Happy New Year! And my accidental experiment with fasting…

Wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!  Also I know this is the time a lot of people decide to “get it together” and make a concerted effort toward healthy habits :)   My own fit-iversary is coming up in just 2 days – wow – 6 yrs on the fit train!!

And boy, it’s been a long time for a blog post!
I apologize but I’ve been busy trying to adjust to a new job … and frankly just keeping my head above water fitness-wise so I haven’t felt I had anything new to say.
I started the blog because I felt there was so much that could help others but I don’t want to keep repeating – but we are all at different stages (and go back and forth between stages  as times moves on) so it is still relevant.  Just not sure if I should tell you to read the older posts, or freshen the info up and just keep posting more if it!  I know I could use refreshers every now and then (or maybe just beat it into my head haha), but ya know…

With that out of the way, there is something I’ve been wanting to write about that is definitely not a repeat!  Intermittent fasting – hmmmmm  While I am decidedly not an advocate of fasting, I was an unwitting participant in just such an experiment the last few months.  I want to share my experience.  Let me preface by saying that I have seen results – some good, some are the reasons I don’t care for it ;)

I took a job as a mother/baby nurse in July.  A career change (or addition) later in life, this is my first nursing job and every 12 (or 13, or 14) hour shift is full of learning on the fly, catching up because I am new and slower, demands I didn’t realize I had and have to play catchup to meet – so quite often I find myself not eating until 3 or 4, which brings me quite close to 12 hours of no food.  That, my friends, is intermittent fasting!  Sometimes when I do get a chance to eat a little earlier, it is a small amount and I won’t eat again until I get home, but at that hour I cannot process a whole meal so that amount is small too.

First off, this is a miserable way (for me) to eat, especially since I have spent the last 5 years eating every 3 hours.  I can feel my stomach gnawing at me the entire time and often into the next day even after eating.  I am also pretty dehydrated but I am working on that.  However, I started to notice that I lost a few pounds.  Referencing the dehydrated statement, I pinned it on that.  And some of it was just that, lost 3 pounds only to gain back 2 after a few days off with some water!  But over time that other pound stayed gone.

In the 5 months since this “experiment” began the total stands at 7 pounds lost.  This is despite the rational (not) and “well deserved” arguments for beer and nachos and fried instead of grilled chicken that I have convinced myself of way too often.  It was a welcome loss, as I had tipped above my “threshold” of when it was time to “get back on track” anyway.  I don’t prefer this sort of weight loss though.   It is really “expensive” for your body to retain muscle and much easier to maintain fat tissue, so it’s a battle while losing weight to keep muscle in any situation.  And I lost muscle – due to both injuries and time management that kept me from working out at full capacity to convince my body to keep the muscle.  But I also feel like a lack of food and protein for so many hours made it less likely for my body to spend the effort to keep the muscle tissue.

To some it may seem like no big deal, but I worked really hard for that muscle!   And it’s a LOT of work to get it back… oh my…

I guess if you decide to try the intermittent fasting (fasting for 10 – 16 hours of the day and eating only in the other hours) My advice would be to drink lots of water, really pay attention to your exercise routine to keep your muscle, and lay off the “treats” haha!  It’s really tempting to rationalize “oh this is the only meal I get today I can really go to town if I want!”  and that’s a difficult habit to break.

But it seems like it is ONE way to control your calorie intake – and that really is what weight loss boils down to.  Not all methods are good for all people, not all methods will get you to your personal goal – but the basic premise for losing weight is calorie reduction in some form or fashion… and this is ONE of those ways :)

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