Intermittent fasting

Weight began to come off quite easily when I first started running again. I lost 5 or 6 kg without really thinking about it. I didn’t change anything about my diet. Just ran.

A month or so ago, my weight began to plateau. Then over the past couple of weeks, it started to creep up.

I knew that I needed to lose weight, anyway, because I’m running a marathon next year. It will be no good for my body if I try to run a marathon at my current weight. It will put it under too much pressure. and that’s without even thinking about how much it will slow me down…

Last week, I was talking to Vanessa about this, when she gave me a lift to swimming. She said: can’t you just miss a meal every now and then?

Vanessa has lost a lot of weight recently, and looks great. She must be (I guess) in her 50s, but she’s running and swimming faster than she ever has before, and she looks great. Healthily slim, not “thin”. She’s been doing her own version of intermittent fasting: just missing meals as and when it fits in.

Before my third pregnancy, I tried intermittent fasting. I’d seen a documentary about it with Michael Mosley, and I was pretty convinced of the benefits. I could also see that it might help my (high) blood pressure and cholesterol (which is now okay, but has crept up in the past).

I didn’t continue it for very long, as it was just before I became pregnant! But even over that short period of time, I lost weight quite quickly.

I think this approach suits me, as I’m a bit of an “all or nothing” person. I find it very difficult to eat things (or do things!) in moderation. If I eat something I enjoy, I’ll eat a large portion, and I’ll have seconds! I actually find it easier to just say I’m not allowed something than to say I’m only allowed a little bit of it.

I decided to fast yesterday on a bit of a whim! I missed breakfast, and then just didn’t eat. I did have a coffee, and at lunchtime, I had a load of carrots and a bit of ham. I just kept a track of everything and kept the calories down.

Part way through the day, I had a sudden panic. I was going swimming that night, and running the next morning (before breakfast!). Had I chosen a really bad day to do it? If I did it as planned, I wouldn’t be eating normally again until breakfast the next morning (36 hours after I’d last eaten normally, and after swimming and running). So I included 2 slices of bread in my calorie count.

I told Vanessa what I was doing on the way to swimming, and she predicted that I’d actually swim better if I was a bit hungry. And actually she was right.

I ate a couple of bananas when I got home, and went to bed.

The run this morning was fine. In fact it was good! I ran with Sarah again, so it was “fast”. I wasn’t even that hungry when I got back, but I just had some toast for breakfast.

I’m going to keep this up for a few weeks. I’m only going to do it one day per week, and I think I’m going to stick to a Thursday, even though it’s my swim day and run eve. I also didn’t get down to 500 calories yesterday, which is apparently the maximum number of calories you should eat over the 36 hour period. I reckon it was more like 800. But I’m not going to worry about that. Life’s too short! And it has to be do-able.

Miraculously, I’d re-lost the 2 kg this morning that I’d put on recently…. mmmm…. that’ll be water, then! But it’s nice to see it on the scales again.

I’m aiming to lose another 6 kg. I’ll try and keep up the intermittent fasting until then. After that, I’ll just rely on the marathon training to keep it where it is.

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6 thoughts on “Intermittent fasting

  1. I do the 12 hr fast thing (eat a late breakfast) occasionally, but not on a regular basis. I’m usually pretty hungry when I get up. Good luck!

    Although I can tell you it can be very difficult to lose weight while training for a marathon. Or so I hear.

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    • ah really?… I wonder why that is? Just because ou have to keep re-fuelling? And yes- I think I’m going to end up doing the 12 hour thing more than a proper 36 hour fast, as it’s probably easier to fit into life! I’ll have to see how it goes, I think, and just play it by ear…

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      • I think sometimes it’s because you don’t refuel enough afterwards (my appetite gets suppressed by long runs; shorter ones sometimes make me want to eat all the food — like today!) and sometimes you overestimate how much you’ve really burned off.

        And running that much just makes you hungry, no doubt!

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    • Thanks 🙂 yes- I’ve also lost weight before by not eating after 5pm each day and making that meal veg/protein-based. But my husband doesn’t get home til 7 each night so we all eat late. I don’t want to miss that family meal so I can’t eat early for now… will play it all by ear and modify as and when 🙂

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  2. Good Luck! Let me know how it goes. I’m so far relying on just the running – although running has changed what I eat simly by changing what I crave so I am sure I eat far healthier now than I did a year ago.

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