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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

Hydroponic Tower Garden

Now that I’ve lost 20lbs on Weight Watchers, I’ve been inspired to continue to stay healthy and at my goal weight.
So far it’s been 3 months, and I’m maintaining my weight with no problem.

I’ve always wanted to have a garden. I’ve dreamed of going outside in my backyard and picking my own vegetables farm to table, but I’m a bit of a Prima-Donna. I’m willing to do the work, but I don’t really like working with dirt, and bugs.

What is Hydroponic Farming

I was introduced to a Hydrponic Tower Garden a couple of months ago.
Hydroponic farming grows plants with only water and nutrients rather than dirt. The Tower Garden, a vertical, aeroponic growing system, allows you to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers in less than three square feet—indoors or out. So it’s the perfect companion for me!

How does it work

You start by growing seeds in Rockwool. Once the seeds mature, you put them in the Tower Garden. Notice how I didn’t say “transplant” them. You literally “place” them in the Tower Garden. No dirt involved. The Tower Garden has a continuous water system built in, that runs on a timer. It uses 98% less water than a traditional garden.

I’m growing Basil, Peppermint, Peppers, Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and squash. The maintainence is pretty simple. You maintain the PH of the water, and make sure the 20 gallon water tank is full when it evaporates, and the proper nutrients are added. There’s lots of support. I belong to a great Facebook group, and I have someone local that supports me.

It’s been alot of fun taking care of my plants, and I’m learning so much about gardening.

Interested in learning more? Leave me a comment.

Made My Goal!

Hi again!

I have news to report. . . I made my goal today!  I lost 10lbs.!

I’ve been doing WW since January 5th. It took a couple of weeks, but it finally kicked in. It’s actually been quite challenging and fun tracking all the points and finding new healthy meals to cook. I signed up for 3 months, so I hope I can lose another 10lbs.

Tonight we had Sloppy Joe’s. A meal that could be very high in points, but with a bit of modification, I got it down to 5 points for 1 serving. Keep in mind these are homemade, so they take a little while to prepare, but you can also put it in the crock pot and have it slow cook all day.

Enjoy.

 

Managing WW Points

Now that I’m fully engulfed in WW, and it’s my second week, I’m learning that tracking your meals is not only a necessity, it can be quite challenging, especially when your goal is to lose weight, and at the same time, have points left over for something you crave. The irony! I mention this because I’ve joined a WW Facebook group and much of the discussion and questions are about those looking for lower point alternatives to satisfy that craving. Why is it that most of the time that craving is unhealthy?

At my last weigh-in I attended a workshop, and was surprised to learn that many people in the class were not tracking their meals. Maybe they are “technology challenged” and don’t want to learn how to use the app, but what a disconnect!! Tracking my meals is teaching me so much about food. In fact, when I get curious, I search a food I used to love to eat and just about fall off my chair at how many points it is!!!! 1 slice of pan size pizza is 5 pts. I would eat the whole pizza!! 8 slices!! That would be 45 points. That’s 2 days of meals in one sitting!

My brain is being re-wired and I’m beginning to understand how really unnecessary that kind of indulging is. I call it indulging because that’s what it is. Eating is something we do to sustain what our body needs daily to survive, right?

All that being said, the tongue is a powerful thing. It’s a little devil living inside your mouth. Not only for what comes out of it and the words it spews, but for what potentially goes in, and the lengths we go to satisfy it.

The nice thing about WW, is that you have complete control over what you choose to eat within your daily points. So if you’re craving a meal that uses a lot of points, you can satisfy that craving, and sacrifice points somewhere else. I’ve chosen to have dinner be the bulk of my daily points, mostly because my body is used to having a light breakfast and lunch, and a heavier dinner. Having a heavier dinner also keeps me from having a dessert. By the time I’m hungry again, it’s time for bed.

So today I decided to satisfy my craving of an Italian Sausage Grinder, which is a 9 point dinner. I was able to enjoy my dinner, satisfy that craving, and still keep my daily total at 23.

 

Why Weight Watchers

We are inondated with weight loss programs particularly at this time of year. Company’s hoping to capitalize on our New Year’s resolutions take advantage of our weak spirits and over indulging lifestyles.

The first time I lost alot of weight, I gave up Wheat for a year. You can see a glimpse of my Wheatless journey here. or by typing in Wheat in the search bar. I lost about 10lbs just giving up wheat for a year. I’ve added wheat back into my diet, but through that journey I learned the food items to stay away from that effected my digestive system.

In the past I’ve also lost weight using the app My Fitness Pal. I was able to lose at least 5lbs., and keep steady weight management.

I gained about 10lbs. when our pipes burst in our home January 2018, and we were put temporarily in a Residence Inn (blame it on the pipes, right?). Temporary turned into 7 months! I think I would have gained even more weight if we had not had a kitchen. We actually went out to eat very little, but in spite of the situation, here I am, 10lbs. heavier!

 

So why Weight Watchers?
Several reasons.

  • I had good success with My Fitness Pal.  It’s a tracking system for calories, similar to tracking #WeightWatchers, so I was already familiar with this type of system.
  • I wanted to learn how to change my eating habits through the foods that “I” chose to eat. I didn’t want to buy food from a weight loss program. I need to learn how to choose, and prepare my own food in a healthy way.
  • Although I was afraid of the “point” system, it has created a calculator in my head that I can associate with food items. So grabbing a “zero” point snack is now associated with fruit, veggies, chicken, seafood, and eggs!
  • I wanted to have the flexibility to plan meals ahead of time, and cook healthy meals that my family can also benefits from
  • The cost was good

It’s only been 7 days, and my second weigh in is tomorrow. But so far it’s been a great experience. Based on my height, current weight and goal weight, I get 23 points a day. Here are some things that I’ve learned so far.

  • “Zero” points are an opportunity to change your eating habits. Over 200 food items are zero points. So when you’re hungry, you grab one of those 200 items, that you can eat unlimited. Your old habit may have had you grab chips, or cookies, very high in calories, fat and sugar, and also unlimited in consumption, but doing alot of damage!
  • Planning dinners ahead of time allows me to have more flexibility with meals during the day. So I plan weekly meals Saturdays, and shop Sunday. So far, many of my dinners are recipes from WW, Skinnytaste (included WW points), or  or recipes that I already love that I modify. Most of the dinners are between 0 and 6 points. Everyone is always looking for new recipes!
  • Leftover points from the day allow me to have a dessert.
  • Leftover points also rollover into the week if you don’t use them. They call them “weeklies.” Use your “weeklies.” Remember your body has to have enough calories to burn to lose weight.
  • You can earn points by achieving Fitness activity.
  • Join a WW facebook group for support, questions and ideas

I’m ready to take on my 2nd week!