I’ve never been one for a diet, mostly because I hate inconveniencing or disappointing other people. So if someone says, “let’s get a glass of wine!” I’m never going to pass up on that opportunity. I never want to pass up a BBQ because I’m not eating carbs or not go out to brunch on a beautiful day because I will inevitably want pancakes. Life is too short to miss out on all the fun times, whether I’m out with friends or just drinking wine watching the debate. Seriously, that’s entertainment ;)
So, mostly I dabble in moderation, trying to eat healthy salads and smoothies when I’m home alone, so that I don’t feel bad about drinking wine and ordering pizza when the hubs comes home.
But in the last 6 months, I have discovered a new diet. Or should I say, this diet discovered me?
The Diet I Didn’t Realize I was On: Intermittent Fasting
Once Marina reached the age where she could crawl up and down the stairs and feed herself, everything changed for me. No longer were we both content sitting and reading a book in bed in the morning, oh no! Now Marina was trying to jump off the bed, throw things down the stairs, crawl after them, throw her food every which way, need 5 diaper changes, stand at the door like a puppy waiting for a walk, and yelling all the while. Once I got her down for her 9:30/10am nap, I would clean the house back up, reheat my half-drunk cup of coffee for the third time, and finally sit down at my computer to answer a few emails before she woke up at 11.
And then I would realize I hadn’t eaten a thing all morning.
As I would prepare her lunch I would start nibbling myself, thus enjoying my first meal of the day…. which is what, brunch? The rest of the day continues much as the beginning, with intermittent errands and walks, keeping her entertained until the next nap. Lunch would come around 2:30, right when I got her down for her second nap, and then finally, when she was down for bedtime at 7:30, I would eat dinner.
After stumbling upon an article about intermittent fasting, I realized I’m doing this diet, without even realizing it.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a type of timed eating where you consume all your meals of the day within 8 hours, leaving the rest of the day to ‘fast’. I don’t know why it works, because I don’t really care, but you can read about it here. The point is, my three meals a day are constrained within a tighter schedule during the day, leaving my body to feast off the fats and calories while I ‘fast’, resulting in weight loss. But does this feel like fasting? No. It feels like I have a crazy 1 year old and no time to take care of myself. That’s it.
And the best part? You don’t have to do it every day! 5 days a week is plenty, or even 3 or 4 to get started. So that means on the weekend when the hubs is around, we can still go out for breakfast or I can grab a donut without feeling like I ‘cheated’ on my diet. I don’t even do it every week day, I do when I take care of Marina in the morning, that’s about it. So when I have our nanny, which is today as I write this, I am eating said donut at 8:24 am perfectly content knowing that tomorrow my day will be crazy again and inevitably I will not have time to eat until after 11.
Now, I even schedule my workouts at 8 or 9 am (nanny or not) thinking that if I can get to 10 or 10:30 am before eating breakfast resulting in even the tiniest fast, it’s probably better than nothing. So that means some days my ‘eating’ period may be more like 9 hours, but hey, that’s pretty good for not really trying, right?
What do you eat while Intermittent Fasting?
So, clearly you can’t just eat all donuts, all the time. You should still be able to consume your regular 3 meals a day (you are not SKIPPING a meal) just within a shortened time frame. They don’t have to be all salads, but you don’t want them to be all pasta either. Everything in moderation, even while intermittent fasting.
I have found that having my morning coffee (still allowed while fasting) sort of suppresses my hunger which helps me not think about food all morning. Once 11am or whenever I have time to eat is, I’m really not that starving, so I start with a piece of toast, a yogurt, or a bowl of cereal. That usually is more than enough since I have to get back to work being a mom. I have a real lunch around 2:30/3pm when she goes down for her second nap, complete with a cookie or whatever sweet craving my body needs. Then it’s mom time again until she goes down for the night, when I can have a glass of wine and enjoy a bigger meal. Or go out to dinner! Or go out with friends! No restrictions.
Should you try Intermittent Fasting?
Diets are challenging because something that is easy for one person is truly difficult for another, and I get that. I have never been one to diet because I love my carbs and sweets too much and just can’t ever let them go. I would rather spend a whole day at the gym than give up pie. Seriously. But luckily, I don’t have to since I stumbled upon intermittent fasting! It should be renamed ‘The busy moms’ diet” instead because truly, it is something that I think many busy moms would be able to do to lose those extra 5 pounds without having to change much else in their lives.
Give it a try and let me know what you think! I know this diet isn’t new to many people, but it was to me and it has helped me get to and maintain my goal weight in a healthy way. Please note this is not for those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant! Be sure to read more about the details here and I can’t wait to hear if any of you have tried it!