Intermittent Fasting – Lose Weight and Stay Healthy
Intermittent Fasting or the fast diet, as it is more commonly known, has been around for some time and has many advocates but does it really work and why do so many people rave about it?
Well, I can tell you it does work and if you want to read about my experience of the fasting diet then you can read my story here.
There are different ways to do the fast diet, but basically the principle is to greatly reduce your calorie intake for varying periods of time depending on the type of fasting diet you are undertaking.
Most people when they think of fasting think of going without food for days, this is misleading in this instance. Intermittent fasting allows you to eat two or three times a day if you choose. It is very flexible.
Whilst it has been around for some time it was made famous by Dr Michael Mosley a medically trained British Journalist and presenter who made a BBC documentary about fasting called Eat Fast and Live Longer. Watch the documentary Eat Fast And Live Longer
After looking at various fasting methods, he settled on the 5:2 Diet which involves eating normally for 5 days and fasting for 2 days.
The 5:2 is how I got into fasting and the results have been nothing short of amazing. I feel healthier, fitter and light on my feet. I am at the lowest weight I have been for many years and yet I still partake all of the things traditional or conventional diets recommend that you cut out.
Why Intermittent Fasting Works
All diets work by consuming less calories than you body burns. Sounds simple in principle but in practise it is not quite that simple in my humble opinion. And I base that on years of experience and failed attempts to control my weight.
Fasting is no different to dieting, in that you reduce your calorie intake.
We are told that we should cut out sugary and fatty foods, eat a healthy and balanced diet, restrict our alcohol intake (yea right) and exercise several times a week. No cream cakes, fish and chips, crisps, Cadburys cream eggs or chocolate biscuits. McDonalds is out and so is pizza!
Problem is everyone knows once you ‘pop’ a box of Pringles you just can’t stop. It says it in the advert and boy is it true.
Whilst those with willpower may be able to control their craving for custard tarts and mars bars, people like myself who have the breaking strain of a kit-kat struggle to keep their grubby mitts out of the biscuit cupboard and off the scrumpy jack cider.
With intermittent fasting it does not matter, I do not feel guilty and then give up if I eat the odd family size bar of galaxy.
Psychology Of The Intermittent Fasting – How It Works
The first thing is not too look at this as a diet. Fasting is more of a long-term life choice. But, before you close the page and stop reading. It is NOT as hard as you might think. I promise you.
The REASON intermittent fasting works is that it is easy to do. It is as simple as that. The thing is with the fast diet nothing is off limits when it comes to food or drink.
I hate being told what to do and as soon as I know I can’t have something I start to want it. Even if I did not want it before. Strange that eh?
Am I the only one to argue with myself over whether I should open another bottle of wine or packet of nobby’s nuts? No, I don’t think I am. The one good thing, is that it is an argument I always win, whatever the outcome. I usually agree with myself that I will open up the bottle and only have one more glass but then have another one while I am not looking!
So, basically with the fasting, specifically the 5:2 fast diet, nothing is banned. You dont have to deprive yourself and can eat what you want for 5 days of the week.
On the two days that you are fasting you restrict yourself to 500 calories or 600 for men. I personally fast on a Monday and a Thursday and, if I get a craving for sausage and chips on Monday, I remind myself that I can have that tomorrow.
The strange thing is that when tomorrow comes, I have gone off the idea and tend to eat something far more healthy. In fact, I rarely eat chips, pizzas, battered sausages or chocolate anymore. (Notice I did not include alcohol there)
I don’t miss them either. It is like my relationship to food has changed over time. The fact I have lost more than 17 Kilos (more than 2.5 stone) and still losing weight every week may have created this paradigm shift for me.
If I do choose to have a blowout, I do not feel guilty about it. Why? Because nothing is banned on non fast days. You can eat what you bloody well like.
How Does It Work
I am consuming less calories during fast days and, over time, as my stomach has shrunk I now eat less during the rest of the week as well. It is a downward spiral and, in this case, that is a really good thing.
I now choose to eat less crap and therefore my food choices have improved.
All of this adds up to a lowering of my body weight, BMI and cholesterol and a feeling of well-being that I have not had for some time.
The reality is, it does not matter how or why it works, the fact is I am continuing to lose weight and yet eating and drinking whatever I like on non-fasting days.
Side Effects Of The Fast Diet
In my case, ALL of the side effects have been positive apart from having to buy new clothes as all my trousers are too big now. I have far more energy, feel great and enjoy walking and jogging again. I also have a feeling of achievement and proud of myself for making it happen.
Not that it has been a challenge, to be fair.
As you put on weight over time, you don’t really notice the difference in your abilities to do things or the deterioration in your health. Getting up from a settee, climbing the stairs or chasing the wife around the bedroom gets harder.
Your joints ache and you get out of breath climbing the stairs or going to the fridge and, if I used public transport I assume running for a bus would have been an issue.
I made the excuse that it was my age, as you get older these things are supposed to happen. I think I actually believed it as well but the truth is, it was not to do with my age, it was down to my weight causing all these issues.
As I have lost weight, my joints have stopped aching, getting up from the sofa is no longer a problem and the wife is having to run faster.
I have so much more energy and can bound up the stairs in a single leap. Actually, that is not true (yet) but you get the picture.
Health Benefits Of Fasting
There are many purported health benefits to fasting. Over the next few weeks we will go into a lot more detail of the tests that have been carried out and the results.
However, fasting has proven to lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, control diabetes and even help you to live longer.
Of course the very fact that you are losing weight has numerous health benefits and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and other weight related issues.
Eat Fast And Lose Weight – How To Get Started
The one thing I suggest is start NOW. Dont procrastinate. You don’t need any special equipment or foods, shakes or tablets. You don’t even need to take exercise, although if you do it will help to speed up the process and get you fitter.
You can start today or tomorrow or choose your two days and just do it!.
If you are invited to go out on a fast day for a meal or a few drinks, just change the days, it is flexible, as long as you do the two days.
For more details on getting started click here