Fall is finally here with cooler weather and better chance for dog walking and gardening. May be I get more exercise in cooler weather or perhaps reached the point where less body fat means faster / better metabolism: I am enjoying increased weight loss on a fasting day compared to Summer months. A1C changed from 6.2 to 5.8. Yay!
Skipping fasting on Labor Day
Let me just say that skipping a fasting day is ok, I am the boss of my fasting schedule and can adjust it any way I want. It feels good to have freedom to do what you want like NOT fasting on a Labor Day and partake of all cook-out goods that were grilled, and all side dishes that were sliced, dressed and served for the holiday – this celebration marks the end of Summer.
At the same time, I miss “morning smiles” and intense enjoyment of food after a fasting day I’ve skipped. Getting used to my new schedule of fasting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday makes me miss the familiar feeling of well-being, taking a break from digesting and increasing lightness inside my body. Skipping fasting day feels like I have been overeating, I am not sure how I could bear the constant feeling of overeating in the past, my mind set has changed after 8 months of intermittent fasting. After two days of weekend I look forward to Monday fast to balance the eating days.
I wonder what it will feel like during Holiday Season 2020.
After loosing 40 lb I find myself falling through neck line of my 3X blouse or a noticing hollow front of a tunic hanging in front of my waist. Should I get some new clothes? I think so, gifting myself with an item of fashion as opposed to item of food is a highly desirable change in the way I think – it is exciting and it changes my way of thinking what reward is, stepping away from “eating as a reward” to “glamour as a reward”. Yesterday I signed up for Stitch Fix to try stylist picking my new look, and I am getting new haircut too!
Freezing, Sleepiness and… Time Travel?
Recently I have noticed that on every fasting day (36 hr fasting) I start feeling cold about 4pm in the afternoon, and at the same time I feel like taking a nap. I assume it is due to change in the way my body is handling lower blood sugar and burning 10 years old fat – I have arrived to the exact body weight I had in 2010. I also noticed my morning BG at the end of fasting day is about 105, and on the morning after fasting day is in 120s (used to be 130s).
Going forward with fasting and potentially loosing additional pounds over course of weeks and months, I will be going back in time: “this is my weight when I was 15 years younger” and “this is my weight when I was 20 years younger”, and so on.
Wow! and they say time travel is not possible 🙂
Making most of fasting day – on a “feeding” day
After making several changes to my fasting schedule I decided to find out how things I eat on a “feeding day” can change results in lower blood glucose levels and better weight loss progress. In May my weight dropped 4lb and I still have 5 days to go (two of them fasting days). Starting May 27, my chart is going to have additional tracking column “daily carbohydrate” which will reflect how many grams of carbohydrate I have consumed on a given date with grams of fiber next to it. If I can figure out the correlation between fasting, grams of carbs, grams of fiber and weight reduction I can be nominated for “Most-Slimming-while-Social-Distancing Lass of the Year” award 🙂
4 months and 6 days – lower blood glucose and 30 lb lost in the process
Here I am today – 30 lb lost to date – and it has been 4 months and 6 days since I have started intermittent fasting and switched to Odd Diet in the process. Schedule that I worked out for myself seems working, I am currently fasting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (each day a 36 hr fast from dinner of the previous day to breakfast of the day after fasting). Initially I was just sticking to every other day however it was not working well with my work and meetings schedule, the day I get a weekly dose of diabetic meds, etc. AND it felt like punishment on the weekend. At last my own personal fasting schedule evolved, I had to limit certain foods during “feeding days” because I very much like to eat breads and could finish a loaf of brioche in a day and a half.
So, during pandemic we are staying pretty much at home with once a week voyage to the store wearing mask, thow all necessities (and scrumptious morsels I come across in the store) into the cart, bring it all home, put in the fridge and …stay at home next to the fridge the rest of the week. Well, the gardening season helped, I was outside doing a lot digging in the flower beds, cleaning landscaping, moving some plants, putting seedlings in the soil. But I had to create some rules for myself: no snacking (means eating at breakfast, lunch and dinner only), just hydrating with coffee and tea only when I am feeling like going to the kitchen for a slice of sweet bread or pear. A cup of coffee on the patio looking at my beautiful flowers to emerge was quite a reward in itself.
Next step for me: lowering A1c number through further fasting. I am also thinking morning walks when there is nothing else to do in the garden and more of new veg and protein dishes to try out.
Slower but steady progress
Although in these days – staying at home mostly – effects of intermittent fasting are not as pronounced as 2 months ago, monthly statistics shows progress. March net weight loss was only 6 lb but this is move in the right direction. In April I added walking the dog in the park twice a week (weather and social distancing permitting) and it seems to help.
Total weight loss to date is 26.4 lb. and I am looking forward to mornings after fasting day when everything tastes amazing 🙂
Social distancing and fasting
Having to stay home most of the time to avoid covid-19 infection had an unexpected impact on my fasting routine.
First – I do not move as much, trying to come up with more activities than a 30 min spin on an air bike. Walking dog in the neighborhood weather permitting, right after we had a nice week of 60s and even 70s in early March it became cold again, So, I am doing more house work like mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing just to get off the chair for more physical activity. Considering game console with wii extensions for exercise, or online instructions for yoga or pilates.
Second – being in constant proximity to kitchen has its tall, I started snacking again. A cup of tea with cream cheese on my toast; an orange followed by slice of cheese; a dark chocolate truffle because I gotta have one and cannot get my mind off it.
Not that I gained back weight – no, but good effects of fasting day are followed buy not so good habits of non-fasting days, and I loose much less now (like only 0.2-0.4lb each time instead of a pound or more). My goal is to reach turning point when I can reduce number of medications I am taking for diabetes or reach condition when I may not need them at all.
So, going forward I will be aware of needing to control snacking and follow more closely Dr. Jason Fung’s diet recommendations on non-fasting days, and especially NOT eating when not hungry.
Why was I not told it works every time?
What amazes me after a month and a half of intermittent fasting is a steady progress in the weight loss aspect of it. Although my first goal is to reverse the progress of diabetes and other health benefits, losing some weight in the process is an inspiring perk.
I remember all the diets I endured since I was 15, you eat what diet tells you and first couple weeks you lose weight and then the process slows down … and then nothing happens. Dreaded morning, step on a scale after diet torture and no reward.
Now, the last 3 weeks I was fasting in 36 hrs periods; stepping on a scale morning after was like a miracle – a reward every time, another pound comes off. You have to know what happens during “normal” diet and exercise experience to appreciate how unusual this steady weight loss is. No slow down they call a plateau. Wow! If only I knew this years ago.
This constant reward makes me look forward to next fasting day, I no longer fear feeling hungry – hunger is my dear friend.
Autophagy – Natures Secret Gift
2016 year’s Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.
“Thanks to Yoshinori Ohsumi and others following in his footsteps, we now know that autophagy controls important physiological functions where cellular components need to be degraded and recycled. Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is therefore essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress.
… Cells also use autophagy to eliminate damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control mechanism that is critical for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.
Disrupted autophagy has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders that appear in the elderly. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause genetic disease. Disturbances in the autophagic machinery have also been linked to cancer. Intense research is now ongoing to develop drugs that can target autophagy in various diseases.
Autophagy has been known for over 50 years but its fundamental importance in physiology and medicine was only recognized after Yoshinori Ohsumi’s paradigm-shifting research in the 1990’s. For his discoveries, he is awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.” ~ www.nobelprize.org