The 16:8 diet and inhaling marmite

I have been on the 16/8 diet for a few weeks now. This diet lets you eat whatever you want for 8 hours in the day. For the rest of the 16 hours you can’t eat anything. You can choose when the 8 hours fall and mine are typically from 11am – 7pm. Essentially I’m just skipping breakfast.

I have never dieted in my life and have always been able to eat whatever I want without gaining weight. This diet was prompted by the discovery that one of my favourite dresses no longer fits. I thought I could skip breakfast for a week and all would be well again but it has been three weeks and not much has changed. I think I have lost 1kg but the dress is still too tight and I’m finding it hard to skip breakfast. Dieting is much harder than I thought!

My usual breakfast is toast with marmite and so desperate am I that sometimes I find myself opening the marmite jar in the kitchen and sniffing it, hoping that by inhaling the aroma I’ll get my fix of marmite on toast. I’ve even considered eating marmite from a spoon, something I would never normally do. It’s fair to say I do not want to permanently skip breakfast.

I have discovered a possible beneficial side-effect of the fasting. I didn’t get my usual migraine this month. Maybe it was just a coincidence? Every month I get a migraine and there’s usually at least one day where it’s fairly debilitating and I have to go to bed at 7pm and the headache stays with me all night long. I still got a very mild headache this month but it was tolerable and didn’t affect my sleep or usual daily activities. It’s too short a time period to really know whether it was the diet but I’ll continue for another month – or try to – and see what happens.

Something happens when you reach your mid-40s. Your body requires fewer calories or maybe we just become less active. Whatever it is the golden years of gorging without weight gain are over. I have read that our muscle mass starts to decline in our 30s and so it becomes more important to do strength training exercises to maintain it. Less muscle means a lower food requirement. I’m still doing baby shark abs everyday but I think I need something else and don’t have time to go to the gym. Can anyone recommend some good strength training exercises?


13 thoughts on “The 16:8 diet and inhaling marmite”

  1. I suggest a set of dumbells. You can use them for upper body and for legs, e.g. squats, and don’t ever give up the cycling.

    1. I’ve thought about getting some dumbbells. I think I’ll do it. I’ll never give up cycling. It’s definitely great for the legs. It’s my upper body strength I need to work on.

  2. You’ve touched on some subjects I’m really nerdy about!
    Anecdotally I have heard that fasting is good for anything inflammatory. Also the theory is that your body needs to be hungry for a bit to dig into its reserves. I am starting to switch from every other day fasting, which I find too hard in the long term. I think I have lost a bit of weight recently by not eating breakfast, allowing myself lunch and then fasting again until I get home. I think maybe that used to be known as “normal eating patterns” before we all started snacking all the time. Maybe that is a reason we are fatter as a nation?
    Deadlifts for hamstrings, only disadvantage is it’s a big big of equipment. We don’t use our hamstrings a lot so the other muscles (quads?) tend to get too strong in comparison and it can cause problems. The
    I also have a pull up bar that you hang over the door.
    Advantage of these two exercises is they do lots of muscles at the same time.

    1. Yes, I think snacking all the time is the problem and I’m a huge grazer. Maybe I could go to fasting every other day eventually? And the pull up bar over the door is great! I never knew such a thing existed.

  3. I’m terrible for snacking – but seemingly only if we have food in the cupboard – if it’s not there, I don’t even think about it. Good luck with the diet!

    1. Ah, so the key is just to empty the fridge and pantry of ALL food. That’s hard to do when you’ve got kids. When I want a snack I’ve been trying to reach for a carrot or piece of fruit instead. I’m a sucker for dates too but I don’t think they’re too bad.

  4. I second the first comment about working with weights, though it’s mostly for strengthening your bones and joints. I’m over 60 now, but I can haul my own 50-pound suitcase off of the carousel thanks to doing bicep curls and overhead presses while watching TV at night. Start gradually if you haven’t used dumbbells before: I began with 10-pound weights (5 kgs), then increased by five more pounds/kgs. But when you get to my age, you’ll thank your younger self for strengthening those bones!

    That said, my doctor told me to stop filling up on carbs and sugar if I was serious about losing weight. This was tough, since I love pasta and noodles and like starting my day with a bowl of granola with fruit. I also enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day, and wine sadly is a sugary drink. I was on a very restricted low-carb diet for three months, and lost 8 pounds in that time. But I don’t think it’s sustainable: after I resumed my ramen-spaghetti-Cabernet consuming ways, the weight came back on. I suspect our aging bodies want to keep all that extra fat in preparation for the day our children leave us out in the woods (I’m joking, but). More seriously, I read that older people with a BMI of 27, which is overweight by medical standards, live longer than those with BMIs of <25. Apparently the extra fat protects seniors from bouts of infection or recovery from surgery or other medical procedures. So maybe Nature knows what it's doing.

    1. Oh I wish I’d held off before buying dumbbells. I bought some yesterday but only got 3kg weights. I wasn’t sure what to get! I’ll see whether I can return them for heavier ones. Thanks for the link too. I’ve never done weights like this before but I like the idea of doing it in front of TV in the evenings. That’s great that you do that. It’s so good for bone density.

      I love my carbs – pasta, noodles, bread – and have never tried to reduce the amount of them I eat. I think it’s really just the volume of food I eat in total compared to how much exercise I do. I snack a lot during the day so giving up breakfast isn’t just breakfast. I’ve also had to give up second breakfast and morning tea 🙂 Eventually I’ll try to resume breakfast-eating but avoid the snacking if I can.

  5. This is all pretty normal for when we get into our 40’s. We can feel and see the changes happening, so we start doing all kinds of shite in an attempt to hold them back – lol! I did exactly the same thing. I started doing yoga and Wing Chun Kung Fu, and I stayed in mighty good shape for around ten years from doing those. Eventually, life-stuff happened, and I let them go. Consequently, I gained weight and lost fitness. I did mourn the loss of my better body a bit, but at the same time another thing was happening – I was getting much more okay with just who I was, how I was. These days, I ride my ebike, walk, and do some stretches and push-ups most mornings, which keeps complete disintegration at bay 🙂 And it’s enough to retain a reasonable amount of physical ability and confidence. Anyway, none of that is where you’re at right now, so whatever you choose to do, go hard and enjoy 🙂

    1. Yes, I know of other people in their 40s who suddenly start doing all these things to preserve their body. I think it is quite common. This is when men are supposed to go out and buy a sports car aren’t they? Although my husband went and bought a bicycle instead 🙂

      Perhaps eventually I’ll just accept that some clothes no longer fit but I want to wait at least until I’m 50 before then.

      1. Yes, do whatever appeals to you now, and then later do what appeals to you then. For upper body strength now and later, though, I recommend daily (or daily-ish) push-ups. I have been doing those for a year or so, and definitely notice the difference. In my case, they’re actually bob-ups, because I have never gained the strength to go right down to the floor and push myself up again 🙂 Even so, they’ve noticeably improved my upper body strength. Glad your husband didn’t but a sports car -such an embarrassing cliche, eh?

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