Does intermittent fasting really work? You bet it does. Why is it working for me? Because I bought and read this book: The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting. I’ll share some of my main takeaways from that book with you here, but since we are all different, you might want to read the book yourself.
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How Much Weight Have I Lost with Intermittent Fasting?
Umm… don’t laugh. I’ve lost three pounds in a month. THREE POUNDS and I’m telling you this method works? Absolutely, because I lost those three pounds in December. I have NEVER in my life lost weight in December.
Let’s see, in this recent December,
- We helped make and eat homemade tamales next door, with homemade pie to top it off.
- Then there was a party down the street, where the man made a to-die-for dish, brie baked in puff pastry with jam and nuts inside. Loved it, got the recipe for it. They had good homemade cookies too, as well as some other food I tried.
- I made that brie and puff pastry thing with my husband’s exquisite homemade mango jam in it, for a Solstice party we went to across town. (At least, I walked there, while Kelly took the car and we drove home later in the evening.) Someone brought my greatest weakness, brownies, to that party, and I succumbed but I did steadfastly refuse to take any home.
- I can’t forget the open house at a local real estate office, where they had an incredible spread of lots of Mexican-American food and a variety of desserts. Since the broker at that office is a member of my church, a lot of people from that church, the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, were there, and there was lots of visiting. I ate as I chatted.
- And speaking of church, the coffee hours after the December services have had some extra goodies.
- On Christmas Eve, we had friends over for a delicious roast lamb with all the trimmings.
You see why it was an achievement that I lost three pounds that month? No wonder that I say that intermittent fasting really works!
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
It simply means that you fast part of the time. I am using what I think is the easiest schedule, the 16-hour fast, also called the 16/8 fast. You start eating at a time of your choice… I generally start eating at noon and stop at 8 PM. That works easily into my life with other people. I’m not a purist about it, either… I will start eating early or stop late if there are reasons to.
The fasts as described in The Complete Guide to Fasting are not that hard to do. You are supposed to be sure you drink enough liquids, and coffee is permitted, as are all forms of tea.
Sure, I get hungry at times, but there are things I can do about that. I can have a little cream, milk, almond milk, or whatever in my cup of tea or coffee. I can have chia seeds, and they really knock out the hunger. In fact, I now carry little containers of them in my purse for when I am out. I can also have homemade bone broth, and I cheat a little there and also use the bone broth I get at my local health food store.
Just checked and Amazon has it in a variety of flavors and sizes. Here’s one, for example: Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth, Chicken with Ginger, 8-Ounce Cartons, 12-Pack.
You can also have spices such as cinnamon, and you can have apple cider vinegar. So you don’t have to be hungry much during your fasting hours.
During your non-fasting hours, you eat whatever suits you. I normally eat lots of veggies and salads, some meat and other protein, and low carb. I’ve eaten this way for several years and it suits me.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
During the hours that you are not eating, your body finishes digesting whatever you ate. Then you still need energy so your own fat becomes the fuel. When you return to eating, your digestive system easily adapts to that.
What I Learned from That Book
I learned about several ways of fasting. I thought for a while that I would try an extended multi-day fast, but I realized that wouldn’t suit my life, where I’d be smelling my husband cooking his meals. Might try that sometime when he is away, but for now, I’m taking Dr. Fung’s advice to make my fasting fit into my life.
I learned that intermittent fasting is good for your health overall, not just for weight. It’s good for your system to have that break.
The list of what I ate at the holiday parties is NOT a recommended way of eating! But they do say in the book that vacations, holidays, and weddings are special cases.
So… Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work?
You bet! I expect to continue this way of eating indefinitely, only without the holiday excesses. I always walk a fair amount and I will continue that!