I’ve shared in my blog posts that cutting Gluten 100% out of my diet and following a somewhat Paleo diet, moderate carb has provided huge health benefits for me.
I’ve lost 20 pounds of weight permanently regardless of calorie/carb intake. I haven’t had a cold or flu in over 2 years. My anaphylaxis allergies (nuts, chocolate, citrus, sulfites) are gone as long as I take a regular probiotic most days. My colon cancer/polyps and intestinal inflammation are gone. My GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) of 20 years is gone.
However. I still have at least 50 pounds to lose and I’d have to lose 80 for an “ideal” weight that I had at 18 years old. Probably no longer realistic. I was 5 pounds more than that at 27 years old so 75 pounds is probably the very most I could lose. And that would depend on muscle – I can weigh an additional 10-15 pounds if I’m really muscular, as I’m naturally a mesomorph body type.
In addition to weight I’m still having some pretty major health issues, mostly related to Prediabetes: magnesium and potassium deficiency, “sticky blood,” hyperinsulinism, abdominal obesity (just in front, the fat is gone from my waist), blurry vision, lightheadedness, swelling/edema in legs, chronic exhaustion, low respiratory capacity, varicose veins, etc.
I’ve been reading a lot online about Intermittent Fasting lately. It purports to improve all my remaining issues, so I decided to give it a try after reading Dr. Jason Fung’s book, The Obesity Code.
Since I have thyroid issues (Hashimoto’s) and adrenal issues/low blood pressure and still some vitamin/mineral absorption issues, I wasn’t sure I could do it. Recent experiments with both super low carb and carb cycling ended badly.
But it’s turned out to be AMAZING. I am on day 6 now and feel great!
I chose the 16/8 IF version, sometimes referred to as The 8 Hour Diet or Lean Gains.
I did just 2 days at first, delaying breakfast until I got hungry. Now I eat between 11 am to 7 pm. The 3rd and 4th days I got very thirsty and started drinking coconut water during “feeding” periods to provide more electrolytes (an ongoing issue for me regardless of fasting). Also bathing in Epsom salt for magnesium. I read online that cod liver oil and MCT oil (concentrated coconut) help too so I try to include them daily and they really did help. I ONLY drink black coffee (up to 2 cups), herbal tea or water/mineral water when fasting.
Now my appetite is greatly reduced, similar to a moderate carb diet, but I can tolerate carbs already better than before. I have more energy too. I did have some insomnia last couple nights & took melatonin, but that is supposed to pass soon. Day 6 I’m only a little bit thirsty. My ADHD seems to have improved also; I can focus longer. I already lost 2 pounds and it came right off my belly. I’m pretty happy about that!
I’m due for a blood test in a week so perfect timing. I plan to keep this up all year if I can, both to lose weight and repair the extensive oxidative damage in my body. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and results!
UPDATE: Day 10 and feeling great! Stomach getting flatter daily. Down 3 lbs now! I checked and I’m actually eating too many calories/carbs -although I’m losing anyway, I’ll try to rein it in a bit with less treats. I feel like I can really stick with this! Back to normal sleep patterns again now – the insomnia only lasted a few days. Fasting seems to have a beneficial effect on my nerves and circulation so I hope I can stick with it! My legs and feet are so much better in just 10 days.
UPDATE #2: Wow! Day 11, down another pound and I lost an inch off my waist! I didn’t lose that inch previously when I lost 15 pounds. I feel like this is real fat loss. Even more amazing since I tracked my food yesterday and was 1,066 calories over maintenance and ate 371 g carbs. Normally I’d be really sick and bloated next day after eating that many carbs. I’ll try to eat healthier today though. I may try to extend my fasting window a little bit today since I really overdid it yesterday.
UPDATE #3: I think I’ve found the missing link for sure. I’ve been able to continue the fasting for a few weeks now. My circulation continues to improve, along with my mental cognition and focus, and I’m getting a little more energy. It’s getting easier to stick to maintenance calories now and I’m eating about 150-250 g carbs. I have kept off the four pounds of weight loss and the inch off my waist. I’m sure as I adapt I will lose even more. I only cheated 3 times total so far when I felt a bit hungry & sick, so I went ahead and had a snack, but got right back on the program after that. I’ve noticed that including enough fat/protein prevents this. Overall, I’m doing much better than I expected with my history of thyroid & adrenal issues & hypoglycemia. I would like to lower my carbs a bit more as I progress, aiming for about 100 g daily.