Welcome back to my Fit by 40 series. I am now only 4 months away from my 40th birthday and although I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far, I’ve still got a way to go to get to where I want to be. I mentioned in my last update that I had been loosely following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan. Well, since the new year I have found out some more about IF and I am now fully committed to this new way of eating.
I did completely abandon all pretence of healthy eating over Christmas and put on 6lb in the process but at the beginning of January I read two books – Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens, and The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung (affiliate links) and found out a lot more about the science behind intermittent fasting. Since then I have been clean fasting (so only having water during my fast) for at least 19 hours every day, and most days it’s actually between 20 and 22 hours of fasting.
Now I know that sounds completely bonkers, and like it must be really difficult, but honestly it’s not. I started skipping breakfast, then pushing lunch a bit later in the day, and now I usually have a small snack about 2:30 pm, eat my dinner at 5 pm as usual, and then after dinner that’s it, my ‘feasting window’ is closed and I don’t eat again until the next day.
During my eating window though I don’t restrict what I’m eating – for the most part we are still eating our usual, fairly balanced, evening meal. But there has been some cake, and pizza, and ice cream since I started following this way of eating (note to brain – it’s not a diet!) and I have eaten those things completely free of guilt.
Because the beauty of intermittent fasting is that it’s not about what you eat, it’s about when you eat. The magic happens in the fast. And that magic is all to do with allowing your insulin levels to drop, allowing your body to use the energy it gets from food, and then to deplete the glycogen stores in your liver, and then finally to access your stored body fat and use that for fuel too.
One not though – this is not a quick fix. You won’t lose a stone in a week on this diet. Apparently, average weight loss on an intermittent fasting plan is 1 lb a week. Since New Year, I have lost the 6 lbs I put on over Christmas plus another 1 lb on top and I am happy with that. I can also see visible changes in my body shape – my post-pregnancy tummy is shrinking, my boobs are getting smaller (and for me that is a good thing!) and I am definitely losing inches.
There are so many awesome things about intermittent fasting, as well as the weight loss benefits but I’m going to save those for another post! If you want to know more about IF then I would definitely recommend reading the books I mentioned above. I have also set up a Facebook support group which you would be welcome to join – you can find it here.
And lastly for today, I’ve also filmed a little video which explains a bit more about how intermittent fasting works, and also has a bit of my diet back story and how I got to the point I’m at today…