Why Intermittent Fasting Works For Me

danielle oscars.jpeg

This year’s Oscars was the first time in all the years I’ve been covering it (save for my preggo year) that I didn’t put myself on some kind of strict diet beforehand.  My post-baby year I logged every single thing I ate into an app for months.  Carbs were a hard no.  I skipped out on dinners with girlfriends.  And I was really unkind to myself if I “slipped.”  None of these diets were enjoyable and none of this made me feel good.  So this year, I said no more hard restrictions.  This year, Randall and I went to the Keg for dinner the night before I left for LA and had those stuffed mushrooms, the bread and butter, Caesar salad, steak, loaded baked potatoes, dessert and some heavenly red wine.  We were in a food coma in bed by 8 and I think it may just be our new pre-Oscars tradition. 

In a recent “Ask Us Anything” on my Instagram story I was asked about my diet and exercise regime and I shared that I’ve been doing Intermittent Fasting for the last few months.  It is not a “diet”, but rather an eating pattern.  The idea is to have an “eating window” and a “fasting window.”  Typically the eating window is anywhere from 6-8 hours, and the fasting window around 16-18.  The idea being, when fasting, your body turns to fat stores for energy.   After a few months of refining my pattern, I found a 7 hour eating window works best for me.  I typically have my first meal at 12:30 and try and finish dinner by 7:30.  I have a coffee with cream in the am and then lots of water until 12:30.  The first few days were not the most fun, I experienced some lightheadedness and a bit of a brain fog.  But about 5 days in I was amazed by how quickly I adjusted.  Most days I feel no signs of hunger until it’s time for me to eat.

The simple answer on why this works for me:  It allows me to enjoy the foods I love.  I eat a ton of the good and super healthy stuff; but I also love pasta, burgers, fries and pizza.  This system of eating allows me to enjoy those things when I want to.  I don’t indulge in a pile of onion rings every day, but when I do have the urge I go for it (within my window) and I don’t feel badly about it.  This system is also flexible.  If I have an event at night or a later dinner with girlfriends, I can adjust my window accordingly.  The flexibility is what makes this a way of life I’ve been able to stick with. 

During these last few months, I’ve slept better (probably due to the no nighttime snacking) and I have more consistent energy throughout the day.  I find my clothes fit better and my mind is clearer. 

I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, just a person who read a lot about this way of eating and has found it works for me.  And because you asked, I thought I’d share it with you.  If it’s something you’re curious about, read up on it and consult your doctor if it’s right for you.  And if you do give it a try, or are currently also eating this way, I’d love to hear from you!