Last time I wrote about IF 16/8 was in January and at this point in time I have been practicing intermittent fasting for around six months. With a really positive outcome. I feel more energetic, I lost weight and my overall mood depends less and less on food. In other words: I don’t use food as a substitute anymore. I decided to write another post, since I changed some things since January regarding my eating patterns, my recovery and other habits as well.
My 16/8 fast slowly became an 18/6 fast over time. I did not really plan that, but I realized after some months, that late dinners give me bloating. So instead of eating very late, I try to eat during the early evening and I keep my dinners quite light. The advantage is obvious: Bloating is a thing of the past and I feel, that my digestion improved a lot. From my own experience I would advise you, not to rush into very long fasting periods from the very beginning. My fast became something natural over time. I never feel weak, hungry or dizzy. I know from friends, who just started, that the body and mind needs some time to adapt to it. So better take it easy in the beginning and slowly let the periods between the fasts get longer and longer.
My meals became smaller over time. When I started IF, I tried to fit all the calories, I used to have before, in two meals. Three big meals plus snacks were suddenly fit into two huge meals. It took me forever to eat it all and i ate it, because I was afraid of getting hungry and not getting enough nutrients. Over time my portions decreased and they started to have a pretty average size (compared to my friends). Curious: I did not lose any weight after the first two months of IF. I guess after a while my body just adapted. I got leaner over time, but I actually never got skinny or lower than my “average weight”. It seems, that my body found a way to deal with the ‘stress’ of intermittent fasting Note: IF is a longterm change of eating patterns, it is not a diet.
No bean and oat parties anymore. I tried to figure out, what stresses my digestion most and eliminated those things from my diet. Large amount of (uncooked) oats and lentils, beans or peas usually give me bloating and make me feel full or even sick. Since a very full tummy interferes with my job (teaching and talking) and also with my own practice, I started to consume beans and oats only on special occasion. In general, I keep my portions lighter and smaller, if I know, that my training will be intense (I would never eat a bean stew and go climbing). I also started to reduce wheat. I don’t have an intolerance of any kind, but I just realized, that I consumed only (!) wheat for the bigger part of my life. Instead of only eating wheat, I started to cook with buckwheat, millet, grünkern, amaranth and quinoa.
So where do I get my proteins from? Yeeaah nuts and seeds are the answer. I started to eat them more frequently and sometimes soak them for raw deserts, raw spreads or raw vegan cheese. For me they are quite easy to digest (just peanuts are the exception) and since they are really fatty, it is easier to keep up with long fasting periods. If you want to keep your expenses low I recommend eating a bunch of flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. For special occasions or when I feel fancy, I get macadamias, cashews and the other pricey stuff.
I stopped consuming alcohol. I am planning to write a whole post regarding this topic, but let me summarize it with: That was one of the best decision I ever made! Drinking — even very small amounts — made my skin look back and gave me puffy eyes. It made me feel out of balance, tired and prolonged my recovery. I also lost some stubborn belly fat, that I could never get rid of. Living a life without alcohol and drugs for sure goes hand in hand with the practice of intermittent fasting. It leads to a better quality of life and more peace of mind. I figured, that it is just better to truly deal with a problem, instead of compensating the pain with food and drinks.
I am Julia, vegan by heart, traveler and minimalist based in beautiful Portugal. I love simple but delicious food, ashtanga, skating, surfing and having a nice conversation over snacks and a glass of wine. I am blogging about vegan food, my minimalist journey, life hacks and my experiences as a traveler.