Showing posts with label Intermittent Fasting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Intermittent Fasting. Show all posts

Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm over it.

I have fasted completely for four days out of every week for the last six weeks. I seriously expected a decent drop this week, I mean come on! Well ... technically I did drop ... I am down .3 kg or .66 pounds from last week. Better than nothing? Not really. For the last three weeks my weight has remained pretty much the same despite fasting more than half the week. It's looking like just one more thing that works in the beginning and then doesn't.


I'm so over it. I have tried everything I know to get my weight moving again and no matter what I do, the best I can hope for is to stay stalled. Hell, my doctor is out of ideas, she just wants me to be happy where I am. Well where am I? If I start eating normally again, I will regain. Am I really meant to struggle this much just to stay in a stall? Sorry for the pity party, I am just so over it.

It's true that I have no problem fasting -- I don't get hungry for the most part, and I feel good while doing it. But it does put a damper on things, like when hubby wants to go out to the club or friends and family invite us over to dinner. It sucks to remind him I'm not eating that day, and what will we tell them? Strangely enough, meal planning is more challenging when he's the only one eating four nights out of the week.

I have no idea what I'm going to do. After this week, we are on vacation for two weeks and we're going to Queensland. I know he won't want me to fast while we're on holiday. Maybe I'll take a break and resume when we get back ... or not. Whatever I do, it may be time to take a break from blogging because I seriously have nothing interesting to say.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slight gain, but I rather expected that

I thought I might actually show a gain this week since it was that week, and I did. 0.1 kg (0.22 lb). Such a small amount I'm not going to stress. Since I used to gain a fair bit more during my cycle, this is nothing. I'm hoping to see a much better result next week.


It's frustrating, but since losing at all is so hard these days, the small losses I've been seeing recently are enough to keep me fasting. But I must say part of me feels like I'm not eating for over half the week, dammit I should be getting bigger losses! If you've followed me for any length of time you know that nothing seems to be working anymore and that all signs point to pre-menopause hormonal changes so I am definitely going to keep fasting even if I continue to see only small drops.

Truth be told I like how I feel when I fast. I have learned a couple of things on eating days. Firstly, when I break the fast it needs to be with real food. A few times we were pressed for time so I grabbed an Atkins shake and bar for breakfast. When I did that, I tended to feel a bit nauseous until I ate something more substantial. If I only had a shake, I didn't have that problem, but if I had an Atkins bar (with or without the shake) I did. I never had any problems with Atkins bars before, but it makes sense that if I'm not eating for four days out of the week, then when I do eat it's got to be real food.

The other thing is in the first couple of weeks I had no problem eating larger meals on eating days. Not binge-sized by any means, but a good sized portion. After all, I wasn't going to eat again for the next two days, so I wanted a substantial dinner the night before I started a fast. But now I find I feel overly full if I do that. Last night we had steak and broccoli, and I ended up giving some of it to my husband as I didn't need it all. I suppose needing less food is a good thing.

In any case, that's it for this week, here's looking forward to better results next week.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Another drop; and do you use bone broth?

So another drop this week, marginally better than last week. I'm down .5 kg (1.1 lb) from last week, bringing my total after four weeks of 4-day fasting to 6.8 kg (14.99 lb). Hey, 15 pounds in 4 weeks I will definitely take! :)


Look, ordinarily a pound a week is totally acceptable, but when you're not eating four whole days, you kind of expect a bit more. But I'm thinking this is my usual pattern that I used to see before the hormones interfered -- lose well two weeks, then have monthly weight gain for two weeks. Next week will tell, I guess. So far after stopping the progesterone cream, I have had two normal 28 day cycles. A doctor recently told me that when your cycles start coming every 21-23 days (as mine had been before the cream) it's a sign you'll go through menopause in the next 1-4 years. If it's about age 55 like my mom, it means I could be dealing with 3-4 week cycles for the next 2-1/2 years, so I just gotta get used to some ups and downs I guess.

What you see above are my results at the end of the week.  Alternating fasting days and eating days, however, means that I see a roller coaster ride on the scales during the week. For example, I could see a loss of 6 pounds, followed by a 5 pound gain after an eating day, and that just repeats. Much of that is water weight and to be expected. As long as the overall result is moving down, though, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. As I said, as soon as this cycle passes, I should hopefully see a much nicer drop next week. Fingers crossed!

Someone at work asked me whether I take bone broth on my fasting days. I do not -- I mostly have water, tea and Pepsi Max. Only twice have I ever had a headache while fasting, and both times a little salt with water fixed me right up. So I know sodium is important while fasting. Dr Fung recommends bone broth and gives a recipe for it -- like many recipes I've seen online they recommend cooking this stuff for anywhere from 24 hours (chicken) to 48 hours (beef). I personally cannot go to sleep leaving my stove on. I have electric, but I still just don't feel safe doing that. Others recommend using a crock pot, but I don't think it's safe to let it run that long. I once let mine run for 16 hours as a specific recipe called for, and now I have a brown 'burn' mark on the outside of the crockpot. I have also contacted Crockpot manufacturers and they highly recommend against leaving it run that long. So no, I have never made my own bone broth, though I'm sure it's nutritious.

Well the guy at work recommended an organic place not far from work that sells it, so I went there and checked it out. They sell it hot by the cup (small was around $5 and larger around $8) or you can buy a 500ml frozen container with about 2 larger serves in it for $12.50. She gave me a small sample of the chicken which wasn't bad. I guess I was expecting it to taste more like standard chicken broth, but this is bone broth and not as "chicken flavoured" as I had expected. She said most people find the chicken more palatable, and that the beef yields a stronger flavour. Well I took home a 500ml tub of chicken and it's thawing in my fridge over the weekend, so I'll give it a try Monday and Tuesday. But the lady was kind enough to advise it's much cheaper to make the stuff yourself, and they only cook theirs for about 9 hours (chicken) to overnight (beef) and they feel that's long enough. From what I've heard you need to cook it longer to get all the nutrients.

She also advised that while she does use it, just adding salt to your water will work if you're just worried about getting enough sodium. I asked whether she adds enough that it actually tastes salty - she said she does, in fact plain water she doesn't like anymore because she's used to the salt. I personally think I'll just worry about it when my body advises I need it. I will use this bone broth Monday and Tuesday because I've bought it, but in general it's been working for me to just have a bit of salt when I feel a slight headache, and then it goes away.

What about you guys -- fasting or not, do you make bone broth? I'd be interested to hear about your experience with it.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Smaller loss this week, but still a loss

Yeah, after the last two weeks having fairly big drops, this week was much less dramatic - despite still fasting four days. Did I indulge a bit more last weekend being Easter? Maybe a little, I did have some mixed nuts which are a favourite of mine. Or could it be monthly weight gain coming around again? Whatever the reason, I'll take the loss and just keep doing what I'm doing.

So this week I'm down just .4 kg or .88 lb. bringing my total loss since 12th March to 6.3 kg or 13.89 lb. I was hoping for another big number, but it is what it is.


I fasted Monday and Tuesday, ate just one meal Wednesday evening with an Atkins bar and a couple tablespoons no-added-sugar peanut butter for dessert, then fasted again Thursday and Friday. I will be especially careful to eat light this weekend and hopefully see better results next weekend.

I've had a recommendation to try cutting out caffeine to help with weight loss ... that one may be tough because on fasting days I drink a lot of tea and some Pepsi Max (never have liked coffee). I feel like these are the last vices I have and it would be tough to give them up. I could switch to caffeine free Diet Pepsi but I don't like it as well as the Pepsi Max. I find I tend to get dry, scratchy throat sometimes during the day and water alone doesn't seem to relieve it, I need the bubbles in the fizzy drinks sometimes. That and it's so bloody cold in the office where I work - year round - and with cooler weather approaching sometimes a hot mug of tea is desperately needed. We'll see - I'll go another week on the same routine and if I don't see a better result, it may be something to consider.

As far as activities, I've walked half hour to an hour every day, and we'll have another big walk this weekend - that and lots of yard chores should keep me busy. That's it for now, hope you all had a great week.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Dropped 2.2 kg this week; nearly 5 pounds!

So this week I followed essentially the same pattern as last week - eating Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday; fasting Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Only instead of light meals Wednesday I only ate one meal in the evening. Actually I was feeling that good and really wanted to go three days in a row, so I fasted during the day and I really didn't want to eat that night. But I'd already planned our menu for the week and it was nice to have a meal with my hubby. But I could easily have gone three days in a row, maybe longer. And I felt great! And I lost close to five pounds this week! So the stats since I started this new fasting routine are:


You can bet I'm going to keep doing this as long as it works - I can't even tell you how thrilled I am to see losses again. So I mentioned I eat very light on Wednesday, in the middle of the fasting periods. On the weekends, I eat normally - not pigging out. I stick to low carb meals, generally starting the day with an Atkins shake and/or snack bar. Lunch is often tuna or egg salad with a green salad on the side, mayo and Dijon mustard combined is my favourite salad dressing. Then I have a low carb meal for dinner followed by an Atkins bar (and sometimes some nuts).

I was toying with the idea of trying to go the full five weekdays without eating, but it is nice to eat with hubby once during the week. Plus this is working right now, so maybe I'll reserve that option in the event I stop losing this well.  We'll see.

Anyway, my citizenship ceremony went very well, we did not go out afterward which made the fasting very easy. I was thinking we had to go up and say our pledges one by one, so I kept trying to memorise it, but when the time came we stood as a group and said it, so it was no big deal. So I'm now a dual citizen! I would never give up my US Citizenship, and fortunately it's not required. But I'm officially an Aussie now, fair dinkum! Aussies will understand. :)

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!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

How do I get off this roller coaster?

I'm doing everything I know how to do to lose weight, yet I just keep going down then up again. Everything that used to work no longer does. Or it works briefly then stops. On January 16th I had that big drop after a week of returning to Phase 1 eating again. Since then it's been a roller coaster ride. Seriously, here are the ups and downs.

16 Jan - 84.1 kg - 185.41 lb.
23 Jan - 85.3 kg - 188.05 lb.*
30 Jan - 86.7 kg - 191.14 lb.
06 Feb - 86.3 kg - 190.26 lb.
13 Feb - 84.7 kg - 186.73 lb
20 Feb - 87.6 kg - 193.12 lb.*
27 Feb - 86.3 kg - 190.26 lb.

I kept doing Phase 1 for those first few weeks. The star means I had my cycle that week. I should have dropped weight after that, yet the end of January and start of February I weighed more. So I returned to intermittent fasting. Slight drop 13th Feb, but of course another star week followed.

So this past week I changed it up again. Instead of going entire days fasting, which just wasn't working, I decided to fast 23 hours each day, eating just one meal at dinner time within a one hour eating window. I've done this for over a week now, and combined it with a fair bit of exercise. Besides walking about an hour each day, I've done heaps of work around the house. Things like raking, shovelling and hauling a gazillion wheelbarrows full of rocks from what used to be an above-ground pool area in the back yard, and tearing down an old shed by hand this weekend. My body is definitely feeling all the extra exercise lately, trust me, and there is a lot more to come. Did any of this help me lose weight?

Well, the first few days I lost some. Then I stayed the same for a few days, then back up today almost where I started. I am beyond frustrated. My husband tells me to just be happy where I am and just eat healthy and not worry about it so much, but if I am fighting this hard to lose weight and I stop fighting, I will regain even more! I know I will. Trust me, I would LOVE to give up the fight. But I'm not going to. So what to do next?

Well I still haven't found a chance to make that doctor's appointment, between all the extra work to be done around the house and being busy as hell at work. I haven't had a chance to call my doctor, but I will find the time. I'm thinking the progesterone cream isn't helping as I'd hoped though. So I'll try something else. What else can I do? I'm going to try heaps smaller portions. Literally cut my dinner portions in half, have just an Atkins shake for breakfast, and a small can of tuna or the other half of my dinner for lunch. I just don't know what else to do at this point. I feel like I've got nothing worth blogging about anymore, yet here I am. I guess I'm not ready to give up on that yet either.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

From Egg Fast to IF again.

Well I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, or off the wagon for that matter. Frustrated with my stall and researching LCHF I came across something called the Egg Fast. Have you heard of this? It's for those who have stalled on LCHF and want to break through. For 3-5 days you eat eggs, butter and cheese (with few exceptions, some modify to include other fats like mayo so they can make egg salad). You can add small amounts of seasoning or a bit of mustard.

A quick Google search will tell you more, I think it was developed by low carb guru, author and podcaster Jimmy Moore of Livin La Vida Low Carb. You have at least six eggs per day and must have a tablespoon of butter or other allowed fat for each egg. You can also have an ounce (28 g) of cheese for each egg but they recommend you have less. Anyway the bloggers I found claimed to have dropped like 5-7 pounds in those 3-5 days. You will regain half a pound or more when you go off, depending on how gently you transition back, e.g. don't go nuts your first day off. In fact have 1-2 egg meals and one regular LCHF meal and transition back slowly. Most said they kept most of the weight off. My experience?

I did it from Sunday to Thursday last week, transitioning off on Friday and Saturday. I found a couple of delicious recipes which I saved for later in the week in case I tired of eggs, as most said they did ... but I didn't really. I love eggs. Monday I had dropped over a pound and a half. Then I stayed the same Tuesday. Wednesday I dropped about 3/4 of a pound and stayed there the rest of the time. About half that weight came back after my first transition day and the rest after the second. Very frustrating. I am starting to think I am not only never going to see goal, but I'm going to struggle to maintain the loss I have!

Not giving up, just beyond frustrated. I fasted completely today and will resume alternate day fasting this week along with eating much less on the days I do eat. Still sticking to LCHF. That's all I got.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Steak and Eggs or a Fat Fast?

I was a little over 2 kilos (4.4 lb) down at the start of the week but then of course my cycle came around again. I'm tired of reporting on period gain every few weeks, this is ridiculous! I had planned three full fasting days this week but only ended up fasting until dinner time. That was still pretty effective, until the water weight came. I've been doing heaps of reading that make me curious about whether I should try increasing my fat intake.

First, there's  the Steak and Eggs diet. This is basically a ketogenic diet and a great way to get weight off fast. While it's healthier than you might think and some stay on it long term, I don't know that I could -- I'd probably get too bored of the same meals. But as a kick-start it sure sounds promising. Basically you eat two meals a day of just steak and eggs for 4-5 days, then have a cheat day where you eat whatever you like. So zero carbohydrates until the cheat day. There are plenty of articles online if you want to know more about it, and I don't think it's dangerous in any way -- I actually think ketogenic diets are a great choice for someone with insulin issues and/or PCOS like I have. The steak and eggs diet may raise testosterone levels, and with PCOS I sure don't need that. But if I try it for just a week or two to get the weight moving again I don't think I'd need to worry.

The other thing I've been considering is doing a Fat Fast. The article I've linked to is specifically about Fat Fast and Menopause, and how women as they approach menopause are finding that what worked before (reducing carbs) isn't necessarily working for them anymore but this often helps. There are comments from women in my age group on that article and many found this helped keep their weight down. I sure wish I'd started this weight loss journey a couple of years earlier -- I would have liked to reach goal well before menopause was even on my radar.

Hubby and I bought folding bikes since we enjoyed riding so much while in the States. We had hoped to start riding this week but it's been cold, raining and windy all week. I thought I'd missed out on the end of winter, this is supposed to be spring now! Yes, spring brings rain but it's been so cold it sure feels like winter still! Brrr!

Oh -- there is some good news to report. With the weight I have lost, I keep hoping to see some relief in my PCOS symptoms. Today my hair dresser said she definitely sees new hair growth at the crown, and overall my hair seems a bit thicker to her. Not a lot, mind you, but when you're dealing with hair loss, especially as a woman, any regrowth is a good thing. My hair had been thinning over the last decade due to PCOS, and increased over the last two years possibly due to weight loss. I know some women find they lost hair due to weight loss. Maybe that's stabilising now. I don't know, but I'll take any good news at this point. Well, I'm off to bundle up and ward off the cold for another night. Have a great weekend everyone.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

So close to goal I can taste it!

So I ended the week at 73.5 kg (162.04 lb) which brings my total loss to 56.8 kg (125.22 lb). I seriously cannot believe I am 5.5 kg (12.13 lb) from my goal weight right now. This weight loss journey has been two years so far, and there were some thrilling successes and frustrating stalls along the way but isn't that what the path to success looks like? It's not a straight line unfortunately, it zigs, it zags and it's full of curves, but I am determined and I will get there.

One more week of work and then I'm on leave for seven weeks. I'm so excited to be going home to the States and I know there will be temptations there ... foods I have missed so much that just are not available in Australia (Chicago deep dish pizza and Reuben sandwiches come to mind) but whatever happens I will reach my goal this year. If I come back from America heavier than when I left I know ADF will help me get back on track and cross that finish line. Nothing is going to stop me.

This week two people who have not seen me in a few months said I looked amazing ... it sure felt good to hear that. One said my face has changed so much, and she probably last saw me when I was just 10-15 pounds heavier. That amount wasn't so noticeable when I was over 200 pounds but now it seems it makes quite a difference. I look in the mirror and I can see my mother now. People have said I looked like her but when I was obese I didn't see it so much. Now I do and I can't wait for family and friends back home to see me again. I have lost weight (and regained it) several times in the past, and when I was last home about nine years ago I was probably about 90 kg (200 lb), not the 130 kg (287 lb) I found myself at two years ago. I don't think I've weighed this little since the late 80s. So if I haven't reached goal before I go it won't matter at all, it will still be a big change for them.

We've had such a cold spell here this week ... there was snow just an hour's drive from me! I have not seen snow in 12 years and I like it that way! It feels sort of like Christmas in July. I'll be going home to the last month of summer and coming back to spring -- it's usually is quite nice here by September so hopefully I can kiss the rest of winter goodbye very soon.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Down 124.5 lb, only 12.8 to go!

This week's weigh-in is 73.8 kg (162.7 lb), down .5 kg (1.1 lb) from last week and 56.5 kg (124.56 lb) to date. I have just 5.8 kg (12.79 lb) to goal!

We'll see what happens next week which may bring some monthly weight gain but so far that hasn't been a big deal as it was before ADF. By the way Gwen, I gave blood today and my blood pressure was just fine, so that's good. I had never heard of intermittent fasting causing high blood pressure but Gwen mentioned it so I am glad to have been checked today and to know all is well.

This was supposed to be a fast day but you have to eat before donating blood (and drink heaps of water) so I'm debating doing a double fast day to make up for the double feast day. So far I've been very lucky that every event we've had that required dining with friends and family has fallen on a feast day. It's no big deal if it doesn't, you just eat if you need to and fast the next day. I'm so used to the alternate day fasting that in truth I feel overly full now from having eaten two days in a row, so we'll see how we go. I may fast two days or just have dinner only on the second day, we'll see how I feel.

I've been dealing with periodic earaches off and on for a few months now. The doctor suggested nasal spray as a blocked nose can cause it, but if that didn't help it can be related to other things, possibly even TMJ. Well it hasn't helped. I used to get earaches when I was very young but not since then until now. I remember mom used something she called Sweet Oil to relieve the pain. Research tells me it's essentially the same as olive oil, but I think I should go back to the doctor first to rule out other issues before putting warm oil drops in my ear. It isn't frequent but rather painful when it does happen. We drove someone to a friend's near Sydney today and going up Mt Ousley brought on an earache that is still with me now. If a steep ascent driving can bring it on I would like to check with the doctor again before boarding a flight. I would think that would be worse! Wish me luck.

Good night ... I hope everyone in the States had a lovely 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

DietDoctor - Lose Weight with Intermittent Fasting

DietDoctor.com has a great article on Intermittent Fasting for those who'd like more information. I'll summarise it below but you can find the full article here.

This especially caught my eye: "there are many things to consider before moving on to this thing, but don’t let that fool you. This is one of the most effective weapons available to lose weight. It’s perfect if you are stuck at a weight-loss plateau despite 'doing everything right' – or to speed up your weight loss." That's exactly where I found myself. After many months of steady drops I found myself at a plateau despite doing everything I had done to lose weight, and more. Intermittent Fasting was the plateau breaker I needed. Here's more from the article:
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In fact on an LCHF diet some people spontaneously fall into this habit, as their appetite is reduced (see weight loss tip #4, eat only when hungry).
Intermittent fasting is about eating all that your body needs… while still allowing it to sometimes briefly rest from constant feeding.

What’s Acceptable to Drink During Fasts?

During a fast you can’t eat, but you should definitely drink. Water is the drink of choice, but coffee and tea are also great options. During longer fasts it can be wise to add a little salt too, or drink bouillon.
Anything you drink should ideally be zero calories. But it may be acceptable to cheat by adding a small amount of milk in your coffee or tea – if you absolutely need it to enjoy your drink.

What to Eat Between Fasts

So what should you eat when you are not fasting? Well, if your goal is to lose weight I suggest following all the tips above, including eating an LCHF diet. Combining this with intermittent fasting is a great combination.
On a LCHF diet your hunger is reduced and it’s much easier to do a period of fasting. Also, your fat burning is already very good – so when fasting you’ll easily burn lots of fat.
So, while on an LCHF diet the fasting periods become both easier to do and more effective. 1 + 1 equals 3.
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DietDoctor.com is a great website for information on health and weight loss, especially using LCHF (Low Carb High Fat, or sometimes Low Carb Healthy Fat) diets. Check it out!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Down 7.8kg (17.2 lb) in a month of ADF!

Just over a month actually. I started ADF 22nd May, it's 27th June this morning and I weighed in at 74.3 kg (163.8 lb). That's down half a kilo (1.1 lb) from last week, 7.8 kg (17.2 lb) since I started ADF, and exactly 56 kg (123.46 lb) overall.  I can't believe I have just 6.3 kg (13.89 lb) to go to reach my initial goal. That's nothing, I'm almost there! Whether I make it before my trip or not doesn't matter ... I know that I WILL make it.

People at work have noticed I'm losing again ... I must admit that feels great! Still buying size 14AU or Medium tops and pants. I need a new pair of jeans, the 16s are loose on me. I tried the 14s yesterday and they fit great ... but they are so expensive here that I didn't buy them. I figure I'll be home in August, I can get Levi's at a decent price. These that I have from Just Jeans are nice, I really like them, but why spend $70 on another pair when I can probably get jeans for around $30 back home. Hell Levi's here can go for upwards of $150! That's crazy. No, I think I can wait another month for new jeans. Who knows, maybe I'll be size 12 by then!

I have been asked about pictures ... I don't think you'll see a big change yet since I had gone up a bit before starting ADF, but I will do some soon. Certainly while I'm back in the States. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Down 121.7 lb (55.2 kg) ... loving ADF!

Sorry for the late post, I wanted to wait for the monthly water weight to pass as I suspected I’d see a nice drop today. I was thrilled to see 75.1 kg (165.57 lb) this morning. I’m just over the moon! That’s a loss of 1.1 kg (2.43 lb) from my last weigh-in and a total loss of 55.2 kg (121.7 lb) to date – and it means I have only 7.1 kg (15.65 lb) to go to reach goal! How cool is that?

I am really adapting well to alternate day fasting (ADF) and just amazed that I feel great and never get hungry. Even the morning after a fast day I often don’t eat until lunch time because I am just not hungry. I think I could easily go two days in a row but right now this is working for me.

A friend asked for more information about how I do the ADF – I’ve already mentioned most of this, but I thought I’d recap briefly. It really is just this easy – I only eat every other day. While many fasting plans say women can eat up to 500 calories on a fast day (600 for men), I find it much easier to eat nothing than to eat a little. That’s just me – if it works for you, by all means eat something. I do think if you’re going to eat on your fast day, it’s better to have all your calorie allowance at one meal rather than space it out throughout the day because it’s the long periods without food that keep your insulin levels low and kick your body into fat burning. So if you eat small amounts throughout the day that might interfere with that process. But as with everything, experiment and find what works for you. Complete fasting works best for me and I’m having great results.

Now fasting means just avoiding food – you can have all the calorie-free beverages you like on a fast day. It’s cold so I often have a mug of hot tea with a bit of stevia to sweeten, especially at what would normally be considered meal times – otherwise just water or diet soft drink. The next morning I may break my fast with an Atkins shake or small can of tuna (lemon and cracked pepper or zesty vinaigrette are my favourites), or I may have nothing at all until lunch time as I’m not usually hungry.

When my fast day falls on Sunday, I don’t want to have to cook that night but I still need something for lunch on Monday – so I have two standard go-to meals to choose from. I can either grab some Chicken Tikka bites from Woolworths (they’re meant to be an appetizer for four, but they’re low carb so I just have them all) or I mix a can of no-drain tuna with some chopped celery, onion, pickle and mayonnaise and serve it on some salad greens and tomato. Either way I grab a pack of veggies from the store to have on the side which just needs to be microwaved a few minutes – sometimes it’s fresh pumpkin chunks which are really tasty, though a bit higher in carbs, and sometimes it’s frozen veggies in cheese sauce. These are quick, easy lunches with no cooking the night before.

Throughout the Dr Poon phase of my weight loss I cooked large meals so I’d have lots of leftovers to eat throughout the week. But with eating every other day, I can’t really make something that gives me five or six portions leftover unless it’s something that freezes well because it would take me twice as long to go through the leftovers. So I tend to cook just two dishes each week that make four portions each, and that gives me lunches and dinners for feast days. I’m not following strict Dr Poon on my feast days, though I do often make the same meals I did while on that plan, but my meals throughout the week are still low carb. When a feast day falls on Saturday I go out to lunch with my hubby and have whatever I like. Last weekend we went out for Thai, and I had chicken satay. I only ate a small portion of the rice that came with it, but otherwise I didn’t worry about the carb count for that one meal and just thoroughly enjoyed my lunch. It’s very freeing and so far has not triggered any cravings – and hubby and I are both very happy to renew our tradition of going out for lunch together on Saturdays, even if it’s only every other week.

That’s really it – I must confess that I haven’t been doing any exercise other than my daily walks, mostly because it’s winter and when I get home I just can’t wait to jump into my warmest sweats and relax. But then I’ve always known that while exercise is very good for you and has many benefits, weight loss really isn’t one of them. There are many experts in the field saying that very same thing these days, and that’s also been my own experience. I do still get in at least one walk every day, and if it’s rainy or too cold I just do it on my treadmill, but that’s about it.

Anyway, that’s it for now – I’ll check in again soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Big drop this week ... thank you ADF!

Oh this is clearly working for me. This week even better than last week! I am so pleased, I saw two new low weights this week. Friday I was 76.8 kg (169.32 lb). And today? Well let's just jump right to this week's results.

This morning I weighed 76.2 kg (167.99 lb) which is a loss of 2.5 kg (5.51 lb) from last week, bringing my new total loss to 54.1 kg (119.27 lb). Yes that's 5-1/2 pounds gone this week, and given where I am in my cycle I should be gaining this week! So I have just 8 kg (18 lb) to go to reach my goal.  I am thrilled.

We even went out to lunch last Saturday and out to dinner Friday night with family. I made the lowest carb choices from the menu both times, swapped hot chips (thick cut fries) for steamed veggies, and thoroughly enjoyed delicious meals.

The day after a fast I sometimes have a protein shake or small can of flavoured tuna for breakfast but often don't eat until lunch time because I'm just not hungry. So rather than eating more on feast days as some tend to do when they first start fasting, I'm generally eating less on feast days than I did before I started ADF and it's always low carb. I think you adjust, you learn to recognise when you are truly hungry as opposed to when you just feel like eating. If I am truly hungry, I eat. In fact I keep a can of tuna and an Atkins bar with me even on fast days in case I really do get hungry but I haven't needed them yet.

I'm 43% completed with Milestone 11 of 12 in Happy Scale, the app that smooths out your daily fluctuations to show your overall trend or true weight and as you can see below after weeks stalling and then starting to drift back up, since I started ADF it's a smooth drop back down. Needless to say I will continue what I'm doing. I'm loving ADF!

As for exercise? Well I haven't run for a week or so, but do get in walks at least once a day, and meet or exceed my 10,000 steps goal nearly every day. I may still run once a week or so just so I don't lose my endurance but most of the reading I'm doing these days recommends low intensity exercise over jogging as a better tool for weight loss. So far so good. Have a great weekend guys!


The coloured bits around the line show how your weight compares to 30 days ago. Green means you're lower and red means you're higher.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

First week of ADF is over and so far so good.

After having got back down to 79.3 kilos (174.83 lb) when I kickstarted my ADF plan with a two-day fast, I found through the week I would drop after a fast, go back up after eating, etc. I expected that and usually the drop was a bit more than the previous one and the gain a bit less each time. Yesterday I found myself at 78.7 kg (173.5 lb) following Friday's fast. I weighed in this morning expecting it to go back up a bit since I did eat yesterday, and to my delight it didn't. I'm still at 78.7 and that's great!

That means I've lost 0.6 kg (1.32 lb) since last week, and while I wish it was more, remember I did get a big drop right after my two-day fast, so this is really good.  I'm going to continue in the coming week, so today is a fast day, and tomorrow I'll feast. Last week Sunday was a feast day but today is a fast day, and I would really rather not cook on a day I'm not eating. But that means I won't have any leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I could easily throw together a cold salad to bring for lunch, but it's winter and I'd rather a hot lunch. Unfortunately, low-carb ready-made meals are not readily available in Australia for the most part. I have found one thing in the deli that does qualify and actually was quite tasty -- it was some Indian chicken Tikka bites I think they were called, and it's meant as an appetizer but I find if I use that as my main it's a quick, delicious protein source so I may just grab one of those with a side salad.  At least the chicken will be hot.

I got up before work twice this week to get in a run -- very difficult as I am so NOT a morning person! But I've been doing much more walking than running lately. I am using a pedometer and most days I get between 10,000 and 14,000 steps in each day so I'm pretty happy with that.

Anyway I just wanted to check in, for those of you who may still be interested, LOL. Hope you all have a great weekend. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

OK, time to give ADF a real try.

I have done my best to stay focused on my goal despite the lack of progress. But there’s a limit to my patience and last week I messed up; I’m human. No, I didn’t eat sugar or grains or any of the other garbage carbs I’ve sworn off for the last two years.  But I haven’t fasted for the last week or so, and I have let myself overindulge in what are supposed to be occasional treats. Two or three Atkins bars in a week is one thing … two or three in a day is another. A handful of peanuts is one thing … a whole bag is another. After months of trying to change things up to try and get things moving again, I had had enough and I ate these things out of frustration – then I found myself back at 82 kilos (181 pounds) on Thursday.  I determined then and there that this ends now.

Hubby is always telling me I should be focusing on how far I’ve come and how much better off I am today than I was when I started, even if I never lose any more.  That’s true, of course and I am grateful to have lost the weight – but I’m not ready to throw in the towel. If I don’t find a way to get things moving again, I’m worried the stall will become a regain, and that’s simply not acceptable.

One thing I have been doing the last few weeks is reading heaps of different books and websites, listening to various podcasts and watching lots of video lectures by Dr Andreas Eenfeldt (DietDoctor.com) and Dr Jason Fung (a world-leading expert on intermittent fasting and LCHF, especially for treating people with type 2 diabetes). The more I learn the more I keep coming back to intermittent fasting as the way to go. Dr Fung’s video lectures on treating obesity and diabetes (or diabesity as he refers to it) are fascinating. Yes his series The Aetiology of Obesity is long (six parts), and each video is an hour to an hour and 20 minutes long, but they are well worth watching. He is a proponent of alternate day fasting or ADF. I have read many articles on how it doesn’t always work as well for women, especially those of childbearing age. Some say it can cause issues like those discussed in this article.

I contacted Dr Fung via his website about these concerns and happily he wrote me back. He said that he has perhaps 300 women in his Intensive Dietary Management (IDM) program and he’s noticed no significant difference between men and women in how they respond to intermittent fasting – he believes it works equally well in both. I’ve been very much impressed with his lectures and I think this guy knows what he’s talking about. You may recall I tried 4:3 fasting for a week and didn’t feel it worked any better than 5:2. Maybe I just didn’t give it long enough to decide. Maybe it was just a bad week, I don’t know. But I've decided I am going to try ADF.

I actually started already with a two day fast – hubby was concerned but I reassured him first of all, when I go in for colonoscopies they make me fast for two days, so clearly there’s no reason to be concerned if you don't eat for a day or two. In fact I found numerous references to a man who fasted for 382 days (1 year and 17 days) under medical supervision and went from 456 pounds to 180, losing over half his body weight. So a couple of days is nothing.

Secondly, I didn’t get hungry. After finding myself at 82.1kg (181 lb) Thursday, I fasted all day Friday and the next morning I was 80.2kg (176.81 lb). I had planned to start eating at lunchtime Saturday but I just wasn’t hungry! So I fasted Saturday as well. This morning I weighed in at 79.3 kg (174.83 lb) and more importantly, I feel great! I had some leftover soup that needed to get used so I assured hubby I would be eating today – I’ve had cabbage soup for brunch, and I’m having some Kielbasa soup tonight for dinner. I’ll even have a small no-sugar-added greek yogurt for dessert. Then Monday I’ll fast again and from there it’ll be alternate day fasting (ADF).

This time I’ll give it ample time to decide whether it works for me or not. One week just isn’t long enough to tell. Most programs allow eating up to 500 calories on a fasting day, but to me that’s not fasting, that’s just calorie reduction. Plus that's harder for me to do. Studies have shown benefits from fasting that you don’t get with calorie reduction. For example, people think fasting can lower their metabolism or lose muscle mass. My research shows that may happen with reduced calorie diets, but not with intermittent fasting. Dr Fung explained that if you eat less calories, the body thinks it needs to get used to less calories, so it starts conserving energy by reducing your metabolism. But if you eat nothing, your metabolism remains higher, you remain alert and have plenty of energy to hunt for food. He points out that our species would not have survived if a few days without food left us sluggish, lacking energy and losing muscle. Besides, I do much better eating nothing than eating less, it just works for me. I can eat none, but I can't eat just one. As I said, two days fasting was easy, I had no problem with it at all and I'm thrilled with the initial results.

We all have to do what feels right for us. Some may not think fasting is a good thing but people have practiced it for centuries – most religions emphasise fasting during certain periods. Research shows it’s not only healthy, it can extend your life expectancy. I’m not going to go into all the rationale here – I have done far too much reading and sat through too many video lectures to summarise it all for you here.  Do your own research if you’re interested. Start with DietDoctor.com and Dr Fung’s site, watch this video in particular, starting at 50:50 if you want to learn more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

So that's my plan for the coming weeks. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Small drop this weekend, and free PT sessions

I did hit a new low this weekend - it's been a couple of weeks since my last record low of 77.1 kg. As reported previously I'd been bouncing between about 77.4 and 78.2 since then, so last week I did a 4:3 fast, which meant fasting for three non-consecutive days. I just wanted to give it a try, though I have read that it's not necessarily any more effective than a 5:2 fast.

I did drop this weekend but only to 77.0 kg which is a new low but only by 100g.  That brings me to 169.76 lb, so I'm still just dipping into the 160s and I really want to get a bit further entrenched. I'm not sure 4:3 necessarily helped much in that regard, though one week may not be long enough to truly evaluate how well it works. Still, I am thinking I'll either return to 5:2, or stay with 4:3 but eat something on fast days. On most IF programs, women can have up to 500 calories on a fast day and men 600 calories. I tend not to eat anything at all. It's easier for me to have nothing than to have a little. I'm a volume eater, I like to feel like I've had a meal when I eat. So if I do go that route, I think rather than spreading it out over two or three small meals, I'd save it for an evening meal. Anyway, I haven't really decided yet, we'll see how I go tomorrow.

I got in two 5k runs over the Easter weekend - I really wanted to try for 7k again but didn't have enough time due to holiday plans, but this week I'm going to give it a try again. On the two 5k runs I did, I knew I could have made the full hour again if I'd had the time and really didn't want to stop short but that's the way it goes.

I got a call last week from Vision Personal Training - you may recall I met with them in July last year and their program sounded like something I'd very much like to try, but the costs were prohibitive. Well they are under new management and are getting back to people who enquired but didn't join to offer four free training sessions. I agreed to stop in and meet with them this Wednesday, and then if it sounds good I'll schedule the four sessions after that. Why not? Even if it's still out of my price range, it can't hurt to take the four free sessions even if just to get some new exercise ideas to try. Anyway, I'll be sure and let you know how it goes Wednesday.

Daylight savings time ended here so it's brighter when I wake up now, but will soon start getting dark when I leave work. But now that I have my treadmill I need never miss a run again. I'll check in again soon. Hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holding steady, and a big hike today

Just holding steady this week, bouncing between 77 and 78 kilos (169-171 lbs). I'm going to be mixing up my fast days next week and attempting a 4:3 fast rather than 5:2. So that means 3 days fasting. I'm finding it much easier to fast on weekdays when work keeps me busy rather than on the weekend, and I just want to give it a try for a week and see how I go. If it's too much then I can go back to a 5:2 but just keep them weekdays.  We'll see how I go.

Today we took a huge hike - we've been looking for interesting new trails to walk lately, and this one through Mt Keira ring track looked very scenic. We didn't know until we got there just how challenging it would be, at least the first half ... they recommended hiking boots and now we know why. Still, it was great exercise with lots of climbing and negotiating through thick vegetation in a rainforest setting. These are not my pictures, they're from a state conservation area website, but this is the area we hiked. But the vegetation was much thicker in many areas than what you see here, and there were pockets of mud to traipse through as well. It claimed to be 5K but it felt like more than that. It took about an hour and a half so it was definitely slow going in some parts.  Still, quite lovely and scenic. (Click photos to view larger.)





Not much else to report this week, it's been great weather this weekend so we gotta enjoy that while it lasts. Daylight savings time ends in another week or two -- mornings have been darker, and once the time changes it'll start getting darker sooner after work as well. Won't be long until winter is here -- hope you all have a great weekend.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I'm in the 160s! Less than 20 lbs to goal!

I'm here, and couldn't be better! Sorry I didn't update last week, life was a bit busy, but it doesn't matter, it gets a little boring to write the same thing all the time anyway. As in "I'm still running, still doing Callanetics, still fasting twice a week but it's that week again, every four weeks where I stall or gain." But I'm back and happy to report a drop this week. I weighed in at 77.1 kg this morning which is 169.98 lbs. I'm in the 160s!! Just barely but I am! That brings my total loss to 53.2 kg / 117.29 lb. Very happy with that.

It seems surreal to say I have less than 20 pounds to go to reach goal. Wow. Can I do that in the next five months I wonder? I am going home for a visit in August this year, so it would sure be nice to be at goal then. We've been looking into airfare and it's looking like right around $1500 each at this stage. It's such a long flight from Sydney to LA, then on to Chicago (then a few hours drive as well). So we were talking to my sister-in-law yesterday who suggested we stop in Hawaii for a couple of days to break up the flight. What a lovely idea! Neither of us has ever been to Hawaii, and I really do hate that long flight. We've talked about not making this just a trip home to visit family, but also to see sights we've never seen before, travel around the country a bit, etc. So why not see Hawaii?

There is a part of me that worries about all the foods I will have access to again that I haven't had here. There is no Taco Bell here, and I can't remember the last time I had a Reuben sandwich -- those are SO GOOD.  Will I continue to fast twice a week once I'm home? I don't know - we'll see. I think whether I fast or not for those few weeks isn't as important as that I eat the right foods as much as possible. Is it realistic to think I won't try anything that has sugar or junk carbs? Maybe ... we'll see. I think a few onion rings is in order no matter what, they just don't have those in Australia (except the dehydrated formed ones you would find at Burger King, which is known as Hungry Jack's here). I really miss onion rings. But by and large I hope to stick to my new way of eating even while in America. I can always make low-carb Reuben cabbage rolls - basically Reuben filling stuffed in cabbage leaves. Wow, those sound good actually.

As for running, I haven't done so well increasing my speed this week. I haven't had as much energy for some reason. I tried both Monday and Wednesday going to 8.1 but about 20 minutes in I had to back it down to 7.8 kph. In fact on Wednesday I didn't even make the full 30 minutes, I just didn't have it in me and went back to a walk after about 23 minutes. But yesterday I did the full 30 minutes at 8.0 kph so maybe it was just a bad week. I will probably try 8.1 again this week. Hardly seems like .1 kph could make much difference, but it was my 'gain' week so maybe that had something to do with it. Alternatively I could start the 10K training -- the first day of that is 40 minutes, but you run 10 minutes, then walk one, then repeat three times. I don't know, we'll see how I feel on Monday.

The Callanetics are still working, I can feel myself getting stronger -- especially the abs. My saddlebags are shrinking slowly, my waist is smaller. I still have enough fat on my body that I can't tell if my abs are getting flatter but they sure feel stronger. It's getting much easier to do the exercises. I can curl up further on the stomach exercises, sit up straighter doing the behind exercises, and bend over much further on the waist trimmer. I can also see my legs getting slimmer, including the inner thighs. I love this workout! I use the original Callanetics from Callan Pinckney, not the newer versions.

Anyway, I've just come off a fast day and there's nothing here for breakfast, so I may have to take a walk to the store and get some eggs. Hope you all have a great weekend -- I have still been reading blogs last week even if I didn't update mine, and I'll check in with you all again soon.