Monday, July 09, 2018

**UPDATE** Intermittent Fasting & Some Apps

I've gotten so used to the IF lifestyle that I hardly think of it anymore. I wanted to post a little update and share some of the tools that have been helpful (and free) in the routine.

The day after my June 30th birthday, I went from doing the 16:8 plan (fasting for 16 hours) to the 20:4 plan. Strangely, I find it easy to fast for 20 hours where I struggled a lot with the 16:8 plan. Go figure.

These are 2 of the apps I use (in addition to occasionally using My Fat Secret):

Time Until 
 The Time Until app (above) is my motivator/reminder once I have set the number of hours I plan to fast. So far, I've stuck to the 20-hour fasting but the next app I'm showing you (below) lets me set a schedule of my choosing.

iFasting app

The above app is called iFasting and it is really, really handy for anyone setting a fasting schedule. I've been using it since I went 20:4 and I only have one complaint and that is that it got a couple of my counts wrong:

Or maybe I messed up keying numbers into the app or because fasting times ran into each other... I don't know ~shrug~. I've used the app so much that I considered upgrading to the Pro version. One big problem with that is the price. The Pro version costs $6. That's steep for an app. Since the descriptions in the Play store don't detail the upgraded features, I have contacted the developer to find that out. It's only fair since I am talking about it here on the blog.

I have been considering trying this other app that no one else has downloaded or reviewed. It's called Faster - The Fasting Tracker. I am hesitant because the only thing listed under Permissions is "Other". I really want to know what the heck that means...

Anyway, I have been progressing well with the fasting. My weight is weirdly staying in the same general area (and, no, I'm not telling what area that is), but my clothes are fitting looser and people have been commenting on the "loss". I'll take it. In addition to that, my legs and feet are a lot less sore and tired.

As far as My Fat Secret goes, I haven't been checking in recently. When I check in every day, I'm too focused on minute goals. Thinking too much about what I'm doing to lose weight is self-defeating for me.

When I first started the 20:4 routine, I was trying to schedule my eating hours as late in the day as possible. I think the first few days, I was eating as late as 8:30 and 9:00 at night. That was great because I get most of my cravings at night. Also, I have finally learned to choke down black, unsweetened coffee. (The trick to that for me, by the way, is to make the brew weaker than I do for creamed/sweetened coffee.) Here's the thing, though I only have 4 hours (6 during my 18-hour fasts) to eat and I don't like having that one meal on my gut when I'm about to go to bed.

After a couple of days, my cravings subsided and I found I was eating less. Since that happened, the best schedule I have come up with is to eat during the hours of 1 to 5 or 2 to 4. That leaves a lot of time to be up and avoiding snacking so I make sure to have fresh coffee ready and some water in the fridge. Coffee seems to work as an appetite suppressant, although I messed up one evening and added turmeric to the black coffee. 1 teaspoon Turmeric = 8 calories. Oops. Speaking of sneaky calories, even fresh mint leaves carry a few. Sheesh! I am down to the plain and filtered tap water and weak black java.

My biggest annoyance is my neighbor offering me cookies, cake and margaritas every other day. I've just started giving her this look every time.

I want to point out that one of the reasons I even first attempted the 20:4 schedule is because I read that the body really starts to benefit from fasting at the 16-hour point.  Information at that link shows a chart and includes the following observation:
"But according to the information above, in terms of insulin level, the fast is only really getting going at 16 hours. Extending it further than this ramps the drop in insulin and the increase in lipolysis."
This made sense to me and I realized that my 16-hour fasts were only touching on my goals. Now I'm going for 4 hours into the "sweet spot" the article speaks of. The reduction in cravings is just another benefit.

I cannot wait to post some photos. I feel that, if I keep this up, by the end of this month, I will have some serious visual evidence of IF working. If I were ten years younger, I would have reached my goal weight within a couple of weeks. Alas, this almost 60-year-old body is a little more stubborn!

For those of you also doing IF, I hope you found something useful in this post.