In my last post, I mentioned that I started doing this new schedule of eating (if you will), called intermittent fasting (IF). If you don’t know what intermittent fasting is, please click here first and enlighten yourself.
I’m not here to say that you, your friends, and dog should start intermittent fasting. I’m not here saying that it will be the best thing since sliced bread to help you with your fitness goals. I will be sharing my thoughts, my dislikes, and my over all opinion on it.
If you have at least got a decent understanding what IF is, then you understand the ‘feasting window’. Since I have chosen a 16/8 time frame, I had to first decide what would be the ideal time to break the fast and end it. Since I typically work a random schedule as it is, I can almost guarantee that my first break comes a little after noon most days. Since Sarah does not get home until later in the evening, we usually don’t have dinner until about seven. So, through a perfect guess, I found that by breaking fast around 1-2 PM and starting the fast a little after 8 seemed to be what works best for me.
I’m not going to lie, the first day was unbearable, considering that I had to wake up a lot earlier than normal and have to work with food all day. I almost pulled a 20/4 window without even trying. I felt more tired, I felt more irritable, and I obviously felt much, much more hungry. After a couple of days I finally got the hang of it and it’s pretty much been smooth sailing since. Since I’m on a cut (meaning a caloric deficit from what my maintanence caloric intake is), I’m only allowed a set amount of calories a day and doing IF has allowed me to distribute my calories between two larger meals, rather than three or six of them (as some people do). Who wants to eat six small meals with less than 400 calories a piece?
By doing IF, it has taught me to have a lot of self control. Knowing that I’ll be able to have two larger meals later in the day makes me fight my cravings throughout the day. My training at the gym has gotten better because I don’t have something sitting in my stomach weighing me down. I’ve also have really embraced the idea that food is a gift, a privilege, and a blessing to have readily available. Time and time again, I’ll vacantly stare at my plate of food. Take it all in. I remind myself that I’m so lucky to have what it is I have in front of me and that each meal acts as a reward for working so hard throughout the day. Eat to live. Not live to eat. Not only have I noticed weight loss, I’ve also had better looking skin with less breakouts and I also am more focused in the mornings.
The first negative was not having breakfast anymore. I’d say it was the hardest part about starting this for me because I love breakfast. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, etc., I love it all. Skipping that meal was mentally challenging for me because I was so used to having a fluffy omelette or egg sandwich every morning. Although I’ve learned self-control, it’s so easy to be tempted by anything and everything around our kitchen at work and at home. While the idea of two larger meals later in the day sounds peachy, it’s not the easiest feat to shove down a large plate of food. I made the mistake my first few days by trying to eat too much in a short window and it immediately turned me off of IF. It took over a week but I finally figured out how much I could eat without making it so that I was literally forcing food down my throat.
With all of the new ways of eating and dieting that has come up in today’s time, I’ve finally found the one that works best for me. It’s not easy starting out either. It took me a while to finally understand the timing and to finally build up enough mental strength to continue on. Since I’ve started IF, I’ve lost about ten pounds in three months. It would be more if I actually ate really healthy, but hey I’m only human. I also enjoy doing it because it’s allowed me to prove to myself that I can follow through on my fitness goals and stick with a new program/diet.
Do I recommend IF for everyone? Not at all. Do I think people who are struggling with weight loss should give it a try. Yes. Of course people assume, “so you’re starving yourself to lose weight?”. To a degree, yes and no. Yes, in the fact that there is a large window of time where there is no food consumption. No, because I’m still getting all of my calories and macro-nutrients in for the day, just at a later time.
With patience and time, I managed to find my stride with my new eating routine. Has there been new trends or diets that seem to click with you and your body? What were the ups and downs of those programs? What helped you refocus and attain your goals?
We all have that moment. That moment of clarity. That epiphany moment. The moment you realize that health is something you shouldn’t waste away. The moment you realize that you should do your best each day to keep the gift of a functional body healthy and clean.
This moment for me wasn’t until June of last year. I was in a workout slump, bumming from DVD to online-at-home workout plans each week. I was losing hope and interest in losing weight when I finally said it was time to enroll in a gym. A lot of people usually get a membership, go consistently for about a month, and start to lose their focus quick because they expect immediate results. This is where I excelled because I knew that the big pay off was about to come down the road. I knew that if I stayed motivated, I would get the results and hit those goals
By October 2012, I felt the best I felt in a long time. Sure I wasn’t in best shape of my life, nor did I weigh what I wanted to but I was ready to keep pressing forward. I knew I had all the drive to get those things done, but I felt that I needed something else.
This is was when I caught wind of the Nike+ Fuelband. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out Nike’s website to get more info. You may be tempted yourself to strap one of these fancy things on your wrist too.
Knowing the price of such a device, I knew I was better off putting it on my wishlist for Christmas, instead of having buyer’s remorse and picking one up myself without the proper funds. It paid off because I had that bad boy on my wrist that morning!
It’s been a little over seven months since I received this awesome gift and it’s safe to say I definitely have my pro’s and con’s that I’ve decided were the best and worst things to point out.
- It keeps you moving. By using their “Fuel”, it gives you points based on how active you are throughout the day. You can set your goal from 1500 and as high as 99,999 Fuel (if anyone ever were to attain that high of a goal, they’d have to be constantly moving for 24 hours straight). By tracking your every movement, it keeps striving to hit your daily goal each day.
- Because it has built-in Bluetooth, you are able to sync your progress throughout the day through an Apple application and share your progress through Facebook too. The program allows you to find friends who not only have a Fuelband but other Nike+ accessories as well. It will let you challenge yourself and your friends to hit higher goals everyday. (If you don’t have an iPhone, there are apps for Android that allow you to sync it up)
- The Fuelband recharges via USB with the provided cords. This means no weird batteries to purchase or change out. You know that spare iPhone charger you have sitting in wall that you never charge anything on? Here’s its’ new best friend.
- It’s also a bad-ass wrist watch. It not only tracks your Fuel, but it tracks your steps, your calories and the time too.
- When you hit your goals, you feel accomplished. As you hit each goal, the app tracks each day with your highest time of activity and lowest time. It also keeps track of your best days, your consecutive day streaks, all while rewarding you with “trophies” as you do so. I feel great knowing I did my best and met, sometimes even shatter my daily goals.
Here comes the part that I dread even thinking about, the cons:
- Set your goal to 8000 yesterday but realized you left it at home? Sorry. To prevent you “cheating” or “cheating yourself” the application does not allow the user to “cheat” and lower your goal.
- The price is pretty steep too. Coming in at $150, this product is more expensive than the Fitbit One and a few dollars more than the Up by Jawbone.
- Although it is water resistant, it is not waterproof. Light hand washing and water splashing won’t phase this little beast, but don’t submerge or even think about taking a dive with it. Sorry swimmers!
- The easy, almost gimmicky Fuel that motivates you is very easy to get. Just by simply shaking the device you will get a few notches in your Fuel count.
Is it worth forking over the cash for an overpriced pedometer? To some people, there’s no hesitation. There are millions of die-hard Nike fans that start drooling as soon as they see the display for the Fuelband at the store. I’ve received multiple compliments regarding the ‘band, but the gawker is immediately turned-off by the price tag. Although it does keep me moving and staying motivated, I was very displeased to find out that by simply shaking it, gave me Fuel.
Overall, this post is not meant to be a Nike+ Fuelband advertisement or negative review. It simply is meant to tell about something I use to get motivated (even though it has its downfalls) and to give some more info about it to anyone interested.
Sidenote: We are not affiliated with Nike in any way, we simply like to share about products we use.