To my dismay I recently discovered that I’d gained some weight. I wasn’t quite sure why. I was eating the same amount, I was walking more and exercising just as much as before, and yet I’d ballooned by a stone; around 14lbs.
After taking a closer look at my diet and exercise I concluded that it was because I was snacking more and I wasn’t sleeping as much as I was in the past. Rest is a vital part of losing weight. Without enough rest, fat is less likely to drop off. Fatigue can also lead to weight gain.
What to do?
I couldn’t exercise more as I would burn out and I’ve made my position on dieting very clear in the past. I don’t like diets and I don’t like dieting. The only way I’d allow myself to be on a diet, and my only criteria on diets, is that any diet you go on should be a diet that can be sustained for life.
If it cannot be a permanent diet then it is not worth doing. Any weight lost will return once the diet is over.
I also not a fan of strict diet regimes like vegan or raw foods. Those diets can also fail should you ever find yourself in a situation where those things are not an option. (As I learned the hard way.) Suddenly your whole way of life is out the window. You have to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what to do for you next meal rather that being centered.
So, I tried to amend my diet a little but nothing changed. In fact I’d gained even more weight. I was confused and a bit worried (which is another emotion that doesn’t help with weight loss).
Then, four weeks ago, my brother came up to me and asked:
“Do you think I’ve lost weight?”
“Yep you sure do! What have you been doing?”
“I have a secret to show you which could help with your weight loss.”
I was intrigued and so he pointed me the BBC documentary, Horizon which was presented by Michael Mosley. He’s a journalist who’s medically trained and decided to try out fasting, or more specifically, intermittent fasting.
Fasting is something that is huge part of the Hindu faith. My parents, my mum in particular, used to do it often. Muslim’s do it for Ramadan and there are many faiths and cultures that practice it.
I used to do it but I never did it with any regularity. I always found it very beneficial and felt so refreshed afterwards. I don’t know why I never kept it up.
My brother was doing really well with the fasting so I decided to give it a go.
I’ve been fasting for four weeks now and so far I’ve lost a stone in weight. I feel much lighter, my libido has rocketed and I made another discovery during the process.
I never realized just exactly how addicted to food I was.
You need food to survive but if you can’t survive a day without food then you are addicted. For the first few days that I fasted my mind just kept on going back to food. I had a habit of reaching for a snack anytime I felt peckish but what’s worse, is I’d reach for food when I was bored! Not good!
I just wanted to constantly reach for something anytime I felt any slight bit of boredom or when I had a moment free.
I never acknowledged how bad my food addiction was until I began this fasting process. I love food, but I think I’d crossed the line.
The first major benefit of the fasting so far has been that I’ve overcome, or at the very least, I’m overcoming the food addition. On my non fast days I no longer feel the need to reach for food when I’m inactive.
I’ve found that I’ve naturally become more disciplined with what I eat. I don’t eat as late in the evenings. I have my main meal much earlier than I used to.
I do not pig out on food the day after my fast. While I’m fasting I feel hungry and in my mind I think to myself that I’ll eat like crazy the next day. However, when I wake up I’m not really hungry. If anything, I wake up feeling full and so my breakfast tends to be quite light.
My digestive system is functioning so much better than before. I won’t say anymore on that subject 😀
My appetite and my stomach have both shrunk. The first place I’ve lost the lbs is my stomach. I still crave a huge amount, but I simply cannot eat as much.
Some people opt for a tummy tuck to shrink their appetite. You don’t need a tummy tuck. A few weeks or a couple of months of fasting will have the same impact. If doctors took this action rather than option for the easy surgery imagine how much money the health service would save. Not only on the tummy tuck surgery itself but also on the overall healthcare of the nation.
Will fasting slow your metabolism? Honestly? I don’t know although, if the results I’ve had are anything to go by, then definitely no. If anything, I think it speeds it up. Why? Because I feel like I’m eating slower and appreciating food more, especially on my fasting days.
Experiments on people who do intermittent fasting have show that it will lower cholesterol, blood sugar and your IGF1 count.
You will also lose weight through fasting however, you should think of that as a by-product. Fast because you want to improve your health and enjoy the perks of losing weight and increased libido.
As with anything, I always recommend using your uncommon sense. If you feel you need to get medical advice before embarking on this method. Then do so. If you think that you’re in good health and want to try intermittent fasting, then go for it.
The method is simple. Twice a week you fast. Pick any two non consecutive days you wish. On your fast days you have a reduced amount of calories. I try and have one meal of around 600 calories. Or maybe even two small meals of 300 – 400 calories each. I’ve tried both and I prefer the latter simply because I have very long days and a single meal is more difficult to manage on.
On the fast days I try an avoid any sugar. I normally have my morning coffee with a little bit of raw sugar but on my fast days I started having black coffee with no sugar. I’ve actually grown to like the taste.
So, on a typical fast day, I’ll have a small bowl of porridge in the morning made with rice milk or, a small fruit salad. Both are roughly around 200 calories.
For lunch or an early evening meal I’ll have either a salad, some soup with a small piece of bread, or some vegetable noodles. All of which are around 400 calories.
On the days which you do not fast you can eat whatever you normally do. Naturally, I would recommend to eat sensibly and healthily.
It’s that easy.
You’re also less likely to break a fast because you know that the following day you can eat what you like.
There we have it. A simple and manageable way to improve your health and lose weight.
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