When working on losing weight, it is so easy to get focused on the numbers on the scale. But any weight loss program will tell you, it's important to pay attention to the NSV's - the "Non-Scale Victories" as well!
I think it is especially important with Intermittent Fasting to pay attention to all of the other changes your body is experiencing. Sometimes with IF you will gain weight at first or lose and then stall for a long time. But if you pay attention, you will see that you are not fasting in vain, it's just that your body is busy making other changes rather than just getting rid of stored fat.
I thought it would be fun to make a blog post of some of the NSV's I have experience in my 2 years so far of Intermittent Fasting. (Note: This is a lifestyle not a diet, but a way of life I plan to stick with for the rest of my days.) I will list my NSV's in no particular order!
1. I can cross my legs easily! I just started noticing this one in the last couple of months or so. I no longer have to brace my top leg against something when I cross my legs. It's so much more comfortable!
2. Scars are fading! This one absolutely shocked me the other day when I noticed it. When I was in high school, the night of my senior dance recital, I was leaving a friend's house and missed a stair on the steps from the sidewalk to the street. I took a tumble that scraped up both of my knees pretty badly and have had noticeable scars ever since. This was in 2004. Now, in 2020, these scars are almost gone. Like, if I didn't know where to look I'm not sure I would see them. Same with a scar on my hand I've had since even earlier! That one was caused by my dog when I tried to take a banana peel from her... It's so crazy to see scars disappearing.
3. No more rough elbows! I don't know about you but I have always had rough elbows for almost as long as I can remember and I thought it was just a fact of life. I used to put lotion on them constantly but nothing ever really seemed to make a difference. About nine months ago I noticed that, what seemed like all of a sudden, my elbows are now baby smooth! I never use lotion on them anymore and they always feel amazing.
4. I have more time! This one is truly due to intermittent fasting. When we started 2 years ago, we still fit 3 meals into our 11A-7P window. By about a year in we were consistently only eating 2 meals in that time frame. Now, our window is more like 11A-2P and there are often days where we only eat one real meal, and maybe have a small snack or dessert as well. If you think about all the time spent on eating three times a day - not just the eating but the meal prep, the clean up, the planning, the shopping, etc, you can start to imagine how much time you get back by only eating once or twice a day. Since we are done eating so early in the day we have all evening to watch movies, go on walks (sometimes we walk for over 2 hours!), clean the house, read, the options are endless! I feel like we have so much more time on our hands by not eating in the evenings.
5. Saving money! This one goes right along with #4 - when you eat less, you spend less on food, duh! But seriously, our grocery budget has gone down significantly. I still sometimes make mistakes and buy/prepare food for the way we used to eat so occasionally things do accidentally go to waste, but for the most part I'm getting the hang of it and we are saving some serious cash. Which is good, because soon we're gonna need to buy new clothes, lol.
6. No more hanger! I used to get "hangry" (angry because of hunger) when I went more than 4 hours between Breakfast and Lunch or Lunch and Dinner. It blows my mind that now I easily go 20 hours between meals and it doesn't even really phase me anymore. I can handle hunger a lot more easily than I used to - I know that the hunger pains come and go and that, as they say in the IF community, "hunger is not an emergency." I feel like I can regulate my emotions better rather than relying on my next "fix" of food to keep me satisfied.
7. My tastes have changed! After about six months of IF I noticed that I was craving fruits and vegetables a lot more than ever before. Now I can't imagine going a day without getting in at least 3-4 veggies and I have fruit a couple of times a week. Fresh produce is a really important part of all of my meal prep/planning now when a few years ago it definitely was not. If I do have a "mix-it-up day" (no such thing as a cheat day!) and eat more junk/treat food, I notice that I don't feel as well and I will literally crave the healthy stuff. Also, my tastes are starting to change on other things, too. I recently started enjoying mint (even going so far as buying fresh mint to grow in my kitchen!) and I tried some of Joel's fish the other day and didn't hate it!
8. More endurance! I've noticed this one especially since we've been in London (since March.) Since the pandemic took out public transportation as an option we walked everywhere we go. Okay, one time we rented bikes, but other than that, we've literally only been places we can walk to for the last 3 months. The first time we went to Lidl (our favorite grocery store) I only made it halfway before turning around and coming home. Now, I'll make that walk there and back (with heavy groceries!) as just part of my exercise for the day. I've noticed that not only can I do more walking, I actually want to do more walking! That's a big deal for this only somewhat reformed couch potato!
I'm sure I will think of, notice, and experience more as time goes on, so I will update this post occasionally. But for now, these are the biggest NSV's I have found from Intermittent Fasting!