I have been experimenting with fasting for the past 6 months.
Well, it started when my sister, who suffers from Hashimotos, was struggling to lose weight for a few years. And through an interesting regimen of fasting and short bursts of activity over a few months she finally lost the weight.
I had also been struggling to lose body fat for over a year postpartum. I've tried EVERYTHING that has worked in the past after having a baby... only to realize yet again that this body I have now, is very different than the body I had in the past. I had a hysterectomy to save my life during the very abnormal risky birth of my last baby. Which, I am learning, affects how your body uses body fat and loses body fat.
Back story on my sister and what we found---
Almost 2 years prior, my sister was working out like crazy, and eating pretty well, but was so frustrated with a few areas on her body that just weren't changing. Like the area behind her arms, and her hips. She did some research and talked to several doctors. We consulted many times as I am one of her resources for nutrition intel and support, and she kept me abreast of all the information she was given and we cross referenced. Her query could be summed up to be "weight loss for women over 35, especially weight loss for women who have hormone imbalance either from menopause, thyroid disorders like Hashimotos, or hysterectomy." She eventually found a doctor and physical trainer online who specialized in these areas and offered a bundle of workout regimens and sample eating scheduled for a small fee. She paid the fee, downloaded the pdf's, and began following it. After seeing some success, she shared the information with me.
I was amazed.
WHAT did it say?
Was it some crazy food elimination diet? no. Was it some food restriction list? No. Was it a strange workout regimen I'd never seen before? Nope.
It was a very BASIC regimen of intermittent fasting, but not put in so little words. ;) Along with the intermittent fasting layout, was a few interesting instructions about WHAT time of DAY to workout, and when to stop eating for maximum fat loss.
The eating schedule looked VERY familiar to what I teach in the mindful eating course, click here to enroll in that 2bMindset program.
So what did I learn from the PDF's my sister shared with me?
For my eating schedule, I needed to wait to eat in the mornings until AFTER a workout, and give my body a good 2 hours post workout to dig into my fat stores for energy and pull all the sugar from my blood, helping me become more insulin sensitive and do one long fast each week to train my body to regularly use fat stores for energy. I learned that most women over 35 or that have hormone imbalance and need to lose weight, are also insulin resistant need to let the body use fat stores as energy as much as possible, which does help with insulin sensitivity. Intermittent fasting has been done for centuries. It's just coming back to light. It means eating during just 7-8 hours out of every 24. Again, this is simply intermittent fasting. Something that you can google CLICK HERE to learn more.
For my workouts, I needed routines that had short bursts of cardio (10 minutes or so) like climbing stairs, burpees, etc. (also known as HIIT workouts ;) ) and longer periods of strength training without any equipment (20+ minutes daily) like pushups, lunges, etc. (also known as yoga and pilates ;) ) AND I needed to workout in the MORNING so that my body could work through the high calorie burn while I was awake and could feed it within a few hours.
I felt very AFFIRMED in what I already teach. I felt very excited, honestly, that this information is already out there for people to use, and see results with, it just isn't labeled for specific people like the PDF's my sister received.
All I needed to do to experiment with the fasting part, since I already have a firm schedule down with the food and workout instructions.
It is interesting to note- as I am a firm believer in the spirit/body/mind connection- that during this time I was doing an intentional study in the Bible and other spiritual works regarding what Jesus Christ taught about living joyfully and I began to notice a pattern of instruction to FAST. I noticed that Jesus himself fasted multiple times in an effort to clear his mind, gain strength (doesn't that seem like an oxymoron?), and move forward in a spirit of service for others. He suggested multiple times that His people fast "often" for strength. And fast often with the intent of gaining power over the physical need for food, and learning to live on the spiritual "food" of service, prayer, and communion more often. Promising this would bring more real and lasting JOY into our lives. I had made it a personal goal to experiment with fasting every Sunday and strive to only have 1 meal on Sunday's.
Having made this fasting goal very near to the same time I had learned about what my sister had found, it all seemed to come together rather seamlessly! I do no doubt that God was orchestrating this for my higher good the entire time.
I was READY.
I had all the pieces now.
What followed, was 5 months of steady weight loss, after 18 months of NO steady progress! WHAT???
I was honestly amazed. The weight just came off. I wasn't restricting my foods= meaning I was eating bread and cookies and steak and all the things. I was just eating them within the hours of 10am and 6pm, and following my 2Bmindset principles and plating guides. I was doing my workout in the morning, a yoga based regimen with bursts of cardio 5-6 days a week for 18-30 minutes with my online gym options.
In 5 months I lost 15 lbs. At the time of writing this article, I am just 3 lbs from my goal weight that puts me in a healthy BMI, and has been my "happy place" if you will in terms of my physical fitness and body shape as well as helps my predisposition for diabetes type 2 stay at bay.
WAS IT HARD TO FAST so much?
This was SO fascinating to me.
The answer overall, is NO.
But it's true!
The first couple of Sunday's it was different, but my body did just fine. I drank water but no food. I never had a headache, just felt a little hungry by about 2pm. Then I would eat a light snack around 3pm, and a dinner around 5-6pm and be done for the day.
The first couple of days going until 10am for breakfast wasn't bad either. I drank water after my workouts, and tea and meditated and prayed and then started my workday like usual. Honestly I felt more control in my focusability at work and much benefit from the meditation having not been stifled with the affects of food.
I can say that, true to the Word of Jesus Christ AND science :) I have gained strength through fasting so often. I have gained an incredible amount of power in my mind over body. I have gained a new appreciation for the purpose of my food and the nourishment and fun and JOY it brings my life. I have lost 15+ lbs, but I have gained a beautiful perspective on the power of not giving into the hunger I feel right away- in learning to listen to the cues of my body, and seeking out what other needs it might have besides physical nourishment. Crazy that all that can happen just from a few months of eating this way! But it is wonderful!
I will say----I used to get SO hungry I'd get headaches and feel nauseous. The idea of fasting so often had me feeling wary. I feared I would be irritable. But quite the opposite has happened. I'm not irritable, I'm actually more in control more often, as I've learned to not react to things right when I feel them. I'm learning to take a second to check in with myself and choose my actions more wisely and calmly. Its worth trying for sure if you are unsure!
If you struggle with:
hormone issues like thyroid, pcos, post hysterectomy
postpartum weight loss
over 35 and working out and nothing is happening
Then you need to enroll in this program or email me for questions and we'll chat firstname.lastname@example.org , and you'll have access to join my success group and have me to cheer you on and track your progress. Every one of my clients who works through the mindful eating 2bMindset program AND incorporates this fasting AND has genuine support from me as a real person in your corner, sees results. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Time for you to join the party my friend.
See you soon-