16/8 INTERMITTENT FASTING – LIESL
Quite frankly, I wasn't sure I could do this, so I chose the simplest option: the 16/8 fast basically requires you to skip just breakfast. You stop eating at 8pm, then you can eat again from noon the next day, so you fast for 16 hours and narrow your eating ‘window' to eight hours.
For the first week I found myself at a bit of a loose end in the morning. I usually get up and make myself scrambled eggs and tea first thing, but now I had nothing to do. On day one I made some tea and was two sips in before I realised it had xylitol and milk in it, and that I probably wasn't supposed to be drinking it. Had I slipped up already?
I had a headache every day for the first week, and was making a conscious effort to drink more water. Dr Fung says headaches are normal as your body is adjusting to a lower salt intake, but I'm guessing it was also partly dehdration – I don't drink nearly enough water during the day.
I started to spend my time differently in the mornings: I boiled some eggs for lunch, had a glass of water when I woke up and some mornings I even had a bit of time to read.
I also realised I was no longer counting down the minutes until noon. Being busy at work helped take my mind off the fact that I was fasting; some days I'd look up and see that it was 2pm already and it hadn't occurred to me that I should be hungry yet. Usually, when I have breakfast, my stomach is rumbling by 11am; this time I could easily go until lunchtime before I started feeling hungry.
The one thing I did miss was my morning flat white, although that's more about the ritual of sitting down at my desk and easing into the day with a nice cup of coffee than anything else. I tried to swap it out for a black Americano, but it just wasn't the same. On the plus side, this was probably saving me a small fortune…
‘The one thing I did miss was my morning flat white, although that’s more about the ritual of sitting down at my desk and easing into the day with a nice cup of coffee.’
I'm now on week four and I feel like I might stick to this way of eating indefinitely. I had breakfast the other day and it felt quite odd to be eating so early. In general I'm less strict on the weekends – I love going out for brunch and I don't want to miss out on socialising. I stupidly didn't weigh myself before I started, but I have since stepped on the scale a few times and I've lost a few kilos. So far, it's more of a ‘my pants feel looser' than a dramatic drop, but it's still encouraging since I don't feel like I really ‘did' anything to lose the weight. I'm thinking of working in a 24-hour fast once a week or so – once or twice I just didn't get around to eating lunch, so I've done it a few times already.