aging · exercise · healthy lifestyle · menopause · Uncategorized · weight gain

Lean & Strong Phase 2

Phase 1 of my Lean & Strong challenge went really well, so I’m ready to move on to Phase 2 of my experiment to figure out what sustainable lifestyle changes I can make to stay at a healthy weight and to be lean and strong.  I know I could completely overhaul my diet and eat perfectly and work out every day and achieve the same thing, but honestly, what kind of life is that?

Funny perfection cartoon

I’ve decided that for the next 30 days, I will try intermittent fasting.  If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting, check out these helpful links:

In a nutshell, with intermittent fasting (IF), you’re not changing what you eat, but when you eat.  The idea is that when you fast, your body uses your fat cells for energy.  People who do it swear that they lose weight, have more energy, and experience less junk cravings.  But what really convinced me to try this was reading testimonies from women my age who have experienced weight gain and their frustrations with not being able to lose weight, despite eating a healthy diet and exercising.  They finally lost weight after doing IF.

As you can see from the links above, there are several ways that you can do intermittent fasting.  After doing a lot of research, talking to other people who have tried intermittent fasting, and considering my schedule, I’ve decided to do the 16/8 method.  I’ll fast for 16 hours and then eat during an 8-hour window.

What appealed me about this eating method is that I don’t have to decrease what I’m eating.  I only have to make sure that I eat within an 8-hour window.  I won’t be depriving myself of calories.  I’ll still continue to eat the healthy plant-based meals that I’ve been eating.

After reviewing my daily routine, I’ve decided to try eating my first meal at 11:00 a.m. and then stop eating for the day at 7:00 p.m.  However, it’s flexible so that I can adjust my eating window as needed.  My workout routine will not be changing.

I do have some concerns with this way of eating.  First of all, I’m a bit skeptical that simply changing when I eat will help me lose weight.  Secondly, I’ve always been a breakfast eater, and so I’m worried if I’ll be able to go until 11:00 a.m. each day without eating.  I tend to get shaky and “hangry” if I wait too long to eat.  However, during my fasting period, I’m allowed to have any no-calorie beverage, such as water, coffee, and tea.  As long as I can continue to have my coffee (I drink it black) each morning, I’m hoping that I’ll make it to 11:00 a.m. without eating with no issues.  You know, like say, biting my co-workers’ heads off, or passing out from starvation.

I’m kidding.

I hope.

Have any of you tried intermittent fasting and if so what was your experience?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!






4 thoughts on “Lean & Strong Phase 2

  1. Good for you. I’ve heard so many good things about it as well. I’ll be interested to see how it goes for you. I tried it for about 3 weeks and I didn’t have any trouble making it until 11am. I didn’t even mind exercising on an empty stomach. (I usually always had a banana before my morning workout.) My only issue was I’d have a smoothie at 11am and then I wouldn’t be ready for lunch until around 2:30 or 3. I felt so self conscious going to the break room so late to each my “lunch”. Crazy I know. I shouldn’t have let that bother me. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily, I have a job where I can eat lunch whenever. My co-workers know what I’m doing, so they wouldn’t think it was weird if I was having lunch later in the afternoon. Packing my lunch for work today was a bit challenging. I’m not sure what I’m going to eat when, but I know it will be a learning curve and eventually I’ll find a routine that works.


  2. I follow the 16/8 program and have for a couple years. My eating window is 10 am to 6 pm. It sometimes varies but the biggest thing I try to do is not eat after supper. Breakfast time I eat normally. Small snack 4 hours later and small supper. The program seems to allow me to maintain weight. Not a huge weight loss. You still need to be aware of what you eat. Provides discipline for your eating habits.

    Liked by 1 person

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