Ah, aging. As we get older, wiser and more stable, other parts of us start to waver. Our hair grays, we need reading glasses, and the smell of cake packs on five pounds. Collectively, Americans gained 582 million pounds last year. America’s weight problem us more complicated than diet, exercise, and self-control.
Practically everyone I know has struggled with their weight at one point in their life. For some, it’s been a lifelong challenge. For others, they can’t lose those last 10 pounds. Could the answer to our prayers be as simple as skipping the most important meal of the day?
I’m not a doctor nor an expert on the subject. I’m sharing my personal results because I feel it could be helpful to those struggling to make the scale budge. Every body is different. I know people who follow similar fasting schedules and others who stay trim by eating all day long. If you think this is something that might help you, I recommend talking to a doctor or dietician.
I’ve been trying to lose that last 10 pounds for more than four years. I worked out 10 hours per week and tracked my calories, but I was stuck. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings.
I had been hearing about the benefits of intermittent fasting. I was in the habit of eating three to four times a day and the thought of going down to two meals was terrifying. I didn’t know if I could do it.
I did very little research before starting. Had I found this article before hand, I probably wouldn’t have tried it. It turns out that intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalances in women. It did and it was horrible, but I told myself to give it a week.
After a week everything was back to normal. In fact, I enjoyed the results so much, I’m still doing it today. Over the last six months, I have lost 15 pounds and 13 inches. And I finally beat the weight I accidentally lied about on my driver’s license. 😉
I have been doing a 16 hour fast followed by an eight-hour eating period. I hate going to bed hungry so I like to have dinner around 9 PM. My typical eating period is from 2 to 10 pm. I continued the same fitness schedule of five days of weight training and at least one hour of cardio per day. I trained my body to workout fasted, with the exception of cycling. I continued to track my calories to ensure that I was taking in a minimum of 1,200 calories per day.
I noticed a number of trends which likely contributed to my results. First, my carbohydrate intake decreased. I’m not a believer in low carb diets, but I’m beginning to think that breakfast is what pushes us over the edge. Think about the most common breakfast foods – toast, cereal, pancakes, hash browns, oatmeal, and pastries – carb overload! I don’t know about you, but these foods do nothing but cause ravenous hunger for me within two hours.
By decreasing carbs, I was able to increase my fat intake and eat cheese again. A typical day for me is about 1/3 each of carbs, protein, and fat. With increased fat, I feel much more satiated and rarely need to snack. And by dividing 1200+ calories between two meals instead of four, I actually felt full for the first time in years.
In addition to finally losing stubborn fat, I was able to increase muscle tone. I also have more energy and mental clarity. My brain is on fire the first half of the day. I spend less time in the kitchen, cooking and doing dishes, which leaves more time to work on my goals. Intermittent fasting has other health benefits and could prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Our bodies are designed to fast. This was essential to our ancestors’ survival. Fasting is still popular in many religions. In recent years, scientists have been studying the effects of fasting during Ramadan. The results are encouraging: lower cholesterol, improved blood glucose levels, decreased anxiety, and reduced inflammation. Perhaps it’s not just what we eat, but when we eat it.
Intermittent fasting has been one of my favorite discoveries this year. I love the benefits and have enjoyed the journey. If you think this is something that might work for you, I encourage you to do more research and check with a professional.
Have you tried intermittent fasting?
Share your experience in the comments below.