Sometime last week, I saw this post about intermittent fasting (IF) when a friend posted it on our group chat:
⏰Intermittent Fasting isn’t really a diet but more of an eating strategy. By restricting the…
Now, to start off, I recently lost some weight starting when I had braces, and then got sick on and off for about a month last year. From my heaviest weight of ~54 kg, I went down to around 46-47 kg at the lightest. Currently, I’ve gained a little bit and now weigh around 47-48 kg. I plan to stabilize and keep my weight that way.
So you may be thinking, why would I need to bother with any form of diet or eating plan if I’m already happy with my current weight? Two words: matakaw ako. No shit. I may be a picky eater, but what little food I do like, I can eat in volumes. Like, gimme a whole pizza and I probably won’t stop eating unless (1) all of it’s gone, or (2) I already feel this-close-to-puking-full, whichever comes first. Also, I tend to snack when bored–and candies and junk foods are not exactly thin-waistline-friendly.
So anyway. I looked up intermittent fasting on Google and there’s a shit-ton of info posted about it. It’s really not a diet per se, but more an eating strategy. And apparently, I can eat as much as I’d like of whatever food I want and still lose weight somehow? Color me interested!
There are several ways to go about it, but upon assessment of my eating habits and lifestyle (naks!), I decided that the 16/8 method (16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of feasting) is the most viable for me. This means that in a day, I only have a window of eight (8) hours to eat while the rest of the sixteen (16) hours, food is strictly off-limits. The 16-hour fasting is actually not as brutal as it seems at first glance when you consider that about 6-8 of those hours are spent sleeping.
Now, to decide on the time for that 8-hour feasting period. I am not a morning person, and that also goes to say that I am not a breakfast person either. On the rare occasions that I do eat breakfast, I get hungry much sooner than if I did not eat.
My most staple meal of the day is lunch, so I decided to start from there. Break time at work starts at 12:00 noon, and more often than not, I eat as soon as I could. That gives my until 8:00 at night for my feasting period. Dinner for me is mostly optional, depending upon my mood and what food are available, so that’s not a big deal. What worries me is my tendency to snack when bored or hungry–which knows no time. Which further means that on any given night, I might find myself having cookies or chips all throughout the night. And that’s what I’m trying to control with this IF thing.
Intermittent Fasting and the Bullet Journal
And because #BulletJournalIsLife, I had to put this plan to paper somehow. Which actually was pretty easy to do, with just a couple of simple trackers: (1) NO food before 12nn, and (2) NO food after 8pm.
And wouldn’t you know it, I actually got through my first week without any setbacks! You’ll notice that instead of a ×, I put in a 9 on Thursday night. There was an event that night and I had dinner past 8:00 PM so I started my fast an hour later at 9:00 PM. To make up, I had my lunch the next day an hour later as well at 1:00 PM instead of 12:00 NN.
But how was it, really?
The truth is intermittent fasting wasn’t all that easy, especially the first coupla days. I got hungry, which I wasn’t really used to since I used to snack whenever I felt any hunger pangs. I ended up practically binging that first lunch, with the usual rice and ulam plus a serving of siomai. And then come nightfall, I had to resist nibbling on cookies or whatever snack I usually eat while at home. My discipline (or the lack of it, as I initially thought) was sorely tested.
Feeling hungry was my biggest enemy. I drank copious amounts of water to try to slake some of the hunger pangs. Coffee was allowed, but technically only black coffee. But as much as I love the stuff, I love my cream and sugar with it as well. Great Taste Double White is my go-to coffee these days, and it’s pretty damn sweet even for instant coffee. So I bought a jar of Nescafé Gold instant coffee and a liter of fresh milk to drink (with very little sugar) in the morning during my fast. Not as good as plain black coffee, but in any case, I reckon it’s better than the Great Taste Double White (which I still drink in the afternoons by the way).
On the brighter side, I did notice that I didn’t feel as bloated in the morning when I wake up as when I “snacked” the night before. My waist, while not completely toned down (that would be impossible in just one week with no exercise), did lose some of that fluffy feeling.
So, is intermittent fasting a sustainable weight-loss strategy for me? Let’s just say that for now, I think I can stick with this eating strategy to stabilize my weight. Beyond that? Maybe, or probably. I’ll post updates in a month or two.