Thanksgiving just passed and I have to say that one of the things that I was very grateful for this year was a good pregnancy. I did experience some of the morning sickness-like headaches, a constant need for bathroom relief, and night cramps, but none of this was life-altering. Thankfully, I was able to exercise until the last couple of months of the term (cross fit and cardio), which I believe helped a lot with keeping pounds away. Once beautiful baby entered my life, however, things got a tad bit different on the weight front. I was no longer exercising, rarely cooking, and had no desire for either. What I mostly wanted was to engulf food in order to stay satisfied, but above that to have some quick pick-me-up. This made the baby weight that happened come back.
I am naturally of a slim build. My metabolism has allowed me to treat myself without telling on me. I can trace back to my high school years the beginning of a love affair with sweets. Cakes, chocolate, ice cream, and cookies are my delights. I learned how to bake treats and would eat most of the tray myself; I just have no control when it comes to them. I have previously tried to eliminate them from my life, but I haven’t achieved success. After multiple failures, I have understood that there are different reasons for my behavior:
- It makes me happy without much fuss. I can make them myself, I can eat them by myself, and not spend much money or time in the process. I can share with others and make them happy too. Win/win.
- I resort to it out of boredom. Not only does the sugar make my day better, but it also spikes up my blood sugar to a sweet high. Another win/win.
- I don’t have a good meal plan. This one might seem obvious, but it might be the culprit of my behavior. If I completely eliminate the sweets, I don’t have something else to go back to that would be satisfactory enough to snack on or to do. There is no decent plan B, so I end up hungry and bored, in the pantry.
I know that regular refined sugar consumption is horrible for you. Weight gain is just what is happening in the outside. Right now, it is all that I have to handle, but I don’t want to one day be plagued with diabetes or any sort of malady because I could not say no. No is not a word that I have a problem with until food is involved. My metabolism has had my back, but I don’t want to break myself.
This is were intermittent fasting comes in. I had heard about it but never really tried it. Some people have had miraculous results and lost so much weight. I have some experience with fasting and have seen changes, but I tend to go back to my old habits after meeting a certain time goal. I still decided to give it a try, due to it’s simplicity and flexibility. I don’t have to stop eating what I want, but I can only do so within a certain period. That is not too bad of a challenge. I have to admit that I am doing intermittent fasting to lose weight, but to my surprise, I am seeing even more benefits.
Let me start by saying that I have not fully followed the timing that I have set out. I aim to only eat during eight hours of the day, which usually takes place from 10 AM to 6 PM. In a week, these have been my findings:
- I don’t get as snacky. I think that this is because the meals are so close to each other. I am mentally and physically satisfied and when hunger strikes, it’s time for a full meal.
- I have to plan to eat, because if not, I’ll be starving outside the window. I can’t just go with the flow and figure it out right then and there. If I don’t think ahead of time what I want for dinner, time will come and go and I won’t have enough time to cook or prepare something. Even if I am not super hungry, I have to eat something so I won’t be as hungry after the window closes.
- I don’t get as hungry as I thought I would. Weekday mornings are a bit harder, because they are usually earlier ones. However, I think that because my stomach has been empty for much longer, it isn’t as hungry in the mornings. It is the opposite of the weird situation where you eat a huge meal at night and wake up starving.
- I still eat my sweets, but I can note less inclination towards them. This must be going hand in hand with less snacking. Sometimes I snack on sweets, so less snacks is the same as less sweets.
I can conclude with saying that I do much better with restricting myself on when than on what. This is because I don’t have as much control with sweets as I should. This came at a great time, for the holidays are here and I don’t think that I will gain weight since I have a better grip on eating. I hope that the discipline that the fast requires not only helps me lose weight but also leads me to lose some level of obsession with food.
If you decide to try IF, do your research and be careful.
Tell me, what role does food play in your life?