A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how I was going to start experimenting with intermittent fasting more seriously. While I usually don’t really eat until after noon, and tend not to eat too late at night, I never really track what I’m doing, or how it makes me feel. I’m just not really a morning eater.
When I found this ebook from naturopathic doctor Anna Falkowski, I jumped at the chance to more seriously examine my relationship with intermittent fasting, and what it was actually doing for me.
So, for a couple of weeks, I held off eating “breakfast” until noon, and stopped eating at 8. Some days, I would push this back an hour or so, just depending on how my schedule worked that day, but I maintained this 16:8 schedule – fasting for 16 hours and then eating in an 8 hour window. Honestly, this was close enough to how I eat on a regular basis, that I did not really notice much difference at all. It wasn’t until I went away for about a week and completely screwed up my schedule, that I started to notice a difference.
I was really struggling with how to write a post about the benefits I got from intermittent fasting on a vegan keto diet, until that week when my eating was all over the place. It’s actually been about two weeks since I’ve been home, and I’m only now getting back on track. So, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on what happens when I STOPPED intermittent fasting.
A quick disclaimer: I started IF a few years ago after hearing about the benefits on a podcast, but I’m aware that it really doesn’t work for everyone. Women especially have some difficulties with this practice. So, if you find that IF is difficult for you, or you don’t feel great while doing it, you are not alone!
I was travelling to attend a family wedding, so right off the bat, there were events and scheduled food things earlier than I’m used to. There were also scheduled food events later than I’m used to eating. While I didn’t really keep a strict schedule, nor aggressively monitor exactly when I ate, I definitely ate breakfast on several occasions, and even more disruptive, at really late at night. Sometimes after midnight! I pretty much never do this, and definitely noticed some changes.
So, without further ado…
What Happened When I stopped Intermittent Fasting on a Vegan Keto Diet?
I Got Heartburn
I NEVER get heartburn – seriously. I actually had to google what it felt like, because I’ve had it so few times in my life, that I wasn’t entirely sure that’s what was happening. As it turns out, if I eat too late at night, heartburn sets in, both in the evening, and the next morning. It was not my favorite and I wouldn’t recommend it.
I Was Hungry ALL DAY
Years ago, when I started practicing IF regularly, I noticed that I was less hungry throughout the day, and could better moderate how much I ate, if I pushed back breaking my fast as long as possible. Conversely, on days when I do eat breakfast, I’m basically hungry throughout the day, and end up eating around 500-1000 calories more than I would otherwise, which is obviously not great. This isn’t an isolated incident, it’s basically a guarantee on days I eat breakfast.
A Cycle of Early Eating Began
Once I opened the flood gates, it seemed like a real challenge to close them again. Every morning I would wake up with a bit of nausea and a kind of full feeling, and then it would be followed up by hunger. No, I’m not pregnant – and yes, it was annoying. Even now, after having tried to get back into a regular IF schedule, I still find myself getting hungrier earlier than I’m used to.
I Just Felt Gross
So, this is the least empirically-backed claim in this entire post, but it’s a pretty important one for me. I maintain a low carb diet to keep my blood sugar levels in check, and didn’t realize how much IF was contributing to this. I’ll admit, I didn’t bring my monitor with me (I’m not actually diabetic, just hypoglycemic), but after years of dealing with symptoms of crazy blood sugar levels, I’ve started to be able to tell when it’s too high. So, basically every day my eating schedule was out of whack, I had symptoms of high blood sugar, which left me feeling generally crappy.
Returning to Normal
The real marker is how I feel this week, now that I’m back in action and living the IF lifestyle again. I’ll be sure to post an update in a couple of weeks, after I’ve settled back into the routine. All I can say for now is that I really missed my routine, and the way that felt by giving myself a nice, large window for fasting, and limiting my meals to a 6-8 hour period.