A month ago I decided something needed to change. I had become a snacking machine and my body wasn’t liking it at all. I was continuously grazing throughout the day. I was still eating all the right foods, healthy and nutritious foods but my body was reacting poorly. I was also eating right from the moment I woke up, 5:30am and basically until I went to sleep 9pm. For a good few weeks I was never hungry because I was constantly snacking. I wouldn’t be hungry for actual lunch or dinner because I never really stopped eating from breakfast. I was still eating a vegan, refined sugar free and gluten free (95% of the time) diet. I didn’t consciously start snacking all the time, it kind of just happened, a few nuts here, a handful of dates there and then all of a sudden I realised I’d been eating all day. I wasn’t gaining weight or anything as I was eating less at main meals because I wasn't hungry...no surprise there.
My body decided to bring all this snacking to my attention. Almost overnight, all my IBS symptoms came back. From bloating, cramping and running to the bathroom; I felt like I was back at square one again. My skin had become rough and bumpy again and was very red as well. I quickly analyzed what I had been doing with my diet and decided to make 2 major changes. The first would be only eating from the hours of 11am and 7pm, giving myself 8hrs of eating time. This is known as intermittent fasting. The other change would be having 4 set meals in that time. Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. I would still be consuming the same amount of calories but just at different times than my body was used too. The idea behind this is to give my body, especially my digestive system a break and let it restore itself.
Day one was easy, I didn’t get hungry once, still full from all the snacking I suppose. Day 2 & 3 were the hardest in terms of waiting till 11am to eat breakfast. But it got so much easier after that. By Day 4 all my IBS symptoms had gone away but I was feeling rather lethargic and my running was taking a hit. Day 9 my skin was back to itself again without a blemish in sight. Day 15 I was able run properly again, as my body adjusted to the new time frame. Day 28, 4 weeks completed!
I couldn’t believe how quickly my body returned to its normal self. I had heaps of energy again and was feeling great. The only draw back was that my running took a hit at the start while my body adjusted to its new eating time frame. I also have made sure to have quite a high carb dinner to fuel me for my morning run. ideally I would be running later in the morning, but with a baby and work to juggle that’s not really possible so I just do what I can to make it all work.
Intermittent fasting won’t be for everyone but I have found it very beneficial. It’s also quite flexible as you can just move your eating block forward or back if you have a function on or something so you don’t miss out. For more information on intermittent fasting I found these two websites very useful.
Definitely do your own research before changing up your meal plan. My body was crying out for a change and this worked wonders for me!