So I am going to give intermittent fasting a try. I don't really like the name or the fad but the practice of it seems to make sense for me right now. As you know fro my last post, I am slowing pulling together what I want my goals to be for this next year. I have already begun the process of starting the transition to getting up earlier again as I've fallen back to my night owl ways. In fact, I got up at 5am today, yay for me. Getting up to do my Morning Sadhana consistently will take time and I should be getting into the swing of it as it begins to get lighter in the mornings. However that does mean I'll need to be getting to bed earlier than I have been. This in turn impacts when I should eat dinner. So I've been thinking about that.
I wrote in my journal this morning that I've reverted to some bad habits and even though I am still vegan and largely whole food plant based in the sense of plants only and limited additional salt, sugar and avoiding added oil. My downfall is, well one sugar, but more importantly high fat, high calorie foods. Plant-based or not, peanut butter has a lot of calories with its healthy fat. And I love peanut butter. I think I also mentioned in my previous post that some of the weight that I lost orginally in switching to a whole food plant based diet is because I am eating more calories with higher fat (and sugar) content than I have done in previous years. The resulting weight gain is not surprising then.
In the end though it wasn't just peanut butter, but how much I ate of it and when. I found that as I mindlessly binge-watched a TV show I was stuffing food in my mouth. So while my dinner may be have been an awesome veggie laden dish with greens, beans, potatoes, and the all the colors in the rainbow, I was still eating until late. And then going to bed with a really full stomach. I'm sure even just reading this makes it obvious that I'd put on weight, so it is.
What really caught my attention though was my sleeping scores on my Fitbit. The more full I was when I went to bed the worse the sleep score I had. Particularly the restoration sleep score would be bad. Looking into it I found that the percentage of time that my heart rate was under my resting heart rate was drastically lower when I went to be full as opposed to when I didn't.
We all know that a good night's rest is besides exercise and diet one of the most critical factors to health and wellness. So if I want to get a good night sleep I have to eat at least two if not more hours before going to bed. If my goal is to be in bed by 9 or 10 than means eating no later that 5 or 6. Thinking about when my yoga classes, whether I practice or teach, are normally at 6pm weekdays. Meaning I'll want to eat at least two hours before that, so that means 3 or 4 pm for dinner. Going to bed at say 10 and getting up at 5 means seven hours of sleep which is good, eating at 3 or 4 and no evening snacks means I won't be stuffed going to bed and so I should have a good night sleep. Eating breakfast after my morning sadhana means probably around 7:30 or 8am just as my work day is kicking off. If I eat sufficiently I won't really be hungry for lunch and will be ready for a good dinner at 3 or 4. Let's assume dinner is at 4pm and I don't eat until 8am that's a 16 hour fast, which is one of the most widely adopted intermittent fasting styles.
So that's why I'm going to give it a go. Two meals a day with 16 hours in between dinner and breakfast. We'll do this through end of March and see where we stand at that point.
Wish me luck