I’ve Had Success With Intermittent Fasting
Back in the beginning of August, I decided to try intermittent fasting. I’d heard good things about how it can help you lose weight, control your A1C, and even help your high blood pressure.
I was able to hold off eating until lunchtime every day for nearly three months. During that time, I lost 15 pounds and my A1C dropped by .1, which might not be much, but It was enough to make me believe this experiment was working for me.
After I saw my doctor, I decided to have a cheat week. And that cheat week turned into a cheat month. In that amount of time, I gained 10 pounds. I decided to start my habit of intermittent fasting again the first full week of December. Of course, I probably will not fast on Christmas day, but for the rest of the month, I’m going to see if I can keep myself from eating until noon every day.
Ask Your Doctor and Do Your Research
Intermittent fasting is not for every person. There are a lot of people who should avoid fasting. From what I understand, teenagers and children should avoid fasting because their bodies are still growing. Senior citizens should avoid fasting because they need nutrition to battle the effects of aging.
Those affected by addiction, depression, or eating disorders should also stay away from fasting.
When I met with my doctor in November, I discussed with him my new habit of intermittent fasting. He asked me a few questions about how I felt, whether or not I got dizzy or fell asleep when I didn’t eat. he was looking for adverse effects of not eating for 16 hours a day.
Once he was sure it wasn’t hurting my body in any way, he was all for me to continue what I was doing. And, of course, I decided to use that win to give me permission to cheat for a month, which led to a bit of weight gain.
This is my disclaimer. Consult your doctor before you make any life changes or follow any diet suggestions from anybody, Including intermittent fasting. I am not a doctor. I am not a professional. The following is just my experience. Make sure you seek out the proper professionals about what you want to do with your health and determine with their help what is healthy for your body.
1. Work an Early Shift
My job gets me up at 3:45 in the morning to be at work at 5 AM. I love this shift because I am done with work by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This is also good for my intermittent fasting because I can eat closer to 12 o’clock without too much trouble, mostly because I am keeping my mind busy by working until that time.
I end up taking my lunch break at 9 AM, sometimes 10 AM. To keep myself from eating, I will either take a nap or do some writing or find a store to visit. I like to go to Goodwill and look through their books. There are six different locations within 10 or 15 miles from my store. I can rotate through them, going to one every week or so.
I also have to admit I spend a lot of my lunch break surfing social media or watching YouTube videos. This entertains my mind while I am trying not to eat any food.
Other days when it is busy, sometimes I will even skip my lunch break or wait until noon to take it. Those days are few and far between because if I take my lunch at 12 and go home at two, that only leaves me an hour to work between lunch and punch-out time.
2. Read When You’re Hungry
I like to read. So I keep a number of kindle e-books on my cell phone at all times. This way I can pull up something to read when I have a moment that is not occupied by some other facet of my life.
Reading can get your mind off of things that are bothering you or hunger pangs that might need to be ignored. So when I find myself at work standing at my desk waiting for something or other to happen or be completed, I will open up my Kindle app and read a few hundred words.
Reading will keep my mind off of that noise my stomach might be screaming at me. I let those fictional worlds take over or even if it’s only for a moment or two, until my next obligation arises forcing me into my next segment to work.
3. Write or Make Something to Distract Your Mind
I have a current goal of writing one page a day on the novel that I am writing. The way I see it, if I write one page every day for the entire year, I will have a 365-page novel.
I also like to journal what is happening every day, and sometimes I’ll even write down my feelings. journaling is a great way to put down the emotions and interactions you are having with your body during your fasting period, during the times when you are feeling the hunger and the need to eat.
You don’t have to write if that is not your passion or drive. You can do all kinds of creative things. Maybe you like to crochet or knit. Maybe you like to paint or design webpages or build models and miniatures for the D&D game you play every week.
Whatever the case, use your hobby to distract your mind from the fact that you are not eating. Use those things to draw attention away from the food that might be in your drawer or down the hall in the fridge. Use them to help you ignore your desire to snack on whatever is easiest to grab and eat.
4. Drink Water to Trick Your Stomach
It doesn’t have to be water. But In my experience, it does need to be calorie-free. Water is the best way to go because water will clean out your system. It will get rid of all the toxins and help your bowels to clean themselves as you fast.
I like to have caffeine in the morning. So I will either drink coffee, black without the creamers or sugar because that will actually break my fast. Most of the time, I will drink a diet soda, my favorite being Mountain Dew Zero. These don’t have the calories that will break your fast.
When you find yourself hungry, drink something. Usually, that will calm your stomach for the time being, getting you closer to your goal time.
5. Talk With Other Fasters
Probably the one thing that helps me the most is knowing that other people are doing the same thing. We can help each other understand the pain and suffering that goes along with not eating for 16 hours per day.
For those times that you find yourself struggling, just making a quick phone call or sending a simple text message is enough to give you that extra self-control to not pick up something to eat. Your body is hungry and wants you to feed it. And you will when it’s the right time.
What is really fun is when you are in your window to eat, the food that you eat is so much sweeter. The food tastes better, and you appreciate it more because you only get it in your eight-hour window. So it’s a good time to get together with your friends and eat the food you normally don’t get to eat.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Robert T Gasperson