We Tried Intermittent Fasting - Here is What Happened

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Zahra, Stephanie and I decided to try intermittent fasting before our trip to Europe. I researched it a bit and that pretty much convinced Z and Steph to join me, and they did because friends don't let friends diet, right? We tried it over month of March and April but failed more times than we succeed - but as of May all three of us were on board to give this our full attention.

So what is Intermittent fasting? It is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it is not a "diet" in the conventional sense. There are many ways to do it but we opted out for the 8/16 option – which means for 8 hours a day we can eat and cannot eat for 16 hours out of any given day. In the 16 hours you are not supposed to have anything, including coffee which is one of the main reasons we failed so often at the beginning.

Here is how we did:

Zahra: I chose to change up the timing of when I would fast based on how my day was going. I was aiming for 12 pm- 8pm but it never seemed to work out so I started doing 1 pm- 9pm. It wasn't that hard for me to stick to the fasting in the morning as I never really eat breakfast and I switched over to black coffee, the week before I started fasting. The hardest part for me was to not eat at night, I failed a few times but tried not to get discouraged, and I would "cheat" with pickles or olives things that didn't have sugar in them. I finally had to stop the fasting when I began to have tummy issues. The days when coffee just wasn't cutting it and I was super hungry, I would have a tummy ache all day even after breaking my fast. I would have a stomach ache all the way until about 5 or 6 pm. It was brutal to say the least so, for the mornings where I was very hungry, I would break my fast sooner as to avoid the stomach ache. I lost 2 pounds but I'm not sure it was from the fasting, I didn't really find it effective for me. I did try and keep my meals healthy though. A lot of soups and veggies, or chicken and rice. What I have taken away from doing the intermittent fasting is not eating after 9 pm, I noticed I was just eating out of boredom and not hunger.

Stephanie: I chose my eight hours of eating time between 12pm and 8 pm which wasn’t all that hard for me considering I skip breakfast pretty much every day anyways. There is a lot of information stating that you can have black coffee or black tea during your fasting time which worked well for me as I didn’t mind to switch out my creamy, sweet coffee for a black, green peppermint tea every morning. A friend of mine who is a personal trainer in Australia told me it is best to break your fast with something light and to eat your largest meal of the day as your last meal. I tried to follow his advice and would usually break my fast with a salad or some cheese, meat and pickles. My go to salad is:  Spinach, Kale, Chopped Almonds, Dried Cranberries, Feta, Tuna, Olive oil and Apple Cider Vinegar for dressing.
I really enjoyed the intermittent fasting. I decided to start small and just focus on not eating outside of my allotted time. Once I got used to that, I tried to make healthier decisions when choosing my meals but I didn’t stress too much if my choices were less than healthy. The first day was definitely a struggle. I felt as though I was starving to death (which I was far from) and slightly miserable as most hungry people are. But after 3 days, I really seemed to get in to the groove of it. After 1 week I was down 5lbs which I assume was mostly water weight but I noticed my stomach to be flatter than usual. It really cut out the bloated, gross feeling that I didn’t even realize I had until it was gone. I have way more energy now and I don’t even feel the urge to eat before 12pm anymore. For me, it isn’t a diet but a lifestyle change that I can keep up with for as long as I need to.

Nermisa: I choose the 12-8PM or 1-9PM route.  I am by no means good at following strict anything when it comes to diets. My biggest struggle was the no coffee with sugar and mill allowed, like black coffee hurts my soul. First few days into intermittent fasting were hard; even though I don't eat breakfast most day, I found myself wanting to eat at 10AM. By the end of the week I had no problem with it. I had a routine to follow, and I knew what to expect . I drink way more water while intermittent which alone was a huge bonus and more in the right direction. The other huge thing was that I found myself prepping way more meals, and eating out less. After two weeks I was down 7 pounds, and while I knew that was not going to be a realising weight loss to maintain week over week, I felt significantly better. I was less sluggish, I wasn't bloated and I felt way more motivated to do things, like go for walks

Have you tried intermittent fasting?