Snack addict tries 16:8

I am a serial snacker, and I bounce from salty to sweet, faster than a dodge ball being hurled across a school gymnasium as some poor slightly distracted kid.  Wham – the ball ploughs right into his face, much like the snacks go from cupboard, to hand, to mouth, in the blink of an eye.

It’s like they are marching towards my mouth, resistance is futile.

And before I know it the entire pack of Haribo is gone, the Chocolate Burbons packet has one lonely broken cookie left, the sweet chilli rice crackers… poof.   I’m like a disappearing snack magician.

And when is it at its worse?  Mid-morning and after dinner – and it has not escaped my notice that these are both periods when I am child free – so I am also a bit of a secret snacker.  Many times my 7 year old will innocently ask for a sweet, and the guilt flushes my face.  I’ve snaffled the whole bag 😦

Anyways – I’ve dabbled in the 16:8 intermittent fasting before.  I’ve found it tough.  But I thought I would give it another go.

So what is 16:8.

Well you fast for 16 hours and then you eat for 8 hours. In theory you can eat whatever you like in those 8 hours, and should eat nothing in the other 16 hours.  I try to eat normally in those precious eating hours, and I do allow myself black coffee in the fasting period.  This time around I started each day with a hot lemon drink too – which I hate – but they say it is good, so I thought why not.

In practice.

In theory it’s quite easy, I eat each day from noon until 8pm, at which point I swiftly bush my teeth.  For 3 weeks I did it 4 days a week, Monday-Thursday.  Most days I was able to incorporate LISS (Low intensity steady state cardio), such as the school run, or my cycle commute, during the fasting period.

What works.

Well, the snacking stopped – it’s helped me be less of a piggie. I can’t snack – I’m doing 16:8, the option is gone.  And I think I am one of those people, where a hard a fast rule, is easier for me to follow.  But I didn’t see much movement on the scale, which is fine, but I thought I might see a little movement.  Overall, it doesn’t matter, as I am doing this to be more healthy and to break bad habits.

A little too strict.

But then I fell off the wagon – and just abandoned all MFP (My Fitness Pal) tracking, and just ate what I wanted – when I wanted.  It was glorious, but a little scary, at the same time.  My activity levels didn’t change – roughly 13-18K steps a day and about 1-2 hours cardio 3-4 times per week.  So when I sheepishly decided I should step on the scale and see what damage I’ve done… and I was certain there was damage, and you know what – there was none.  I was exactly the same weight.  Hallelujah.

Would I recommend the 16:8?

Yes, give it ago.  It won’t hurt you. and it is only a short time to fast (especially as most of it you are asleep).  You might experience some great health benefits from it or maybe you will just curb the snack-cycle.  Maybe you will hate every minute of it, and then in that case – it’s probably not for you.

I might come back to it in a few weeks – but for now, I’m happy to enjoy and stop watching the clock.  Though, to be on the safe side – keep the Haribo away from me 🙂




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