16:8 IF, IIFYM & Me

I am totally going to write this as if I am having a conversation with you so if my grammar or manner is really… informal? now you know why. Ok so first up, I want to change the way I look and feel. I’ve had body issues for a long time but as I am getting older, and probably becoming more ‘mid-life crisis’ aware, the I’m supposed to having upon turning 40-ish in two years time and; having almost completely raised my two sons by now, I reckon it is time for me to do something about the things I don’t like about my body.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t ‘self hate’ myself. I just know I’m not taking care of my body, my health and doing all that I can do to be well and at my best. That means I need to do a bit of extra work to get to a maintenance state. I’m not trying to be ripped 24/7 but some leaner definition wouldn’t hurt and neither would fitting my clothes better.

The Caveat: I had a total hysterectomy 9.5 weeks ago. I’ve noticed I crave carbs quite a bit more and even more so since stopping my antidepressant medication. My iron levels were so low, it was affecting my mental health aaaand around in a circle with some lumps, bumps and scars, ta-da… I had a total hysterectomy. 

The Challenge

So, after a bit of tinkering on the internet trying out different eating methods here and there, watching YouTube, reading articles and I decided to make a commitment to put what I read into practice. Actually, I am testing out a hybrid of IIFYM and Intermittent Fasting a la 16:8 Leangains Method

I had been following an eating plan for a challenge I was doing earlier this year, but the challenge was cut short at seven weeks because of my surgery. During that challenge I felt fuller but I couldn’t eat six meals across the day. While I felt fed most days, I still over ate in the afternoon. Also, having breakfast with school morning kick started an eating chain that would have me eating up to 2400 calories, predominantly carbs and way over what I need to function. So that combined with limited activity for six weeks post op recovery, of course, I gained weight. And here we are. 

I began by trying out IIFYM – If It Fits Your Macros – going to their website, plugging in my details and putting my macros into myfitnesspal (MFP) to track my eating. What I love about it is I can eat whatever I want to hit my macros, as long as it fits my macros. But ideally, I should eat nutrient dense foods and just not miss out on the foods I love as long as it fits. Basically a 80/20 perspective because no one can eat 100% clean 24/7, 365… quit playin’! I’m having that Big Mac!

I was thinking about intermittent fasting while I was waiting for my train this morning and realised that I did this in 2015 and lost 7kg in about two weeks. Given that I had anxiety and major depression which made me lose my appetite, I still made myself have calorie dense foods once a day so that I wouldn’t die. In total, over about a month, I lost 13kg.

Now, how I did that wasn’t a healthy way but it does prove that intermittent fasting works. So with that knowledge and experience, I know that I can do this. I’ve chosen to use the leangains method. 16 hours fasted, 8 hours fed. I chose this after reading the other methods and realising that 16:8 will fit my daily routine, I don’t naturally eat breakfast and the feeding window will cover my afternoon over eating issue. I can have 2-3 meals in that time. I don’t usually like eating after 8pm anyway so it works well. I stop eating at 8pm, go to bed sleep etc and start my feeding window around 12-1pm. 

This week will be about the eating habit. I already trained myself to eat breakfast and now I need to untrain myself. 


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