I have a hard time figuring out when I’m hungry, just bored, or thirsty. When I feel anything from my gut I must need food this tends to lead me to overeat. I’m not the only person according to Walden eating disorder over 2.8 million Americans binge eat. One of my goals for my wellness journey is to create healthy eating habits. For me, this means not only controlling what I put in my body but why I’m putting it there in the first place. I decided to try intermittent fasting to focus on reconnecting to my body and learning my true hunger cues while monitoring what I eat.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
I’m sure most of us have heard of intermittent fasting but for those who have not, it’s a diet that focuses on when to eat not what you eat. It works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
I typically eat when I want not always when I’m hungry. So I enjoy intermittent fasting because it retrains my mind to know when I’m hungry not just when I’m bored, or just eating because I feel like I should be hungry. It trains my mind and body to know what hunger is. By learning this, I can prepare, plan, and think about my meal instead of mindlessly eating because of a certain time.
It gives me time to prepare, plan and think about my meal. When I decided to do intermittent fasting I did a 5-day 12-hour fasting plan because it fits closely with how I want to eat in the future. With this program, my last meal is around 7 or 8 pm first meal is around 1 or 2. This might seem intense to some but for 8 of those hours, I will be asleep so it’s not as hard as it sounds. Keep in mind I have fasted multiple times before so I know what my body can handle. If this is your first time please start small and consult with a healthcare professional before taking on any new diets.
In the morning I made a large cup of coffee with zero-calorie sweeter. You want to ensure that the liquids you drink don’t have any calories in them whatsoever. You want to stick to water, tea, or black coffee. I made sure to drink as much coffee and water as possible. This kept me full and hydrated. When it came to lunch I made myself a rice bowl with a lot of veggies. This was my blunder because after fasting for 12 hours it was too heavy. I forgot rule number two to ease back into eating. There was a little bit of bloating because of that and by dinner, my stomach still wasn’t fully back so I just went to sleep.
I woke up starving(obviously). Something I love about fasting is as long as you hit your hours it’s fine to eat. I did have my large coffee and big water. For lunch the same thing as yesterday but I did add carbonated water. I have fallen in love with these things and have them for almost every lunch. For dinner, I still wasn’t that hungry I think my portion size might be too big. But I did make a small bowl of pasta and called it a night.
For the next 3 days, my meals went like this.
Lunch: I cut my bowl in half to make sure I was hungry for dinner but still veggies and rice.
Dinner: the rest of my veggie bowl and small pasta.
While fasting I made sure I didn’t do any intense workouts during my fasting times so I didn’t add unnecessary stress to my body. The most important thing I did was stay hydrated. Often times when I would start feeling myself getting hungry I take a few sips of water first to see if I’m really hungry, or not. During the fast, I felt more focused and clear-headed through it all and I slept better. Overall, fasting works for me right now. It helps with my bloating and clears out my system fully. 10/10 recommend.