I have always believed that “health is wealth”. To live my best life, I need to make health a priority so that I can feel good and have enough energy to enjoy the fullest life possible. I have seen far too many people taken too soon or become handicap at a younger age than they should have because they didn’t take care of their bodies.
Maintaining a healthy body weight has been the most challenging for me as I age. Both of my parents always seemed to eat whatever they wanted and rarely exercised, yet never got fat. I inherited the petite body frame from them, but not the inability to gain weight. Since 2017, I have been slowly gaining weight – about 2 pounds per year. I know it may not seem like a lot to some, but it can add up over the years. I have tried many different methods to get my body weight back to what it was four or five years ago, but nothing has been sustainable for me.
This past September, I got tasked with driving into Boston twice a week for work. This involved about three hours of drive time round trip. To pass the time in the car, I decided to start listening to audio books. I started with a couple that were recommended from friends and I really enjoyed them. When I finished those, I needed to find something else to listen to. I thought it might be helpful to listen to a book that would motivate me to become healthier. As I browsed through titles and listened to samples, I came across the book “The Obesity Code” (https://amzn.to/2OTI3q6)
As I listened to the book, so many light-bulbs went off in my head. I quickly realized what I have been doing wrong and why my weight has not been coming off, despite my dieting and exercise efforts. The book explains that “weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones – in everyone – and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss”. The book promotes Intermediate Fasting as a means to control insulin levels.
I have been following the advice from the readings since January and have seen my weight go down for the first time in almost four years. I feel like I have finally found something that that fits into my lifestyle that works. Intermediate fasting allows me the flexibility to enjoy a social life and loose weight. I simply fast while I am working and eat when I have plans. I have noticed that I have more energy and mental clarity when I fast as well. The book explains the many health benefits that are associated with fasting. I love that it is a lifestyle choice, not a program that anyone else profits from. In fact, it’s free and saves me money because I am not buying so much food.
I felt like the book helped me so much that I decided to listen to the follow up book “Life in the Fasting Lane”(https://amzn.to/3qORCot) . I didn’t get as much out of it as I did the first one, but it was definitely worth the read. Together, the two books have motivated me to incorporate healthy eating with intermediate fasting as a lifestyle choice for myself. I will admit that I am fairly new (and perhaps a bit over excited with my new weight loss) so will need to follow up in a few months to let you know how it is still working out for me. I will say that the book recommended joining an online support group – so I did. I found so many people are having success with IF, that it gives me hope that this will really work. I also will admit that it is work. I find that it is more mentally challenging than physically challenging and takes time to build up to. I started out just skipping breakfast. Then when I mastered that, I began to skip lunch some days. Then when I could handle that, I decided to try a longer fast and was able to go 40 hours! I honestly could have gone longer. I drink plenty of water and just keep myself busy while fasting. I love how I feel, so I think that is extremely motivating to me. If I am having a tough day emotionally, I tend to have a harder time fasting. I’m pretty sure that’s called emotional eating…HA…HA!
If you are not seeing the results you are looking for, I recommend learning about intermediate fasting. In addition to these two books, I have done research online about IF. There are some concerns that I have read about. However, there are concerns with almost any diet that you do. If you have any type of underlying health condition, you should check with your doctor about what is right for you. This is common sense. If you abuse the diet, it can be unhealthy – again common sense. You can’t fast for twenty hours a day and then eat junk food for four hours and expect to feel good or be healthy. Your body needs nutritious foods. Ultimately, it is the science behind fasting that made sense to me and made me want to try it. If I fast, I can eat healthy most of the time and still enjoy my favorite foods while loosing weight!