Happy Monday, sweet friends!
It’s officially 2020! (I know. It’s January 6th, but it’s the first Monday of the new year, which means today’s actually the real deal.)
In my normal life (meaning when I’m NOT pregnant – because that is definitely not normal life), health and fitness are a few of my top priorities. I feel better when I’m eating well and when I’m moving. It’s science.
I started Intermittent Fasting (IF) over two years ago, and since then I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it. I’m definitely not the expert and didn’t do a whole lot of “research” when I started. I simply read a few articles about it and gave it try.
After a few weeks, I was hooked. I loved how I felt, and I was able to lose those last 5 pesky pounds for good, without much effort. I slept better at night and had more energy during the day.
Today I’m answering your questions about my IF journey. I hope this helps and please let me know if I missed anything!
Also, stay tuned for a 3 day food diary coming next week and a 4 month postpartum fitness update. Sign up here so you don’t miss it…
(PS – the featured image was taken right before I got pregnant and had been doing Intermittent Fasting for almost a year. It is NOT a current postpartum photo!)
Q: How long do you fast?
A: Since I’m breastfeeding, I’m not doing the full 16 hour fast. I generally aim for 14-15 hours.
Q: What’s your fasting schedule?
A: I like to eat dinner early with my kids, so I try to be done eating for the day by 6pm. Then, I fast until 8am or 9am the next day. You can tailor the schedule to your lifestyle. I know a lot of people eat a later dinner and then don’t eat again until lunch the next day.
Q: Do you do it everyday or a couple times a week?
A: I do it everyday. By now, it’s a lifestyle for me. I started it 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. I don’t even think about it – I just don’t snack at night and delay my breakfast in the morning.
Q: How do you not starve in that time?
A: I’m not going to lie – it can be a challenge at first. But after a few weeks, your definition of “starving” will change. You will start to feel more comfortable and actually be energized during your fast. Also, coffee helps.
Q: Can I have my coffee + cream in the morning?
A: So many of you asked this, which means you’re totally my people. As long as you stay under 50 calories, you’re still in the fasting zone. I have my coffee with 30 calorie almond milk and a splash of flavored almond milk creamer.
Q: What do you eat to break your fast?
A: Since I break my fast in the morning, I try to eat a healthy breakfast. Generally, that’s oatmeal with almond milk, sliced almonds, blueberries and a drizzle of honey. If I’m still hungry, I’ll grab a hard boiled egg, too. (Stay tuned next week for my Food Diary post!)
Q: What do you eat in a day?
A: I will be sharing a 3 day food diary next week, but overall I like to eat whole foods. Big salads, not much meat, very little dairy, dark chocolate, etc.
Q: How does IF work for weight loss?
A: Definitely not a scientist or nutritionist, but it goes something like this: When you’re eating or grazing all day, you’re not giving your body a chance to burn stored fat. Instead, for energy it’s burning the food and sugar you’re consuming. When you give your body a break from taking in calories, it starts to burn the stored fat for energy.
Q: Do you also count macros/carb cycle?
A: I just zoned out a little bit there. No, I don’t. It’s just not my personality to do that. I focus on how food makes my body feel, rather than the math around it. I don’t eat much dairy because I know I feel sluggish when I do. I’m not afraid of carbs, but I try to focus on complex ones and whole foods because I just feel better when I eat those.
Q: Does it involve just fasting or limiting calories as well?
A: This is important – while I’m eating less overall, I don’t drastically limit my calories in my eating window. First, I would be a monster. Second, I don’t think that would be healthy. I eat meals as I normally would, but in a condensed time frame. Overall it’s less calories because you’re not constantly grazing and snacking.
Q: What changes have you noticed since starting IF?
A: When I started it 2 years ago, I noticed pretty quickly that those stubborn 5 pounds fell off and stayed off. Once that happened, I didn’t want to lose any more weight, so I easily maintained. I sleep better at night without having a full stomach and have more energy in the morning. Now that I’m postpartum and have more weight to lose, it’s helping me lose it quicker (but not too quick). I’m losing about a pound a week.
Q: Do you do Intermittent Fasting while breastfeeding?
A: Yes. This time around, I am. I waited until my supply was established (around 12 weeks postpartum). Please talk with your Dr before starting IF if you’re breastfeeding.
Q: How do you make sure your supply isn’t affected?
A: I haven’t noticed a dip in my supply at all. (Please note – I tend to have an oversupply, if anything.) The key is to drink A LOT of water, especially during my fast.
Q: Is it safe to do while pregnant?
A: As always, talk with your Dr before trying anything when you’re pregnant. I did not do IF during pregnancy. My Dr was ok if I did a 12 hour fast (I asked when I was newly pregnant and still feeling ok), but I was so sick my entire pregnancy, there’s no way I could have done it.
Here are a few more of my fasting and wellness posts:
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