Intermittent fasting as a form of weight loss and mindful eating focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat. When your body goes without food for 12 hours or more it goes into ketosis and begins to use up fat stores. Eat normally and consciously during the scheduled eating hours and you are on your way to slimming down.
Fall Into Fasting, not Feasting
Hurray, I lost 1 pound!
I don’t know about you but I have really been struggling trying to keep the rolls to a minimum. I’m not talking about dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls (Yum:), I’m talking about about rolls around the belly.
I really hate to complain because I feel so grateful that most of my life I have never considered weight a problem, but once I crossed “over the hill” I have been forced to reassess and change a few of my habits.
When I hit 40 I began to see unwelcome additional curves in my physique and grew somewhat concerned but even at that time, I was able to adjust slightly and remain in the same pant size. I would simply cut back a little and walk a little farther or more often and that extra pound or 2 would disappear again.
Turning 50, was a whole new ball game. Somewhere along the line I became nearly 10 pounds heavier than I had ever been and my old techniques for trimming weight no longer worked. Ken, a guy who used to have to put real effort into gaining weight, was having as much difficulty as I, because he is even older (whisper voice).
Now we both are very conscious of everything we eat and drink.
Things really hit home earlier this year when we started planning our trip to Italy and we both wanted to, not only look great for the wedding we were attending, but be in better physical shape for sightseeing. We knew touring was going to be taxing so we wanted to be prepared.
I set a goal to lose 5 pounds and started the intermittent fasting diet in March, 4 months prior to our departure for Italy. When it comes to dieting I am not good at weighing things (except myself) and counting points and/or portions has never been something I wanted to make a part of my routine.
In fact, I never wanted to diet. Ever.
Through fasting I did find success and lost 6 lbs before I left on my trip to Italy. I know 6 pounds in 4 months is really nothing to boast about but I did it without much effort and the weight has stayed off so I am thrilled.
Strategy for Success
Intermittent fasting is abstaining from eating for a set amount of time. In other words, an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule.
This plan focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat which was extremely attractive to me since it did not require weighing out portions or buying different food.
What I learned about fasting did not sound like a diet at all merely a tweak to my daily routine.
The science behind intermittent fasting shows that after extended period of time without calorie input, your body will have exhausted all of its sugar stores and then begins to use up fat stores. They call this ketosis
Sounds So Simple
If your body goes without food for extended periods, 12 hours or more, your sugar stores will be exhausted and then your body will start to use up what it is storing as fat.
The 2 main types of fasting schedules follow either 16:8 daily fast or 5:2 weekly. The daily fast allows you to eat normally during any 8 hour period per day while fasting the last 16 hours.
Don’t worry you can build up to it and there are many variations so figure out which one works best for you.
The weekly fast allows 5 days of wholesome food on your own regular schedule and 2 days fasting, consuming only 1 moderate meal and no-calorie liquids the other 2 days.
We Need to Make A Choice
In the last 50 years our lifestyles have changed drastically. In general folks used to exercise more, eat more natural foods and portions sizes were smaller so it was easier to maintain a healthy weight no matter how old you were.
In 2021 the average household reportedly had 25 connected devices in the home, to include computers, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, TVs, fitness trackers, etc. Can you believe that?
Our lives in the 21st century are ruled by connectivity. We chat, we game, we are working and even meeting friends online and we do all this while we are sitting and eating, or snacking on processed food and drinking beverages loaded with sugar. We are eating more calories and are less active than ever before.
When your body is constantly running on the steady stream of calories you are not burning any fat. This modern lifestyle has resulted in higher rates of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, commonly referred to as lifestyle diseases.
Research shows that intermittent fasting can help with weight loss and improve your health. Remember these tips to help you eat more wholesome foods that will help you feel full during the day and content through hours of fasting.
- Eat high volume foods- grapes, melon, raw veggies and popcorn low cal foods that will help you feel full
- Season meals generously to increase flavor without adding calories
- Beans, lentils, eggs, fish and nuts are nutrient dense, protein-rich and high in healthy fat
On this plan I do feel better, healthier, and it keeps me from snacking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type that will eat an entire bag of chips when I want a snack. What I will do is eat a snack instead of a meal. A little while later, I might have a little more snack and a little later eat a little more. Always just a little though! Fasting helped me see the pattern and regulate my meals better.
During the periods when you are eating “normally” you must be conscious of what exactly you are eating to make the diet effective. Don’t be silly and break your fast by eating highly processed or junk food. Make a few changes to your diet to be sure you are eating low calorie, healthy foods that will benefit your body throughout the day as well as the fasting periods.
I found fasting to be a great way to take inventory of what I was eating and also found it to be easy to stick to while traveling. Honestly, in Italy there are lots of rules around what and when food was available so we had no problem sticking to our fasting schedule and I did not gain weight at all while vacationing for 2 weeks!!
In the U.S. food is available 24/7 at your fingertips. We eat whenever we want and whatever we feel like. No rules. No schedule. Our health is at risk because of all of this convenience.
During our months of pre-Italy fasting and up to this day, 7 months later I have rediscovered a recipe I have found myself making again and again. It has been a wonderful substitute for my unhealthy snacking habit on salty chips and too many nuts In preparation of my kitchen demolition, I made sure we had plenty on hand.
Maple & Pecan Granola laced with shredded coconut is the perfect choice any time of day. Scroll down for recipe.
It is fantastic with greek yogurt or any kind of yogurt. Ken has even come around and enjoys a bowl with fruit for breakfast or simply a hearty snack around 3pm to tide him over til dinner. He has even indulged in a healthy wholesome bowl with milk for dessert.
The intermittent fasting diet worked for me and continues to work because I am happy to report that I am down 1 more pound! However, it may not be ideal for everyone. You should not start this diet if you are prone to disordered eating or if you have diabetes or other blood sugar problems. If you are pregnant or under 18 you should not consider this a great option either, if you have any concerns whatsoever, please consult with your physician before starting any diet.
If you are not in any of the categories listed above and find yourself in the same boat as me where the digits on the scale just keep creeping higher and higher, I urge you to make a few important changes to your diet and give intermittent fasting a go. For many people, it is a safe and satisfying approach to weight loss.
I would love to hear about your experience with a fasting diet or any other diet you found success following. Just leave me a comment below.
When you make Homemade Maple & Pecan Granola you will need:
Shredded Unsweetened Coconut Flakes or Chips
***What is the difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil? Refined has been through more processing and will have less noticeable coconut flavor. For cooking with high heat you may want to choose refined because smoke point is higher. If you don’t mind a mild coconut flavor on your foods choose organic unrefined. They are almost interchangeable just depends on taste preference and lifestyle choices.
Maple & Pecan Granola
- September 18, 2022
- 30 min
- Print this
- 3 c rolled oats
- 1 c shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 c coconut oil
- 1/2 c real maple syrup
- Step 1
- Preheat oven to 350
- Step 2
- Prepare a 17x 11 jelly roll pan or roasting pan with sides with foil allowing ends to hang over slightly
- Step 3
- In a very large bowl mix together the oats, cinnamon, coconut and pecans
- Step 4
- Add coconut oil and syrup and stir very well to coat evenly
- Step 5
- Spread mixture onto prepared pan in even layer
- Step 6
- Bake for 10 minutes then remove and carefully turn oats mixture over
- Step 7
- Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or until golden brown
- Step 8
- Remove from oven and let sit in pan to cool for about 15 minutes then scoop granola into airtight container