It’s Tuesday, midafternoon. I’ve felt my concentration slip more than usual in the last half an hour. I’m also feeling quite cold.
Armed with an extra layer, I’m making my way to daycare to pick up my youngest daughter. What to have for dinner?
Preparation is the key; I’ve read it many times. But I only made a firm decision about embarking on this intermittent fasting journey yesterday.
So, it’s going to be a carrot and red lentil soup with basmati rice. But when we arrive home, a quick look around the kitchen reveals a disappointing lack of red lentils and basmati rice.
With a hint of frantic, last-minute adjustments, dinner now consists of aubergine, canned tomatoes, steamed carrot, white beans, and long-grain rice. The baby ate 3 portions, and I made do with 300-ish calories. I certainly felt better and sort of full for about 30 minutes.
The usual evening madness of getting two small kids to bed is a good distraction from hunger pangs, and I am nursing a herbal tea as things begin to calm down. I’ve clocked in just shy of 700 calories for the day.
I am certainly looking forward to a coffee and a big bowl of porridge in the morning, but I’m proud to have made it through my first day.
My mother is an avid fan of intermittent fasting. She likes to talk about it, and at great lengths.
Mama Martin started 3 years ago with a 5:2 regime that saw her eating around 500 calories on 2 days each week. She dropped down to 6:1 about 6 months ago and now fasts on 1 day a week.
During this time, her body mass index (BMI) has dropped from 24 to 21. Most importantly, she says that she doesn’t experience intense sugar cravings or the accompanying sugar crash that featured as a regular companion in much of her adult life.
I’ve been considering starting intermittent fasting for two reasons. The first one is a stubborn 15 pounds that I’ve not been able to shift after the birth of my second daughter. For the first time in my life, I find myself near the top end of what the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) call a healthy BMI.
“Don’t trust scales, trust how your body feels,” I hear my friends commenting. Well, the scales are saying the same thing that my feelings are saying.
But more than the weight, I’m interested in the long-term effects on our health that scientists have been uncovering in experimental studies of different fasting regimes.