25 May The Diet Post (part 2)
After the Keto diet, I started having major bloating and digestive issues. I think the break from carbs and vegetables made my system much more aware of what it can and cannot tolerate. I’d wake up every morning feeling very bloated and uncomfortable. I upped my water intake, started drinking Rooibos Tea, and cut out a number of foods which helped a bit.
Until I stumbled across the concept of Intermittent Fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting I hear you ask? Well, it is not a diet per se, it’s a PATTERN of eating. Its more about changing WHEN you eat as opposed to WHAT you eat.
The 3 most common Intermittent Fasting methods are:
Leangains (Daily 16 Hour Fasts)
You eat for 8 hours, you fast for 16 hours. Your ‘Feeding Window’ can be whatever 8 hour block during the day you want i.e. if you start eating at 9am, you stop at 5pm. ( I personally use this method)
Eat Stop Eat
Fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week e.g eating dinner at 8pm and not eating again until 8pm the following day.
The 5:2 Diet
Eat normally 5 days during the week, and restrict your calories to 500-600 on 2 non consecutive days.
Everyone reading this probably occasionally fasts without realising it. If you eat dinner, go to sleep, skip breakfast and don’t eat until 1pm- you’ve successfully completed a 16 hour fast!
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
When you eat,it takes 3-5 hours to digest food and after that, another 8-12 hours to absorb nutrients. After the nutrients have been absorbed, the body switches from being in a Fed state to a Fasted state. When your body is in a Fasted state, it is able to change hormone levels (lowers Insulin level and increases Human Growth Hormone level) which enables you enter a Fat Burning State. The hormone level changes also increase your Metabolism Rate. There are also several health benefits such as heart and brain health, and it lowers your risk of diabetes and cancer. Here’s an article that outlines several benefits, and heres the original one that convinced me to try this method.
I do the Leangains method and my Feeding Window is from 1pm-9pm because I go to bed late, and I cannot sleep if I feel the slightest bit hungry. Its also great because it gives me some room to be social and go out to dinner. I also like that I get to sleep through most of the fast, and I just need to hang in there until Lunchtime.
I also think that my digestive system was a bit overworked, and giving my gut a 16 hour break everyday has made a huge difference in my life. I eat two generously portioned meals a day, I have snacks from time to time, I’m not really counting my calories, I still eat Small Chops on Sundays and I’ve had NO bloating issues, and I’ve lost about 4kg in 2 and a half months.
Waiting until 1pm to eat was a bit challenging in the 1st week, but I quickly adjusted to it.
I’m most excited about the digestive issues being over finally. However, I avoid in my day-to-day life:
Rice, beans (this really hurt), yogurt, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, vegetable soup (random I know!), white flour (bread, pasta etc), and the most painful of all- champagne. I also avoid juice and fizzy drinks.
I regularly eat:
Peppersoup (fish and chicken), Sweet Potatoes, TONS of protein- peppered meat, fish, chicken (usually with sweet potatoes), and when I’m dying for soup I try to stay away from the Oil Heavy ones, and I eat Ground Oatmeal as swallow.
Carrot ‘Spaghetti’ with Meatballs
Oilless Seafood Okro
I try to stick to my Feeding Window as much as I can, but if I’m out and about and I stumble into food at 10pm- its going down! I still eat my Small Chops faithfully at 11am on Sundays, and I must eat Jollof Rice at parties because I have to live my life guys!
So, now that the secret is out, will YOU try Intermittent Fasting?
Let Me Know,
(p.s- Not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and as always please consult a medical professional before embarking on any diet or exercise routine.)