The other day, I shared my new journey into intermittent fasting. I also shared that I have reactive hypoglycemia, and that therefore, per some experts’ advice, I was going to start out slowly, add in a half hour once a week to my fasting block.
Except, that wasn’t working. First, I have a lot I want to get done in the mornings on hot summer days, and having to change my schedule every week was going to stress me. At least a little.
I like my routines, and I like them to change as infrequently as possible.
Second, I desperately want my body to get back into balance and restore itself as quickly as possible. That wasn’t going to happen as long as I was just easing into the fasting-feasting schedule slowly.
Also, I know my body. Though it’s been a long time, I have done several twenty-four hour (and longer) fasts before, and I know that the urgent hunger pangs that come after not eating for the first hour after I wake up dissipate after the second hour.
Those pangs, by the way, have nothing to do with hypoglycemia. A hypoglycemic episode brings on irritability, weakness, lightheadedness, tingling in the extremities, and/or nausea. The hunger pangs a non-faster experiences first thing in the morning is their digestive system revving up for the food it’s used to getting early in the day.
I’ve read that once a person has done intermittent fasting for around a solid week, their body gets the clue and stops begging for food as soon as the person gets up in the morning.
I’ll let you know as soon as that happens to me. 😉
Reactive hypoglycemia can only happen if a person has eaten two to three hours earlier. So a person with that issue is unlikely to have an unhealthy blood sugar drop in the morning – unless they got up at four or five in the morning to raid the refrigerator!
For those reasons, the day after I published the post about my new IF journey, I decided to see how long I could go. By around eight, I’d decided to break my fast at ten. At the eighteen hour fast mark.
The IF experts say that 18:6 is one of the ideal fasting:eating ratios in order to reap the maximum benefits.
The first day.
Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00, I did begin to feel a little bit of tingle in my hands. I ignored it. Maybe not the healthiest, but I figured if I wasn’t fainting or nauseous, I could hold out.
I did. I began eating my smoothie at around ten o’clock.
Never did a smoothie taste so good!
It wasn’t the exact same as my previous smoothies. Instead of four bananas, it had two and a half. And it had three fewer tablespoons of nuts and seeds. To my very pleasant surprise, I was able to polish it off in about an hour and a half without taking much of a break in between half-cup servings. I’m pretty sure it was the lesser banana, rather than the fewer nuts and seeds, as my body has been trying to tell me for over a year that it doesn’t want that much fruit in the morning – even though previously, I consumed the bananas over about a four-hour period.
My next meal was around four hours later, and I was actually hungry for it. I wasn’t bloated the entire day. Hardly any burping. And because the lowered estrogen levels in my body, I’ve developed more food sensitivities, so I burp way more than is “lady-like” these days.
The second day.
The next day, I still had tingling – maybe more – for an hour and a half before I ate. But I made it until ten o’clock.
It was as though I’d gone right back to my new normal – discomfort, slow digestion. I did add an extra half banana to the smoothie to see if it affected me, but I’m 99% sure the problem was the strawberries I had this time. I’ve suspected an intolerance to them in greater measure than a half cup – I put one cup in that smoothie – and sure enough, my digestion got so messed up that I wasn’t even hungry for my dinner several hours later. And I couldn’t finish my smoothie in one fell swoop, like I had the day before.
How could I be so sure it was the strawberries? Well, let me say first that my body did complain about the extra half banana by having me reel from the sweetness of the concoction. But how I knew the reaction mainly came from the strawberries was that all-too-familiar fuzzy sensation that burgeoned inside my mouth while I was about halfway through eating it.
The sensation comes whenever I eat more than a handful of raspberries, or more than a half cup of strawberries.
Then, my hormones freaked out.
That afternoon, I couldn’t count the number of hot flashes I had. They were interspersed with cold flashes, and alternating hot and cold flashes hadn’t happened since I started taking the (good) He Shou Wu. I had zero energy, and my digestive issues were going well beyond what my morning smoothie, which I finished hours ago, should have been causing.
About an hour after forcing myself to eat my last meal, my energy came back, my stomach felt better, and my body temperature leveled out.
I think my body’s having to adjust to the new eating schedule. That my hormones might get more out of balance before they get back into balance.
I’m publishing this post on Day Three. As of now, I’ve decided to stick with an 18:6 schedule for thirty days. In the meantime, I’m using this blog to journal my journey, so I’ll let you know how it’s going every few days. I’m eagerly looking forward to the barley grass juice powder I ordered the other day, but it’s not going to be here for almost a week. Sipping on a glass of it from about eight o’clock on will be my “legal” way of keeping my blood sugar up without having to break my fast.
See you on the next update!