My Experience With Intermittent Fasting
My husband started intermittent fasting in 2019. He lost 35 pounds, most of it from his belly.
He touted the benefits to anyone who would listen. I watched from afar. What he lost in weight, I gained.
I blame my weight gain on my age. Since I hit my 50s, I have gained at least one pound a month and it keeps rising — regardless of the amount of exercise I do.
My exercise routine consists of walking for 30 minutes every day on my lunch break. In the summer, I bike for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I strength train using free weights and exercise bands.
I decided to test my husband’s theory that if I fasted between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. (15-hour fast) I would lose weight.
Traditionally, upon waking, I ate a sliced apple with nut or almond butter. I say traditionally because I am a creature of habit and have eaten this same breakfast for years. But I gave up my morning ritual and opted for a cup of black coffee instead.
At 10:00 a.m. I brewed myself a black coffee at work. I broke my fast with carrot sticks (2 whole carrots).
At 11:00 a.m., I drank a lunch smoothie. I created my smoothie with frozen mixed berries, frozen salad (salad kit from Costco with broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale), powdered whey protein, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, hemp hearts, pepper, turmeric powder, dates, and water.
The period after lunch and until 7:00 pm was my “free” time to eat. I packed a handful of nuts, celery sticks, three dried figs, and a whole apple. And I tried to stay away from processed sugar. However, my cravings sometimes took over and I ate foods that wouldn’t be considered the healthiest choice.
I drank lots of water. But that’s never been a problem for me. I love water and am fortunate to have a filtered water station set up in the hallway close to my office.
Supper is always a difficult time for me because I don’t enjoy cooking. My hubby does the cooking but he always asks, “What do you want for supper?”
This is the worst question he could ask! I HATE that question. I would much rather he just make something and present it to me. I’m not a picky eater. I just never know what I want to eat. If I were to win the lottery, the first thing I would buy is a personal chef to cook my meals.
My problem isn’t that I eat at night but rather that I don’t stop eating after supper. I can eat a nice meal, and then have something for dessert, but then I want to keep eating regardless of how full I am. I would sometimes continue to eat, even when I wasn’t hungry, just because I was allowed to until I forced myself to stop at 7:00 p.m.
At the end of doing this routine for a month… I gained a pound. Sigh.
- I lost more weight on Weight Watchers (WW). When I was on WW I limited the number of calories I consumed. During Intermittent Fasting (IF), I didn’t keep track of calories so I ate what I wanted and as much as I wanted during my “free time.” Even if it’s healthy food, I could eat too much of it.
- I realized that I don’t need to eat something immediately upon waking. I can wait to eat breakfast when I’m actually hungry.
- Exercise is good for the heart, lungs, brain, etc. but not as important as what you eat for weight loss.
- Intermittent Fasting does not go into the “why” of eating. Why do I eat when I’m not hungry?
Although I had high hopes to lose weight on Intermittent Fasting, I believe the best way for me to see the numbers go down on the scale is to track my food choices and limit the number of calories I consume.
I’m happy my husband lost that weight. But unfortunately, he couldn’t maintain the Intermittent Fasting way of living and has since gained it all back.
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