First you should know that I had been trying to start this diet for an entire week before I finally did it. The first day I broke it because I wanted to eat an entire bag of salt and vinegar chips while watching Arrested Development. The second night I broke it because I wanted to eat Chinese food with my mom. The third night I broke it because I forgot I was dieting and the fourth night I broke it because it’s easier to start diets on a Monday, anyway.
You can go on an Intermittent Fasting diet in different ways. I’ve decided to eat for 8 hours a day and fast for 16. I’ll be eating between 12pm-8pm and I’ll also be doing this the week I graduate from college and move back home (so I’m a really good place emotionally – not!)
I break my fast at noon with eggs and a venti iced coffee. Yay! Not so bad. For lunch I eat a chicken and avocado wrap. I should have ordered it without the ranch dressing but I’m still learning. I’m full but I still want potato chips. However, I’m eliminating junk and limiting sugar and carbs. Thumbs down to this. By 2:30pm I think to myself that if I had a boyfriend who wanted to romance me tonight by taking me to a late night candlelit dinner of my favorite foods (pigs in a blanket, nachos, any type of food you can eat while watching the Super Bowl), I would have to say, “Sorry, Ryan Gosling, you are a wonderful boyfriend but I am fasting tonight. Come over and kiss my face now.”
At 8:00pm I yell, “The clock has struck 8!” in a British accent and so my fast begins.
At 8:01 pm I switch back to my American accent and yell, “I hate this!”
At 8:02 pm I yell, “I’m starving. This is my Vietnam!”
At 8:03 pm I yell, “Someone tell my family I’m sorry that I had to go this way!”
At 8:04 pm I am distracted by something on the Internet.
At 9:00 pm I read more about this diet, which I should have done and encourage you to do before you start.
At 9:15 pm I do an Pinterest search for “late night snacks” and find these gems. A toasted jam BLT is a thing.
Later that, night my brother sends me an email in reply to an earlier message I sent him about starting an IF diet. He links a popular IF blog and concludes the email with a reassuring, “This guy was helpful when I started IF… I don’t know what that last post is about… actually, I’m pretty sure this guy is legit crazy.”
Before I fall asleep, I realize I operated under the assumption that food you eat after midnight over the kitchen sink by the refrigerator light has no calories. My world view has now changed. I go to bed. I dream of clouds made of cream cheese and clouds made of sour cream.
I feel less bloated and groggy than usual but I can’t tell if it’s because of the diet or the recommended amount of sleep I finally allowed myself. When noon rolls around, I’m happy to eat lunch. I go to Chipotle and on my walk there, I get very emotional. “This could be my last time at this Chipotle,” I think as I start to tear up. When the Chipotle employee asks if I want white or brown rice, I cry harder “All of it!” I say as I slip on a pair of sunglasses to look less terrifying “I need to savor all of it.” I leave and eat and later I daydream about creating a diet where you eat anything you want. That night I force myself to sleep by 10pm so I don’t get too hungry. I dream of winning the lottery and giving everyone nachos.
It is Memorial Day! and more importantly, it is the HelloGiggles show at UCBeast in NYC. The wonderful Ruby Karp unknowingly tries to trick me out of my diet by giving me a Happy Graduation cupcake during the show. The show is fun (AS USUAL) and I turn down post-show drinks because it’s after 8pm and also I am sleepy. “Bummer Town, USA!” I shout in the crowded bar. No one hears me. The cupcake is burning a hole in my bag. I dream of a party that starts at midnight where everyone gets to eat the nachos I dreamed of last night plus cupcakes and drink post-show drinks.
I wake up early and eating doesn’t occur to me. I am graduating from college tomorrow and moving out of my dorm the following day and I need to pack! Packing ends up making me very sad and finally it is noon so I drown my feelings in iced coffee and a bagel (so much for cutting back on sugar and carbs). I feel energized today and I’ll blame it on the diet or the sugar high. This diet is actually great. I make a promise to do it “right” when I move back home. By “right” I mean being more conscious of what I am consuming during eating hours and including a workout in my day (ew, workouts). I eat a protein and greens packed dinner and then took out my graduation robes for tomorrow. I dream of getting an honorary degree from Harvard for my outstanding work in the field of “Dieting When You Just Want A Big Mac.”
IT IS GRADUATION DAY. I pack my dorm a little more then walk around the corner for breakfast. I feel really good today. I really like going to sleep without being full; I’m waking up a little more energized. But then again I am graduating in a few hours so who knows where my energy is coming from. I spend the rest of the day graduating, overeating at dinner with my parents, then going back to my dorm to finish packing for tomorrow’s move. I go to bed late. I dream of a packing boxes of pizza instead of packing boxes of winter sweaters.
I wake up early today because I am nervous. I finish packing and discover an old pair of jeans I don’t fit in anymore. I decide to cut them into shorts while I wait for the clock to strike noon and I can eat some food. I cut the jeans and remember why I can’t make things with my hands. I’m wearing my new “shorts” aka “diagonal denim short pants” when I eat eggs and drink coffee. My dad arrives, we pack the car, I check out with the RA; my school emails me confirming my checkout with an email subject that reads “YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR CHECKOUT (FOREVER).” I tell the email to “calm down”, then I cry a little and my dad gets confused. I pull down the vanity mirror and say, “You are going to nail real life!” My dad gets confused again. That night I eat another protein-packed dinner (chicken, salad, etc). I dream of being at a tea party with my improv team and we eat lemon squares and make things up. I then have another dream where I make out with a ghost. I get you, Ke$ha. You make sense to me now.
It is kind of the first day of the rest of my life. College is officially behind me and I take deep breaths in the mirror on my childhood bedroom’s wall for a long time. “You are going to nail real life,” I say to myself. “Now let’s go eat.” Turns out my dad made me eggs before he left for work and real life is going much better than I had planned.
At 8:00pm, I once again yell, “The clock has struck 8!” in a British accent and so my fast begins for the last time. But instead, I break my diet to take my younger sister out for ice cream. We have fun.
I actually really liked this diet despite constantly dreaming of food. I’m going to stay on it and see how it works. Plus you guys, there is a very real chance I did not do the Intermittent Fasting Diet as well as you are supposed to. If you want to do this diet, a good outline of an ideal IF can be seen here but personally, I couldn’t break my fast with a killer workout in the middle of my day because a) I am a real person who has things to do and b) I have no muscle strength and workouts are the worst. So I substituted my workout for my commute to work. Also, it is important to note that you should still be consuming your recommended daily amount of calories. Just because you are eating for only 8 hours doesn’t mean you cut important and necessary calories for survival (duh!).