Dieting isn’t easy. It’s kind of the suck. Especially in the beginning. Intermittent fasting helps it to be a little less sucky for me…here’s why.
Intermittent fasting is consuming calories during a specific window of the day, and choosing not to eat food during the rest.
I’m not doing intermittent fasting for any nutritional reason. I’m doing it for my mental health. There are all kinds of articles online about “starvation mode” and “hormones” affecting your hunger and at what point you enter a fasted state and are burning fat for energy, but that’s not what this story is about. This story is about how intermittent fasting keeps me sane throughout the calorie cutting phase of my journey.
Nighttime is the worst for me especially when I am trying to cut calories. I’ll consume my last meal at 8 PM, sleep throughout the night wake up around 7 AM. I weigh myself and drink some coffee. I eat lunch around 11 AM which means that my body is in a fasting state from 8 PM to 11 AM for a total of 15 hours.
I’ll consume all of my calories for the day between 11 AM and 8 PM. So I’m only eating for nine hours. I try to have a light lunch and a more substantial dinner. Some people may think that this is counterproductive to weight loss because they’ve heard “don’t eat a big meal late at night”. But for me, this works. It’s a mental thing (physical too…the number on the scale keeps decreasing). And just like running a marathon is 90% mental and 10% physical…so is sticking to a diet and exercise plan. The better mental state you get yourself in, the more likely you are to reach that finish line.
When I wake up in the morning, step on the scale and have the slightest weight loss victory, it gives me extreme motivation to keep going and stay the path. As I progress throughout the day, life takes over. That little bit of a high that I had in the morning and my caffeine buzz wear off.
Because I’m feeling so good about my progress in the morning and throughout the day and because I’ve got all that caffeine in my system it’s easier for me to resist temptation. After the sun sets and I start to slow down for the day, I start thinking to myself “boy…a glass of wine would be nice or I’m craving some Oreos”. If I eat a large dinner, I’m full. That fullness helps me to resist the temptation of eating the crap that I shouldn’t be eating late at night.
Additionally, when I eat the bulk of my food in the afternoon and evening, I wake up the next morning without that insatiable hunger that I would have had if I had eaten a big breakfast and then not had enough calories left at the end of the day. When you’re counting calories it’s important to leave enough in your reserves for a satisfying dinner.
Because wine and Oreos aren’t traditionally breakfast foods (I’m not mad at you bellini) I don’t crave them in the morning when my hunger might be greater. In my world, wine and Oreos are “late night foods”. Better to be full at night when they start calling my name…Hello…It’s me…
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