I’m not disciplined enough to write about subjects that I am not passionate about. But for the things I am passionate about, I could go on forever… that is why I started a blog. I found myself sharing the information I have learned or my results with something I have tried over and over on social media. I reasoned that blogging would be a great place to get it all out. I know I have already posted about Intermittent Fasting, but I am so passionate about the subject that I decided to write a post about my Intermittent Fasting results and benefits.
The following is not a substitute for medical advice, just my personal experience.
Intermittent Fasting Results & Benefits
First and foremost, as of today I have lost
54 55.5 lbs60 lbs! Keep in mind however, that there have been times I have gone astray such as during vacations or periods when I have strong cravings and have not practiced daily fasting. During those times I have gained back as much as 15 lbs! However, it is relatively easy to get back into daily fasting and the weight regained comes off very quickly. Never before have I been able to maintain weight loss, mostly because I couldn’t maintain the diet I was on. But that is what must be done…. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to be able to do what it takes to lose the weight for the rest of your life.
It flies in the face of logic that eating less would reduce your appetite. You could never have convinced me of this before I experienced it myself. But I found out that the “hunger” I was experiencing before was simply hypoglycemia. You know that feeling where you get hangry, irritable, dizzy,shaky, headachey, nauseated and a burning stomach? That was my blood sugar dipping. I thought that was hunger. So if that could happen just 3 hours after a meal, why doesn’t it happen now after 24 hours without a meal? Because fasting helps you become sensitive to insulin, keeping your blood sugar from swinging wildly. Now true hunger feels like a soft punch in the gut.
Real Fullness Signals
I remember the first time I sat down for a large, yummy dinner and I simply could not eat my way through the whole thing. I grew up as an “eat everything on your plate” type of person, a “seconds” type of person, and “thirds” weren’t all that uncommon either. I let the size of the meal dictate when I was “full” because I never had experienced what feeling full felt like. I thought the advice that you should wait 20 minutes for your body to signal fullness was ridiculous because 20 minutes could come and go and I could keep eating. The only thing I ever felt was extremely bloated after I had already consumed too much food and later heartburn. But after a short period of time practicing daily fasting I began getting strong fullness signals that coincidentally came about 20 minutes after eating. And these are strong signals. Like hunger, it feels like a light punch in the gut and any eating beyond that makes me feel nauseated. It is such a powerful signal that I can’t ignore it. It’s amazing that I have lived almost my entire life not knowing what that felt like.
I used to be one of those people who sort of thought I might have chronic fatigue syndrome or a dysfunctional thyroid. Any medical questionnaire I filled out I always noted fatigue as a regular symptom. Sometimes I felt crushed under the weight of my fatigue. It occurred to me one day after I was a regular at daily fasting when I was questioned again about energy level that I realized I have all the energy I need. Some may attribute this to losing weight, but I think it is the daily fasting because a) I had fatigue and lack of energy when I was a lower weight than I am now (and much, much younger) b) I have lost weight in the past with a typical low calorie diet and still suffered from fatigue c) I prolonged a fast for 48 hours once to try it out and I was amazed how much more energy I experienced the 2nd day of the fast d) increased energy is commonly reported by fasters.
Cravings for Healthier Foods
It mystifies me that the weight loss “experts” think that educating the masses of overweight people about what they should and shouldn’t eat will help them lose weight. Sure, everyone needs to know the nutritional value of their food, but the problem is most people do not want to eat the nutritious foods! What you eat and cravings for food are not just driven by logical thought and reasoning in my opinion, but by the body. Ignoring what your body tells you to eat is like ignoring your body when it is telling you to go to the bathroom, or drink water. You might argue that our body wouldn’t tell us to eat cake because cake isn’t good for us. But if I have learned one thing about the body throughout this journey, it’s that clearly the body gets signals confused when there are issues. If my body could get confused about when I am hungry and when I am full before, then I am sure it would get confused about what I am hungry for.
Keep in mind that once I got into fasting for at least 23 hours every day, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. And in the beginning it wasn’t always so pretty. But it didn’t take that long before I was eating more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins than I have ever eaten in my life – because I craved them! Of course I still get cravings for unhealthy food and go off the rails eating and drinking things I shouldn’t, usually around that one particular time of month, but most of the time I have a strong desire to get back on track with healthier eating and daily fasting. This is something I’ve never experienced before.
I also still have to make reasonable choices, but it is easier now to make them. For instance, I could choose to eat a sandwich with regular bread but many times I choose to eat a healthier flaxseed pita bread. But in general I don’t crave bread anymore like I used to. Sometimes I do, and I indulge, but it no longer consumes me like it used to.
No more binge-eating
If there is one thing I hear often about Intermittent Fasting it’s people telling those who have a history of binge-eating should not try Intermittent Fasting. As a former binge-eater (we’re talking many, many years of binge eating) I will say this could not be further from the truth. On a typical low calorie diet where I ate 3-6 times a day, I was constantly hungry, felt like crap, and was obsessed with the food that I “could not” have. It is a horrible feeling and one in which I am no longer a prisoner to thankfully. Between giving myself the freedom to eat what I want one time a day, the reduction in appetite, the blood sugar control, the strong fullness signals, and the new cravings of healthy food – this effectively stopped me from binge eating!
I like to eat well and I like to eat big, hearty and tasty meals!! I also don’t want to cut out certain foods for life. I’m not an either/or type of person. Flexibility is the key for me to be able to stick with it, but deprivation equals instant failure. I love that I can go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and have what I want (including margaritas) and not worry that I am blowing a diet because I know that I can fast for a longer period if necessary to make up for it.
- Better skin, fewer breakouts
- Less money spent on food
- Less time spent preparing breakfasts, lunches, and snacks
- Less time cleaning up dishes and containers from breakfasts, lunches, and snacks
- Less food coma
- Extraordinary reduction in heartburn!!
- Less other digestive issues…I will spare you the details, just trust me, huge benefit here!
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower A1C
- Lighter periods and less hormonal issues around my period time
- Less frequent colds
- Less brain fog
Do Your Own Research
Despite all of the great benefits above, being almost 60 lbs lighter, and increased health, I still have people telling me that I am wrong for fasting….(face palm). If this is wrong, I do NOT want to be right. I am passionate about Intermittent Fasting and so are many of the people who have tried it. Scientific studies are starting to realize the benefits too. I do know some people who are perfectly healthy and content eating 6 times a day and that is great. Clearly that is what their body needs… and clearly my body needs something else. If you have struggled with adhering to a low calorie diet (or a low carb diet) over and over and over again, I encourage you to do your own research to see if Intermittent Fasting is something to consider.
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