30-Day Food Tracking Challenge

I’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time– unsuccessfully. When I was younger, I would try many different diets, eating 800-1000 kcal per day, exercising too much, low-carb, intermittent fasting (which basically is abstaining from eating for a specified period of time, like one day per week, or eating only within a specified window of time every day – for instance, only eating during an 8-hour period from 12 PM to 8 PM and then fasting from 8 PM to 12 PM the next day), paleo, etc.

I found that what really works well for me is low-carb, paleo, intermittent fasting (IF) – they really do. I have so much energy, I don’t experience the afternoon slump in energy, I lose weight easily, my skin looks better and other benefits. But even though health is something I really value and I want to imrove my habits for, somehow I always break the good streak and end up binge-eating and not exercising, overweight and feeling terrible again. I also found that low-carb diet is kinda hard to sustain in China, especially if you struggle with weak willpower – with all the rice, noodles, dumplings, fried dumplings, wontons and tasty delicacies (I just wrote a post about mooncakes…. so you know what I binged on this time). Also, after coming to China I gained some kilograms and haven’t been able to shake them off till now! But the real issue is not about finding food low in carbohydrates; sometimes it’s all about the price and availability (and again- willpower).

For instance, if you want to buy breakfast outside of your apartment on the way to work/university, you have many high-carb, but not many protein-rich options to choose from (post in the making!).

So in my mind, the best option for losing weight is eating breakfast at home or skipping it altogether for the sake of doing the fast.

So here comes my challenge (it actually already started three days ago and I’m writing about it here because that way I will have to write about the results later and hopefully it will help me stay on track): for 30 days, I will be tracking my food intake (I had already been doing that before, but again – would fall of the wagon sometimes) and try to keep my carbohydrate intake below 100 g/day. So the dates for the challenge would be from 25th of September to 25th of October (31 days). I’m using an app to track my food intake and count calories and macronutrients.

Apart from that, for the first two weeks I will also be following the IF protocol in which you have an 8-hour eating window, usually from 12 PM to 8 PM and then you fast for 16 hours. I’m a big fan of IF, since it not only aids the weight loss, but also has many health benefits such as increasing insulin sensitivity, stimulating tissue repair etc. (check the bottom of the post for links to articles).

If I expect a social occasion such as a party/going to karaoke, then I will move the window till later during the day, for instance I’ll start consuming calories at 6 PM and will finish at 2 AM (and alcohol counts, of course).

The reason that I’m gonna do the IF protocol only for two weeks is that in two weeks my coworker and I are going to Poland and we’re going to move around a lot; I think it would be extremely inconvenient to follow strict feeding hours when traveling with other people, so I’m not gonna do that.

If you want to know more about intermittent fasting, read the science behind it and all, these are two great resources:

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting/

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting/

Wish me luck!

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