Sunday, March 20, 2016

Drastic measures -- or a healthy fast?

When I last checked in with my test results, I had no idea what my next move was going to be. I'd been told not to worry so much about weight because I was the picture of perfect health and that women my age just have to live with weight struggles. Yes, I wanted to get healthy. But I had another goal too: achieving a healthy weight. I may have passed the blood tests with flying colours, but I still was far above my goal weight. I came so close to goal last July before my trip home sent my weight back in the wrong direction. I'm not ready to give up on my goal. So I had to take a good hard look at where I stood now.

  • 28 Feb - 86.3 kg - 190.26 lb
  • 05 Mar - 88.8 kg - 195.77 lb
  • 12 Mar - 90.1 kg - 198.64 lb

That scared the crap out of me. Yes, I was expecting monthly water weight gain, but I was now way too close to 200 pounds. Healthy or not, I am not prepared to go over 200 pounds again, no way.

I had recently become a member on DietDoctor.com and decided to look through the membership area. I found several videos of interest and spent the next few days watching "Women, Hormones and Nutrition" by Dr Michael Fox, an expert on fertility, PCOS and menopause; "Weight Loss Struggles of Women 50+" and "Women, Hormones and Weight Management" by Jackie Eberstein; and several videos from Dr Jason Fung's course on fasting as the key to treat obesity and diabetes.

Fasting worked great to get me to my lowest weight back in July, but recent attempts had not been so successful. Reviewing Dr Fung's fasting course again I came across one on doing a 7 day fast. Wow. It may sound crazy - but as he pointed out in the video, lots of people dismiss it as something they couldn't do without ever having tried it. The whole reason our bodies even store fat is to get us through periods of famine -- we're meant to live off it when there's no food. Fasting for spiritual purposes is widely practiced in most religions. There are cases of people fasting for 30-40 days or more. Heck the record is a 382 day fast by a 27 year old man in 1966 -- he went from 456 to 180 pounds, losing 276 pounds.

No, I have no plans to fast for a year. I'm not sure I can jump right into a 7 day fast at this stage, either. But I have done two days in a row before with no difficulty, and didn't get hungry. So last week I planned in two 2-day fasts.  I ate normally Sunday; fasted Monday & Tuesday; ate lightly Wednesday; fasted Thursday & Friday; and ate normally Saturday.

I didn't get hungry on my fast days, I really didn't. In fact when Wednesday came I kind of wanted to see if I could go longer, but I decided to stick to my plan for the week so I had light meals. So how did I go?  Well, I'll remind you where I was 12th March compared to where I am now.

  • 12 Mar - 90.1 kg - 198.64 lb
  • 19 Mar - 86.4 kg - 190.48 lb

That's a loss of 3.7 kg or 8.16 pounds this week, 2/3 of which was fat, 1/3 water weight.

It was a week I expected to drop some water weight after my cycle, but still I think that's a darn good result. Never-the-less, I have lost 8 pounds in a week before, basically that brings me back to where I was at the end of February. I plan to follow the same schedule as above next week, three days eating, four days fasting -- but I'm going for my citizenship ceremony Tuesday and may have to swap the days around a bit if the family want to go out to celebrate after. Then again, if I swap Tuesday and Wednesday, that would mean three of the four fasting days would be in a row. Maybe that's a good idea -- try three days in a row first, and then I can decide whether to attempt four or five days.

It may seem drastic to some -- Dr Fung even suggests not telling people about it because some will try to talk you out of it -- but I've done a lot of research on fasting, trust me. If you're interested, you can read Dr Fung's blog posts on fasting here. and he has a full series of videos - some free on YouTube, and others on the DietDoctor.com member site. Fasting is not unhealthy, it's a totally natural thing and something we were actually designed to do. It's the reason our bodies store fat to begin with -- to get us through periods where food is scarce. I felt great during the fasting days, and when it was time to eat again, I kind of wanted to keep fasting. That's not to say that it didn't taste good when I did break my fast, but I'm very much looking forward to trying an extended fast soon. Wish me luck!

8 comments:

  1. I've been doing a version of intermittent fasting for several months now which translates (for me) to skipping breakfast. Since my breakfast, more likely than not, was usually a boiled egg and coffee, I'm not missing much. Ha ha

    I used to fast one day a week when my kids were small, but haven't done that since. I'm very interested in seeing your results. :)

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    1. I advised hubby that we all do a daily fast from dinner to breakfast (which is why it's called break-fast). In fact he never eats breakfast so he fasts about 16 hours most every day.

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  2. You seem so positive and it does seem to be working for you so that can only be good.
    I think the Diet Doctor site is very good - he has recently made it a membership one (if you want to of course) but many of it still remains free.

    Keep on doing what you are happy with, and what suits you.

    Have a great citizenship day ... and Happy Easter too !

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan. the ceremony went well and I'm now a dual citizen!

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    2. Glad to read that the ceremony went well.

      Enjoy the Easter Weekend

      All the best Jan

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  3. Congrats on the Dual citizenship! My friend fasts every day until 5pm and then eats one meal. Whatever works for your body chicken!

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  4. I know that I lost 15 pounds on my two week pre-op diet which was 4 protein shakes per day. I didn't have a lot of energy, so I wouldn't want to do that all the time, but I can't think of a reason that it (or whatever works for you) shouldn't be done from time to time. Good luck!

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