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Fasting in Grad School

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Fellow vegan here! I also gained weight in grad school...I think due to a mix of not being mindful of processed/unhealthy carby foods, suddenly becoming very sedentary due to finally having a non-retail job, and not working out. Not that much, about 5-8 pounds but as someone who is 5' 1" that can have a bigger effect than it sounds. Now that I'm done with my third semester in my MA (arguably the most stressful semester in my masters program), I've really concentrated on getting my health back in focus. A couple of things I've been doing that have been helping tremendously:

  • No more than 1-2 servings of processed carbs per week (ie: pasta, bread, anything starchy that comes in a box or bag).
  • Focus on lots of veggies, plant based proteins like tofu, tempeh, beans, etc & whole starches like potatoes/rice
  • Incorporating 1-2 servings of healthy fats every day--nut butters and avocado are my go to lately!
  • Intermittent fasting has made the biggest difference. I have an 8 hour window (11-7) where I eat. It helps with digestion, bloating, and it has definitely helped with appetite control.
  • Gym 2-4x a week.

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I know this topic is mad old, but I want to echo the thoughts on intermittent fasting, even for those not trying to lose weight. I sort of stumbled upon it during my MA because I was so busy and anxious--both of which make me forget to eat anyhow--and it freed up so much time and, oddly, gave me a lot more energy and endurance with workouts. (Again, I'm not even preaching this as weight loss advice per se, because everyone's body wants to be at a different place weight-wise. By eating more consistently throughout the day on weekends, you can maintain your weight rather than continuously lose.)


I'm also vegetarian/mostly vegan, and eat very little soy or grain, both of which can exacerbate hormonal fluctuations leading to cravings and fatigue. But I'm not a doctor--just a theory nerd :D

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I saw this video, and it talks about intermittent fasting as one of the ways for caloric restriction, which has been one of the factors that's linked to longevity across the board between different species. the explanation provided is that from an evolutionary point of view, where when we're hungry, it means we need to hunt, and in turn, some biological switch turns on that makes us a little bit better at everything. for a long time, I thought fasting was BS. But there is actually science supporting its usefulness. definitely going to give this a try now.

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