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.
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 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.
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 🙂