I have been intermittent fasting for a few years now, off and on. I would fall off the wagon, gain weight, and get back on for a while. I tried, with reasonable success, to be strict, but I have to admit I would slack off a bit – I blame my husband! – and when my weight plateaued, despite my more rigorous and disciplined efforts, I went in search of other ways to kick my body back into fat loss.
I tried the ketogenic lifestyle while my husband was deployed and did very well on it. However, it was expensive, and when my husband returned he tried it but had great difficulty, and I slowly slid out of the processes and routines that I had worked out. I gained weight. Again.
Once again, my husband was away for a few months and I got into some great eating cycles and routines, but when he returned I fell out of them yet again. I lost a lot of weight while he was away, and I gained it all back – plus extra – when he returned. Not his fault, simply the way I approach life when he is there, as opposed to when I am on my own.
I went searching again for new answers; answers that didn’t require terrible caloric deficit, or strange omissions of various foods or macro nutrients.
A few weeks ago, I discovered OMAD – One Meal A Day – and I dived into research. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am someone who likes to make my own decisions and form my own opinions. In the case of OMAD, I really had to do this as there are articles and studies saying it’s the BEST THING EVER, and others that say it’s a TERRIBLE idea.
I’ve since discovered Dr. Jason Fung who explains everything scientifically AND in layman’s terms. His video talks and interviews are easy to understand and clear – he states the pros and cons of every level of intermittent fasting and fasting in general. He explains all the hormonal levels and what gets burned and what doesn’t and how it all works. It’s incredibly helpful. He is a bit of a maverick in the scientific/nutritional world, but his results speak for themselves. He’s a nephrologist, and he declares he was a heavy sceptic when it came to fasting and insulin levels before he really got into the research.
Dr. Fung fasts during the week when he is working, and not even every day – 2 to 3 days a week – and does OMAD, which is what I have begun. It saves him time, money, and is so simple. Like him, I don’t generally eat breakfast anyway, even when I wasn’t doing IF. Now, I just have to build the initial willpower to skip lunch as well and eat within a 4-hour window, around the same time every night.
To begin, I will be fasting 20 hours a day, and eating within a 4-hour window. It doesn’t mean I EAT for 4 hours! It just means I can only eat WITHIN that window. As I become adjusted to this (and most IF takes approximately 5 days to 2 weeks to really kick in – it all depends on your metabolic rate, your previous diet, your current weight) I will narrow the window and eventually, I will only eat within a 1-hour window. This doesn’t mean I cut my caloric intake needs for the day – I still eat 1500 calories, if I can – and I will avoid high sugar foods, and high carbohydrate foods as well.
They do also talk about doing fasting for 5 days to 21 days, but I don’t think I can do that. But who knows, I might become one of those people who do this!