Intermittent Fasting has become so popular. My friend Rena did this a couple of years ago and has taken off loads of weight, and she has also been able to keep it off.
I have never been heavy - until recently. I was always thin and never had to diet. I was able to eat whatever I wanted. Always.
Things have changed. I moved out of NYC sixteen years ago. Moving to the suburbs, I noticed that I was walking much less. The pounds crept on a little. I stopped working there ten years ago and have been working full time from home. The pounds started creeping on more. Then menopause hit, and I gained weight quickly.
I have tried every diet from the more conventional ones to the ones only available through friends that are selling MLM products. Some worked for a short time, after which the weight came right back, plus some more. I was ready to give up but decided to try one more thing.
Intermittent Fasting became my next challenge!
Lots of people have questions about what to expect, so I decided to document my journey here. This is how my first two weeks unfolded.
I started by looking up a few websites to learn more. I decided to go with 16:8 as it is the minimal fast recommended. With 16:8, I fast for 16 hours and can eat during the 8-hour window. I would stop eating at 9:00 pm and begin again at 1:00 pm. I would skip breakfast and have a late lunch.
I realized this is how I ate when I was younger (and so thin). OK, this may be doable. I started that night.
After a few days of seeing no changes (I am very impatient), I started doing more research. I looked for a podcast about Intermittent Fasting and kept hearing Gin Stephen's name. The podcast episodes were referring to her book, called Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. Then I started looking at Facebook groups, and again people were mentioning this book. I needed to read it to understand more. So I bought the Kindle edition and sat down to read. I read the entire book in a few hours. It was easy to follow, and I especially loved where she spoke about her own experience (which sounds like mine)!
Over the last couple of weeks, I have learned more about Intermittent Fasting.
Lesson 1 - Dirty vs. Clean Fasting
Simply put, clean fasting means not doing anything that will break the fast. Nothing. No cutting corners anywhere. For me, that meant no sweetener in my coffee and no creamer either. I was dreading it, but it was an easier adjustment than I expected. Now when I drink my coffee without any sweetener or creamer, it leaves a pleasant, sweet aftertaste.
Lesson 2 - Losing Weight May Not Be Quick at First
This was a surprise to me. I thought the second I started with Intermittent Fasting, the pounds would magically fall off. Despite my need for instant gratification, it doesn't work like that. Weight loss begins immediately for some people, but for many, it doesn't. The body needs to adjust. The good news, I feel much less bloated and find that some of my measurements are going down.
Lesson 3 - Intermittent Fasting Is Very Flexible
I am finding that I can adjust my fasting to coordinate with my schedule. My goal is to fast at least 16 hours, so I can play with each fast's start and end times, and as long as I get that minimum of 16 hours, I am happy.
Lesson 4 - Taking Healthy Snacks Along
If I go out while fasting, I always take two things with; a bottle of water and a healthy snack. I love the Emerald 100 calorie packs of almonds or cashews. Taking them with gives me a sense of comfort if I find I am out a little longer than planned.
So far, I have lost a few pounds and several inches. It's a start, and I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses over the next couple of weeks.
(Photo credits: pixabay)
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