Last Sunday I ate a glorious Easter meal with my boyfriend’s family. They are Italian, so there isn’t just ham, potatoes and a veggie. There is pasta and ravioli, meatballs, pork, salad and THEN the ham, potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, brussel sprouts with bacon……
Needless to say, I ate a lot of great food. When I arrived home at around 6:00 pm, I thought, “Do I need to eat again today? Am I even remotely hungry?” Nope. I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t need to eat another meal. So I ate once on Sunday.
What does all this introductory story mean? Well, it means that I use my ability to fast as a common sense tool. I was born and raised on 3 square meals per day, as many of us are. I used to feel as if I needed a breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whereas on Sunday, I only had dinner. I ate enough calories for the day and my body was satisfied. There was no need to eat again, other than the fact that it felt as if I SHOULD have another meal that day.
In August of 2012, I started to try an Intermittent Fasting diet. I chose to do the 16 hour fast with an 8 hour eating window, daily. I couldn’t believe that I actually could fast that long and it wasn’t THAT bad. I’ve continued to practice Intermittent Fasting through today, but with a MUCH, MUCH more flexible parameter. Fasting is more of a tool than a hard rule for me now. My fasting windows are more like 12-14 hours; sometimes I don’t fast at all. If I go home to see my family and we go out for breakfast, of course I’m going to eat. Fitness and diet are meant to compliment your life, not rule it.
Overall, I’m really glad I’ve taught my body how to fast so that I don’t overeat when it is not necessary. I was not hungry at all on Sunday night, as I did not go to bed unsatisfied or with a growling stomach. To put my fasting skills into play was quite easy and it made me feel as if the holiday dinner did not spiral me out of control or into a deep food guilt.
Am I telling you to start fasting or learn to start fasting? No. Fasting is not for everyone and for some people with very sensitive hormones or blood sugars, it is not recommended. Fasting can also start to dictate your life and mentally creates too many eating rules. It’s a very careful line you must draw within yourself, to not obsess on the “fasting window.”
However, I am sharing with you how my journey with fasting has evolved and changed. It’s something to try at a more advanced level. If you don’t have controls of your nutrition right now and are fairly new at “eating healthier”, I would not advise trying IF. What I do advise is exactly what fitness experts and nutritionists repeatedly say…..LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY AND STOP WHEN YOU ARE FULL.
I wasn’t hungry Sunday night…….so I didn’t eat.
Let me know if you have tried to fast or if you struggle with your nutrition — I’d love to hear from you!
Have a FANTASTIC Weekend,