I will start this post with a disclaimer – every person is individual and what works and doesn’t work for one person may not be the same for the next.
I see a lot of posts on social media these days relating to the way that people diet and train, making it out as though their way is the only way that works and the only thing you can do to achieve your goals. It’s just wrong. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to support a variety of different ways you can eat whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight or stay the same (and the same goes for fitness.) Ultimately, you have to go by trial and error to find out what works best for you and when you find it don’t be afraid to stick with it even if someone else says their way is better.
That’s part of the reason I have dedicated this summer to experimenting with different meal plans, different styles of eating because I don’t feel as though I’ve found the diet that best suits me. Yes, some of them have been effective but I wasn’t happy on them so it wasn’t something I wanted to stick with for the rest of my life. Regardless of what my goals are for this year or the next, I want to be fit and healthy for years to come and that means finding something that I can stick with both now and 25 years from now.
I started my last intermittent fasting review by wondering whether I was doing something wrong because I had never experienced a meal plan that I found so easy to stick to before. That’s the honest truth, too. I really enjoyed intermittent fasting. It fit into my life well and I found it much easier to manage than my previous 6-meal-a-day, low carb diet. For the past two months I haven’t prepped my food in advance (with the exception of leftovers) and I loved being able to eat food hot from the pan instead of hot from the microwave. I was eating more fresh vegetables than ever before, having been eating mostly frozen previously, my cravings were down, I was cheating on my diet significantly less and I’d never felt as much energy in the gym.
Despite all that, at the conclusion of my intermittent fasting experiment I have to deem it a fail.
What?! Shocking, right?
Unfortunately, though the timing of intermittent fasting worked well for me and I enjoyed the time I spent on it I wasn’t getting the kind of results that aligned with my goals. In the future, I think IF will be a great way to maintain my weight once I’ve reached the point I want to be at. Until then though, the experiment continues.
I gave this style of eating two months and checked in with Coach Krissy at the end of each month. The first month I put on weight and inches and saw an increase in my body fat percentage. We chalked this up to an adjustment period as my body got used to a higher calorie, higher carb diet than the one I was on before. It all came down to the second month. I diligently stuck to my plan, eating exactly what I was supposed to, hitting the gym – hard – five days a week. At the end of month two the results were in – weight was up, inches were up and body fat percentage was up. In two months my weight/BF% jumped up by so much I’m nearly at the same place I was a year ago.
It was pretty disheartening to be honest. I really expected that I would see some positive changes that would better align with my goals. I wanted intermittent fasting to work for me, I really did. I know I put on muscle but it’s hard to accept that with the amount of work I was putting in at the gym that I would find myself three steps back from where I started as far as my BF% goes. That’s all part of the experiment though. I accepted the risk that things might not go my way when I undertook this project so the only thing I can do is keep on going forward!
As of Monday I begin my new experiment – VB6, or “Vegan Before Six” while only eating wild fish and eggs after that (ovo-pescatarian). You can learn more about it in this article. I will start my new plan on Monday once I do some grocery shopping and organize everything and will be back with the initial results of experiment #2 in a couple weeks! 🙂
Wish me luck!