Is it easier to avoid jet lag traveling east or west? I had a strong hypothesis but I still wanted to put intermittent fasting to the test.
Round two of jet lag vs Kate commenced in London last Monday.
Following the success traveling east with intermittent fasting, I figured going west back to New York would be a breeze. Still, I decided not to throw caution to the wind and execute the experiment according to plan.
The protocol for traveling west was simple – reverse the original plan. You can see the blueprint for eastward bound battle here.
The Flight Details:
Go west! The flight was going west, from London to New York, back through five time zones. Traveling in this direction is easier for your body to adjust. Your body clock is less confused, as traveling west extends the body clock’s experience of a normal day-night cycle – just like it would if you partied all night.
Traveling eastwards runs in direct opposition to your body clock – which is why it’s super tough.
Here’s what I did:
Leading up to the return trip, we were in serious holiday mode. Nutritional free styling. The British have no idea what good food is, so I didn’t see any temptations apart from coffee and chips. Meals were randomly spaced apart, between 4-6 hours. On vacation, I tend to eat 2-3 main meals a day otherwise it feels as though you’re eating the whole time!
There was no set bed time, no alarms to wake up to and no clients to train. Also, in London there was no sun, no warm weather, no almond milk, kale or lentils in the fridge so sadly, I was having withdrawals.
But there was plenty of good times and adventure to make up for it!
Day of flight: Monday
7:30am BST (3:30am EST): 35 minutes running intervals. Had a strong coffee when I woke up so I was functioning. I discovered the only good thing about the cold London Summer weather is that it’s perfect for running.
Breakfast 12pm BST (7am EST): Spelt toast with Vegemite and non-fat greek yoghurt (the yoghurt was a side dish, not mixed together). I was hungry by this stage. I also remembered how much I miss eating Vegemite. We have a ton in the cupboard in New York but I can’t have bread in the house. Too much temptation…
Lunch 3pm BST (10am EST): Salmon sashimi and edamame salad. Found a super delicious place at the airport. Surprisingly delish and filling. I couldn’t believe it! Heathrow airport Terminal 5 is looking really chic and fancy these days. If only JFK would get their shit together.
Mid-flight Snack 9pm BST (4pm EST): 2 glasses of red wine. Dark chocolate from Italy. Somehow this fell in my mouth.
It was totally amazing chocolate and worth every single bite. The last splurge to celebrate the end of holidays! I made an effort to stay awake the whole flight.
Dinner 8:30pm EST: Back in New York, finally. Grilled salmon, spinach and greek salad for dinner. Fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow.
Absolutely. I woke up at 5am on Tuesday feeling great. The return trip was so much easier on my body.
No nap required any day during the week. I didn’t feel as though I was fighting to stay awake during the day and I was back to full power, hard core training and working almost immediately.
Other Sneaky Tricks: Bonus
1. Another secret I’ve learned traveling the world through multiple timezones is it’s important to change your watch to destination local time as soon as possible. Get in the mindset and adjust your nap schedule according to your arrival time.
2. Drink a ton of water when you fly. Even if you have to harass the flight attendants, it’s really important to rehydrate while you dehydrate
3. Avoid traveling with babies or sitting anywhere near them. I don’t think intermittent fasting works for little people – and there is no plan to test it just yet…
4. Keep training on a regular basis. Even if you spend your days sightseeing and walking around, movement is essential. The more you sit and rest, the worse you feel and longer if takes to recover.
I hope you give this a try the next time you travel. It really helps to ease the random pain and frustration of jet lag.
The next travel endeavor will be a challenging one – New York to Sydney at Christmas. We’ll see if intermittent fasting can beat serious, round the world jet lag.
Have an excellent day!