Hi, Verv world! We’re Dasha, Volha and Maria and we work at Verv. You might recognize our names from the site’s articles, but we’re also the ones behind the scenes helping write all the content that makes our app possible.
One of our latest additions is intermittent fasting. It’s a fitness trend that’s been around for a while but is now starting to gain real traction. That’s why we decided to try it out to help you decide if fasting for a period of time is for you.
Who are we?
Name: Dasha, Fitness Editor at Verv
Starting weight: 66.9 kg / 147 lbs
About: I do my best to follow an active lifestyle and I like testing new health and fitness trends. When the pandemic hit the lives we got used to, I started working from home, which was quite a challenge for me. On my typical work days in the office, I used to walk a lot – I liked having lunch break strolls to freshen up my mind and evening walks just to enjoy some fresh air. A couple of months before the pandemic I signed up for crossfit and responsibly worked out two or three times per week. Now I still try to stay active with running and home fitness workouts.
Fasting schedule: Intermittent fasting didn’t seem so easy to follow while working from the office. So I decided to give it a go now as I spend most of my days working from home, and have plenty of time and enthusiasm to try something fresh. I’ve chosen to follow a 14:10 schedule, with 10 hours of eating window and 14 hours of fasting. Let’s check how it incorporates into my life!
Name: Volha, Wellness Editor at Verv
Starting weight: 52 kg / 115 lbs
About: My work at Verv keeps me pretty busy, but I do my best to slow down once in a while and live my life mindfully to my best ability.
The office switched to remote working, so since April I’ve been living on a farm in the countryside together with my family. It’s been great – home grown produce, fresh country air, nature… and Mediterranean-style late night dining. No matter what time is our lunch, dinner is inevitably at 9pm or 9:30pm. Such is our custom, and I know it might not be easy to ‘break free’ from the rest of the group. What I want to take away from this experiment is a more structured eating schedule and, of course, I’d love to experience the many benefits of fasting.
Fasting schedule: Actually, intermittent fasting seems relatively simple to follow, as it doesn’t sound very restrictive. So, I plan to start easy: going ahead with a 10:14 schedule. Meaning, I would fast for 14 hours and eat for the other 10: from 9am to 7pm. Can’t wait to see how I’ll feel!
Name: Maria, Health Editor at Verv
Starting weight: 57kg / 126 lbs
About: I’m a busy Mom of 2 under 5, which means I spend all day running about according to my fitness bracelet but don’t seem to have much time for the gym or fitness classes. I try to get a workout in whenever possible, I follow a vegetarian diet and try to eat healthy except for the odd midnight chocolate snack from the secret cupboard. I’m looking forward to trying this plan to see if it works and how it feels.
Fasting schedule: When I started this fast, I originally planned to do a 12:12 schedule, but on the first day I missed breakfast anyway and decided to try out the 14:10 plan. So, I fasted from 7pm to 9am.
What is intermittent fasting?
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about intermittent fasting lately, but what is it, anyway? Intermittent fasting is a diet that involves fasting (not eating) for a certain period during the day or week. Some of the most popular types of intermittent fasting schedules include:
Perfect for beginners and those new to intermittent fasting. Each day you eat for a 12-hour window then fast for 12 hours and repeat. As the fast mostly happens when you are sleeping, it’s said to be the easiest plan to follow.
Example fast times:
Eat from: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, etc.
Fast from: 7:00 pm to 7:00 am, 8:00 pm to 8:00 am, etc.
One step further into the world of intermittent fasting. The 14:10 plan means eating during a 10-hour window a day and fasting for 14. This is a popular plan as it presents a challenge while not being too tough. Many find skipping breakfast a real trial with this fast, especially if they’re early risers.
Example fast times:
Eat from: 9:00 am to 7 pm, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, etc.
Fast from: 7:00 pm to 9:00 am, 8:00 pm to 10:00 am, etc.
The next level up in intermittent fasting. The 16:8 plan means you fast for 16 hours a day and eat for 8. That’s every day. Because it is consistent, it is easier than some more extreme plans, but still a challenge for your body.
Example fast times:
Eat from: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, etc.
Fast from: 5:00 pm to 9:00 am, 6:00 pm to 10:00 am, etc.
Not for beginners. The eat-stop-eat plan means fasting for an entire 24 hours one or two times a week. This is only for the experience, so don’t start off with this diet in any case, it could leave you feeling weak and out of energy.
Example fast days:
Eat normally on: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday
Fast on: Tuesday and Saturday
Another alternative to intermittent fasting, the 5:2 diet means you eat normally 5 days a week, but on 2 days you stick to 500-600 calories. This low-calorie diet is like a fast.
Example fast days:
Eat normally on: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Fast on: Monday and Thursday
We Try Intermittent Fasting For 7 Days
Over 7 days, we tried out a plan for intermittent fasting. We wanted to make it a real challenge and show you what it’s like to intermittently fast so we chose a slightly more challenging plan than the 12:12. To do this every day we followed our chosen fasting schedule for a set period of time. And here’s what happened.
Dasha: Fasting from 8:00 pm to 10:00 am
Volya: Fasting from 7:00 pm to 9:00 am
Maria: Fasting from 7:00 pm to 9:00 am
Dasha: Today wasn’t hard at all! I woke up not feeling hungry, so I got some work done before breakfast. I ate my first meal only about 10:30 am and finished with dinner at 8 pm. I felt pretty good before going to bed and didn’t have any cravings.
Volha: Let’s do this! I got enthused from the start of the day. And, since I was taking it slow, I didn’t plan on skipping breakfast, which I believe to be the hardest part of the stricter variant of intermittent fasting.
It was going pretty well. I had breakfast at 9am, then a snack at 11am, lunch at 2pm, another snack at 4pm. And then it was dinner time. But I wasn’t hungry yet at 6:30pm! My body got so used to late eating that it wouldn’t succumb to new changes easily. So, I ended up eating some fruit and berries. I got a little hungry later in the evening, but I got through it that time around. Although I was seriously missing at least some random late-night snack.
Maria: Wow! This seems pretty easy. It got to 7:00 pm and I didn’t really want to eat at all. The morning wasn’t too bad either. I got up at 7:00 am, and grabbed a coffee. When 9 o’clock rolled around I was definitely ready for breakfast though.
Dasha: The second day of my fasting feels pretty good too. It went well until after the dinner that I had at 8pm. Around 9:30 pm I made myself a cup of unsweetened tea and unconsciously reached out to grab that after-dinner treat. Even though I wasn’t hungry it still felt like such a bummer when I remembered that I couldn’t eat my sweet treat.
Volha: I woke up a little hungry, actually. And that almost never happens. Couldn’t wait to have my breakfast, which was more abundant than usual. I decided to cut down on the second snack at 4pm today, to save my appetite. And it worked! I didn’t mind my 6:30pm dinner this time. I got through the rest of the day without snacking.
Maria: Day 2 on the fast wasn’t much different from Day 1. At 7:00 pm I stopped eating, well actually, it was probably a little before as I was busy with kids clubs, but I didn’t notice. Just some tea (no milk or sugar) before bed and that’s all.
Dasha: I woke up feeling so fresh and light today! Last Sunday I visited a local market and brought home berries, veggies and greens. So I decided to fuel my body with fresh products today and stoke up on some vitamins and essential nutrients. I ate eggs with tomatoes and cucumber for breakfast, salad with chicken and a bit of rice for lunch, cherries for snack and a fresh salad with feta cheese for dinner.
Volha: Today was a rerun of Day 2. Decided to stick to the same scenario, since it was such a success the day before. It all went well - no snack at 4 pm and dinner at 6.30 pm. I’m thankful it’s summer though, since it’s definitely harder to control your appetite in the winter time.
Maria: Day 3 was a tough one for me. Around the evening time, I started craving sweets and chocolate. Maybe it was a stressful week? I managed to resist by drinking some tea and going to sleep. But definitely not a great mood on this day.
Dasha: My new eating schedule went very smooth today. I ate breakfast at 10 am, then lunch around 2 pm, I had some chocolate and a peach for snack around 4 pm and finished dining before 8 pm. Around 10 pm I had a craving for something sweet, but it was gone after I had a glass of water.
Volha: Today went pretty well, but I caught myself thinking that I’m still treating this as an experiment, something with an expiration date. Maybe because everyone else in my family is sticking to late feeding time, and it’s not easy to dine alone. Dinner is a great time to socially gather over food. So, there’s that.
Maria: Day 4 was definitely better than Day 3 but not as easy as the start of the week. Feeling the hunger really set in around 9:00 pm, so there’s nothing else for it but a cup of tea and a TV series before bed.
Dasha: I got really close to breaking the rules today, but I feel proud that I managed to keep myself under control. I visited my parents for dinner today and we finished eating before 8 pm. But then around 9 pm my mom offered some tea with homemade cake. I really wanted a piece but had to stick with herbal tea only. So I grabbed a piece of that cake with me and will eat it for breakfast.
Volha: Today I experienced sudden food cravings throughout the day. So, basically I was eating and snacking until it was 7 pm. Really wanted to snack some more after that, and it was super hard not to. Blaming it on bad weather and limited activity as a result of it.
Maria: Ok, kind of getting in a groove here. Still not as easy as the start of the week but getting better. This time I want breakfast earlier. I have some coffee and wait until 9:00. I usually like to get work done early, but today, I can’t concentrate as well after breakfast.
Dasha: Mmm… That cake for breakfast was so yummy! It all went fine and easy today except that craving of a late-night snack. But I already know how to make it go away! A cup of herbal tea did its magic.
Volha: Sticking to my new-founded schedule today: 9am breakfast, snack at 11 am, lunch at 2 pm, and a 6:30 pm dinner. Didn’t notice any particular food cravings. But still find it hard not to steal a snack while everybody else is dining.
Maria: Phew! All’s feeling pretty good. No serious hunger pangs and concentration is normal. Sticking to the fast.
Dasha: Wow, is it really day 7 already? Where did the time go?
So today morning was a bit rough for me. I woke up at 8 am, which is a bit earlier than usual on weekends, and I was so ready for that breakfast. That two hours until 10 am felt like forever.
Volha: Got to Day 7 with a sense of fulfillment. I didn’t slip up once! Today I was once again following the well-tried schedule. But I was wondering what’s so bad about an innocent cup of raspberries after dinner.
Maria: And it’s the last day! Actually, I didn’t notice the time passing. Today, again I felt good, not hungry at all and stuck to the fast. My concentration and mood were normal both morning and evening. So, chalking that one up to a win.
Intermittent Fasting: The Results
So, how do we feel after trying intermittent fasting for one week? And the big question – would we do it all again? Here’s what you need to know about our end-of-week results.
Dasha: That new eating schedule worked great for me, especially now that I’m working from home! But I assume it would be harder for me to follow it when I get back to working from the office. I think I will stick to that intermittent fasting while I have a chance and I might even try a longer fasting window for a couple of days just to check how it goes.
While fasting for 14 hours each day, I definitely felt fresher in the mornings. The difficult part was to say ‘no’ to those late-night snacks. But I found out that a cup of herbal tea fights those sweet cravings that I get before going to bed.
Ending weight: 66.5 kg / 146 lbs
Volha: I think 7 days is not nearly enough to experience all the benefits that intermittent fasting has to offer. But, personally, I don’t think that I’ll stick around to find out what they’re like. I cherish my time with the family and our delicious farm grown produce that I intend to enjoy while it lasts. I’m going back to my still healthy eating habits and late socially fulfilling dinners.
If you want to try out intermittent fasting, my advice is to start in the summer. This way you’ll find it easier to keep your appetite in check, should you have occasional cravings, like I did.
Ending weight: 51.5 kg / 113.5 lbs
Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll stop doing it. Not so much for the weight loss, but I feel lighter and have more energy in the morning. I think I’ll continue the plan, but perhaps not be as strict on some days.
Ending weight: 55.4 kg / 122 lbs