I listened to the ‘8 Hour Ab Diet’ podcast by Chalene Johnson with Melissa McAllister recently.
For starters, I am always completely skeptical when it comes to any kind of ‘diet,’ especially one that is so compelling to the superficial and materialistic world we live in.
But after listening to the podcast, I decided to give it a try. It’s not promoted as a ‘diet’ per se, because you don’t eat LESS calories, and it’s not exercise based.
Maybe my multiple meals weren’t working for me the way I thought. There seemed to be a little bit of scientific reasoning to it. The basis of intermittent fasting is to eat all your calories for one day within an 8 hour window. It takes your body 6-8 hours to burn through glycogen stores from the day, so you can start tapping into the ‘fat stores’ of your body over the 16 hour fasting period.
What and When I’d Eat
I chose to eat from 11 AM – 7 PM. Then I’d ‘fast’ for 16 hours out of the day.
I followed this the best I could for a couple of weeks.
I decided to turn this WIAW into an example of a day where I tried intermittent fasting.
When I was at work, I wouldn’t eat until 11 AM. So I’d drink my regular coffee and lots of water until then. I’d have my normal lunch of carb, protein, and veggie. Then some snacks – which have been Shakeology (mixed with almond milk, ice and fruit), pumpkin seeds or almonds, and I’ve had a banana almost every day, even though it’s not pictured.
Dinners were bigger, around 500-600, which is higher than normal, but still not high enough to reach my normal calorie intake. And I couldn’t find myself eating much more because by that point in time, I was so full.
How I Felt
To be 100% honest with you…it really brought me back to my super low calorie restriction days.
And it scared me a little
On a couple days, I’d eat dinner and come in around 1100 calories, and my first thought was, “Wow, I could keep this up and get rid of those lats pesky 3-5 pounds I can’t seem to shed and really tone up.”
NO. No no no no. That’s not the way it works, and I KNOW that. I’ve experienced the negative side effects that comes with this.
I’d try to eat my normal 1800ish calories on an intermittent fasting day, and it was nearly impossible. I was SO FULL.
I don’t like to feel like I’m stuffing myself, because that is ANOTHER bad food habit I am trying to shed, when it comes to food obsessions. Certain foods trigger me to overeat and overindulge to a point where I’m guilty, so even overeating healthy foods is not something I want to get in the habit of doing.
There were days I was crabby.
And days I was tired.
And I KNOW this is because I wasn’t getting enough food.
I would track my food intake in My Fitness Pal, and realized that my protein intake was also lower than normal. I believe this is because I didn’t eat a big batch of eggs in the morning like I usually did. Actually, I was eating breakfast for dinner quite a few times, because I MISSED eating eggs. But even when I did, I was missing a meal with a big serving of protein like I usually get for breakfast in the morning.
My fatigue and crabbiness were often worse when I did morning workouts. Not enough energy. So, I started doing my workouts in the evening, which I don’t always like to do.
I don’t think I noticed a huge difference in fat burning. Maybe I didn’t try it long enough. Maybe I will see a difference when I go back to eating normally.
I don’t know yet.
I think that what I normally do, eating 6/7 AM – 7 PM or so, is just fine for me. I’m pretty good at NOT snacking at night, which I think is one of the points of the whole intermittent fasting idea.
Should you try intermittent fasting?
I’d say, proceed with caution. If you know any of these things to be ‘triggers’ for you, skip it. But, I guess it never hurts to try! Just make sure that you EAT ENOUGH FOOD.