September 9, 2022
When you have a lot of food allergies, eating can be an annoyance, or even life threatening. Add in the stress of modern life and it is very easy to overeat or eat poorly. Diets are not my thing either–most of them have things I can’t or don’t eat or are way to exact and can’t be easily substituted. I’ve tried so many different tips and suggestions from doctors, articles, videos and friendly advise, but only one of them seems to work well.
Here’s the other thing–I see the impacts pretty quickly.
I’ve used this off and on several times. I’d start and then stop since it wasn’t convenient. I’ve recently started back again with the start of the school year and saw the benefits within a couple of days, and after a few weeks, notice a big difference in how I feel.
I’m not a health expert, by any means, so let me share what I have adapted and adopted after talking with my doctors and nutritionists, then you can talk to your doctors and find a plan that works for you.
I start my day with a walk or run six days a week, so I will drink a large glass of water first thing, complete my activity and then start my food window. I usually start eating/drinking other than water between 7AM and 9AM, and that opens my 4 hour window. During that time I will usually eat twice and consume my caffeine. I may have a protein shake, some fruit, cereal, or eggs and bacon or cornbeef hash. Usually I have a combo of two of these during that window, as well as my daily caffeine. If I started closer to 9AM or after, I may opt for a sandwich or something instead of breakfast items.
Four hours after I first ate, I switch to only water for the next four hours, so usually between 10AM and 12 Noon.
At the next 4 hour window, I eat again, usually around 4Pm or 5PM. I may have a light snack or a sweet treat since I try to stay away from sugar late in the day (insomnia!) and then we have our family dinner. If I am still hungry I will work in a snack of popcorn, chips, ice cream, or maybe a hot cocoa or glass of wine. By 8PM or 9PM, I stop eating for the day, switch again to only water until morning.
For the first day or two, I did feel hungry and had to make sure I didn’t overeat. But by the 3rd day, it leveled off and I got used to it. I did find that meal planning was still helpful so I didn’t rage eat from hunger or stress and overconsume, but this wasn’t too much of an issue. I also noticed that, if I happened to consume something that triggered my food allergies or sensitivities, it wouldn’t be as severe or require medicine, like it usually did.
Occasionally, a family or social event will fall during my fasting times and I don’t worry about it. I try to still eat lighter, but then I just fast for 4 hours after.
Why is this a good thing? Well, by constantly eating, our sugar levels stay constantly high and never get a chance to level off. This can result in all sorts of issues as well as struggles with losing weight.
While I tend to focus more on how I feel than on the scale, I noticed that, even if the scale only shifted slightly, my body composition shifted noticeably–a pleasant surprise. I also noticed that heartburn, insomnia, active dreams, restlessness, and focus issues also seemed to level out for me with this consistency.
As a teacher and busy mom, this technique also helped me avoid the short or non-existent lunches that tend to happen and I was able to get through most of my day without issue.
Again, I am not a health expert, so don’t just jump into a change like this without talking to a health professional. What works for one person may not for another, but I do hope you find what works for you.
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