and would be easiest to fit into my daily schedule. I don’t think I can go for 2 days without eating… that’ll definitely make me into a hangry monster who’s a social menace and we can’t have that happening now can we?
For the 16/8 method, you simply fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hour window. The time I allocated for eating was from 12-8PM, that’s simply akin to skipping breakfast, having an early lunch and snack and then dinner. Doable!
IF can help people lose weight, tone up bodies and regulate appetites – at least this is what I’ve learnt from watching many Youtube videos of people who’ve tried it out themselves. The logic is that by eating within this narrow 8h window period, you tend to eat lesser than when there’s no time limit at all so there’s a lower caloric intake. In addition, during the extended fasting period, the hormone insulin (fat storage inducing) drops to a low level while growth hormone increases and the combined effect is enhanced fat metabolism! Before we delve further into my review, here’s a little disclaimer: I am not a qualified health professional (yet – am still a dietitian in training) and I am not recommending that everyone do this intermittent fasting, so please do not rely solely on my words. Do your research, read up on scientific journals and papers, before coming to a decision. I am here to reflect on my own IF journey, and provide feedback for those who are interested about the effects of IF and are considering trying it out too.
Now let me share with y’all about what I eat in a random day of IF:
At 12PM, I begin my first meal and it’s usually a huge one. I have my big cup of coffee with soy milk plus a teaspoon of cocoa powder to thicken it up a little. There’s also a bowl of salad for me to get my dose of fibre, which is really important for IF since there’s one meal less for me to eat my vegetables seeing as how I skipped breakfast. I like to have a big handful of mixed greens, sliced tomatoes/cucumbers, and for dressing I like to add a tablespoon of Tzatziki! It’s a great low-fat and healthier option as compared to something rich like mayonnaise or thousand island so I’d suggest trying this out with your salads instead. Next, I’d also have a thick, warm, hearty bowl of oatmeal mixed with more soy milk and frozen berries. Lastly, I’d have a piece of crusty wholemeal toast slathered generously with almond butter and sprinkled with chia seeds for an extra crunch.
At about 4/5pm, I’d start feeling that familiar rumble of my belly and that’s when I know it’s time for a snack! There are a couple of snacks I go for, but on this day, I had 3 multigrain crackers spread with a pumpkin spice mediterranean dip and this combo was sooo yummy!
At about 7PM, that’s when my last meal aka dinner begins! Tonight, I’m having a generous dollop of multigrain rice (a mixture of black rice which stains the rice a pretty purple, brown rice and barley) paired with bean stew. The bean stew consists of Mexican beans, canned tomatoes, coleslaw vegetables, seasoned with pepper and garlic powder. Topped the whole dish with a sunny side up – look at that gorgeous yolk oozing out #eggporn.
If I am still hungry after dinner (which sometimes happens), I’ll go for a quick dessert before my time is up. One dessert that I’ve been loving so far is microwaved frozen berries with soy milk! Somehow that 30s in the microwave makes everything taste so much better – the milk becomes thicker and richer, the frozen berries are warm and oozing with juices, their slight tartness a perfect match for the creaminess of the soy milk.
Thoughts about IF:
It’s been a week of IF and surprisingly it’s much easier than I thought it’d be! I used to seriously doubt I’ll be able to pull it off since I’m always snacking after dinner, but somehow this has been a success thus far. Am crossing my fingers and hoping that this will stay and I’ll be able to kick off that old nasty habit of snacking after dinner. I don’t get hungry at night after fasting starts, and in the day I might get hungry occasionally before 12PM but it’s never too bad to handle.
Since starting this new way of eating, I’ve lost about 2KG of weight and I definitely feel better about my body. In the morning, my belly is flat and toned which is such a pleasant sight to wake up to. Before this, I’d wake up with a bloated belly sometimes even without eating anything. Now, even after my heavy meals, I’ll still feel good and overall bloating has been reduced significantly 🙂
IF is definitely something I’ll foresee becoming permanent in my life. I’m loving how this is not a diet whereby I have to restrict what I eat (but of course don’t go all out and eat all sorts of unhealthy food). It’s made me more disciplined in my eating habits and schedule, abandoning my late-night-binge episodes which I used to do and then hate myself for it. I’m excited to see how I’ll progress with this new lifestyle over the coming few weeks, let’s hope this really ends up staying in my daily routine for good!:)