My intermittent fast ended nearly a month ago and I find myself missing it. Since Lent ended, I too easily shifted back to eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Yet, I’m not hungry when I eat. Not good. I’m letting years of bad conventional dieting wisdom (3 square meals, grazing all day, etc.) dictate when I eat. It’s become muscle memory. Ugh!
The fight to eat healthy never ends.
Trying Out The 5:2 Fast
This week I’m testing out the 5:2 Fast. Unlike my Lent fast, this one requires eating normally for 5 days and fasting 24-hours for 2 (non-consecutive) days during the week. During the fast days, I’m drinking water, broth, green tea and coffee. Technically I’m suppose to give up the cream I put in my coffee, but that’s a bridge too far for me. Instead I limit my coffee to one mug on fast days.
My first 24-hour fast started after lunch on Saturday. It was much tougher than my 14 hour intermittent fast because I wasn’t as ready. I ran into a couple of problems late into the fast – mainly in the form of a raging headache and fatigue.
Stocking Up On Stock
When fasting, it makes sense to have a good supply of bone broth available. I did not.
Bone broth is made from animal bones – beef, chicken, turkey, etc. You roast the bones then simmer with veggies and sea salt for a few hours. Basically it’s a homemade, glorified broth. But it has more vitamins and minerals than the canned stuff you buy at the grocery store…hence the glorified! There are other supposed benefits related to boosting your immune system, alleviating joint and gut pain and shiny hair.
For me? It saves me money. If I’m buying cuts of bone-in beef or roasting a bird, it makes sense to get my money’s worth and use the whole thing and not buying cans of broth. If there are great health benefits of using the bones in a stock, that’s awesome too!
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a supply of bone broth on hand. So I settled for my grocery store’s organic broth. The problem? It’s low in sodium. D’oh!
When fasting I stay hydrated, but since I’m not eating I end up depleting my stores of sodium. As I discovered early in my Lent fast, without the added sodium I felt tired and fatigued during workouts.
The broth I was drinking didn’t help at all. By the time I figured it out I had a raging headache when I woke up the next morning. An aspirin, 2 cups of broth and 1 teaspoon of salt later the headache went away. About 30 minutes later I felt like my old self and ready for a morning walk.
Come Thursday (my second and last fasting day this week), I won’t have time to make any bone broth. So I’ll need to add a bit of salt to each cup of the store broth I drink.
Moving Back To Intermittent Fasting
While I still have another 24-hour fast to go in this little experiment, I’ve already decided I want to move back to that eating window (Noon – 10:00 p.m.) during Lent. For most of April I switched back to my regular low carb eating habits. Normally a good thing. But I’m finding it’s too much food and I’m feeling bloated most of the day.
So much for conventional wisdom.
During Lent I learned two awesome things:
- I need to pay more attention to my body so eat only when I’m hungry.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I don’t have to eat it as soon as I wake up.
Turns out, breakfast at noon suits me just fine.