Intermittent Fasting

Well it’s been about 4 years since I started WW. I lost 15lbs, and I’m now a Lifetime Member as long as I stay at my goal weight. I’ve been able to do that for the past 3 years, but boy is it an up and down battle. Keeping track of points daily, not eating what you want, weighing yourself constantly, and weighing in at WW every month. It’s become a major task, one that I can’t deal with anymore, and refuse to do the rest of my life!!!

Hence my reason for Intermittent fasting, IF.

Now I am no doctor. I’ve done some reading (a must read before you begin is “Fast. Feast. Repeat.” by Gin Stephens), a little bit of research, and I’m now living the lifestyle. Just here to share my experience.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.

First and foremost, it’s not a diet , and It doesn’t tell you which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them.

Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily fasting for 14-hours, 16-hours or 24 hours, at least twice per week.

Fasting has been a practice since “caveman” days, but not neccessarily by choice. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available constantly. Many times they didn’t eat for days. Humans bodies were created to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.

In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day. Society has told us that we need to feel full all the time, not only in how many times a day we eat, but how much we eat. Our portions are enourmous!!

Many people choose to do IF to lose weight. But that’s only one of the many benefits of Intermittent Fasting. My goal is to maintain a certain weight, and reap some of the other benefits as well.

Here are some of the other benefits:

Insulin levels. Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning and the reason people lose weight.
Human growth hormone (HGH) levels. The blood levels of human growth hormone (HGH) may increase dramatically. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, and have numerous other benefits.
Cellular repair. The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
Gene expression. There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease.

How it works

There are several IF plans to choose from. The most popular being 16:8, which means you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8. Most plans have 12 hours of fasting while you sleep, if you choose your times right. I choose to stop eating at 7pm, so I don’t eat again until 11:00am. Typically I skip breakfast, and eat only lunch and dinner.

During the fast you don’t want to eat anything that would trigger your brain to release insulin. Your brain doesn’t count calories, and it doesn’t know whether something is “sugar free”. So keeping your fast “clean” allows no insulin release, an the opportunity for ketosis, or the “fat burning” process to begin. Water, black coffee and unflavored teas are permitted when fasting, and considered clean.

When the window opens up to eat, I begin with my coffee for the day. Now I can add a creamer, and I eat a light protein snack, usually eggs and toast. Again, this is not a diet, so there are no diet restrictions, and you no longer need to keep track of what you’re eating. You do want to be careful what you eat when opening your eat window. Your digestive system has accumulated alot of acid while not eating. So you want to be gentle to your tummy when you begin eating.

Results and Benefits

I had gained about 5lbs from my goal weight, so I began IF on April 1st, 2022. Gin Stephens recommends that you begin fasting consistently for 3 months. No checking the scale, no calorie counting! I began to lose weight after about 2 weeks, doing a 16:8 fast 3 days a week, and an OMAD (One meal a day) 2 days a week, and no fasting 2 days a week.

It’s been 3 months and I’ve been at my goal weight for 3 months. I adjusted my plan to 16:8, 4 days a week. I realized I didn’t need to fast all day, in fact even 18:6 is too long for me. My fasting plan all depends on what I have going on in my calendar that day. It’s good to switch up the plan so your body doesn’t get used to a routine.

I pretty much eat what I want, usually healthy, but sometimes NOT healthy. The point is I can eat what I want. My weight fluctuates +/-1-2lbs. I only step on the scale now occasionally. I stopped counting calories. I can actually feel when I lose and gain a pound or two.

Other benefits that I’ve experienced are; better skin, very little acid reflux at night, clothes are not fitting tight (you lose inches more than pounds), no brain fog, better immunity, better in touch with my body.

It’s totally working for me, and it’s my new way of eating. My Lifetime WW Membership is over!!

Here is the app that I use to keep track of my fasting.

Precautions!

Before beginning Intermittent Fasting, check with you doctor. Skipping meals and severely limiting calories can be dangerous for people with certain conditions:

  • Children and adolescents under age 18
  • Seniors and anyone who is underweight (with a BMI less than 20)
  • People with kidney disorders
  • Anyone with a history of eating disorders
  • People with diabetes or blood glucose problems
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

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