Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Intermittent Fasting has transformed my tastebuds

I have noticed more lately how much I enjoy food. Fasting two days per week has given me new appreciation for the joy of chewing and the flavours of food.

But even more interesting is that the food I really enjoy the most is the whole, natural foods. The junk is not as appealing and I find that it seems too rich for me when I do have it.

I used to be able to eat two huge cookies no problem and try to contain myself to eat a third. The other day I bought one of those big cookies from Starbucks and half way through I had to stop. It was way too much for me.

Today I broke my fast at noon with a delicious salad, two hard boiled eggs, 1/4 of an avocado, a handful of cashews and a slice of wheat free bread with flax seeds. It was all SO good. It tasted amazing and was way better than any chocolate chip cookie!

I love how intermittent fasting has transformed my taste buds.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Fasting 5:2 diet

My husband has been continuing on with his version of an Intermittent Fasting schedule called 5:2.

He decided to try this after we had watched the BBC Documentary "Eat, Fast and Live Longer."

He lost 8 pounds in 5 weeks and an inch off of his waist. This 5:2 option is a great place to start with intermittent fasting. If you struggle with the 19 hours per day way of fasting, take a few weeks off and try the 5:2 option instead and see if that helps. It is a much easier plan and seems to have similar results.

I have been continuing on with my own version of 5:2.... Fasting 19 hours per day as usual five days per week and then doing a full day fast for two days per week. So far I have lost 10 pounds.

There is a great article about the version of 5:2 diet that my husband is trying here

Below is a breakdown and excerpt from that article:

The 5:2 diet: what is it and how does it work?
• With the 5:2 diet, you can eat whatever you like five days a week — so-called feeding days. On the two “fasting days” you eat 500 calories if you are a woman, or 600 calories if you are a man. 
• It doesn’t matter which days are spent “feeding” and which “fasting”, as long as the fasting days are non-consecutive and you stick to the 5:2 ratio. 
• On fasting days you can consume your calories in one go, or spread them through the day — there is no medical research into whether filling up at breakfast or snacking throughout the day is more effective for weight loss. 
• A typical fasting-day breakfast of 300 calories might consist of two scrambled eggs with ham (good sources of protein), plenty of water, green tea or black coffee. For a typical 300-calorie lunch or dinner, try grilled fish or meat with vegetables. 
• On feeding days you can eat whatever you like. Most dieters, rather than feeling a need to gorge, found that they were happy to consume around 2,000 calories — the recommended daily intake for women (2,600 for men) — and did not crave high-fat foods. 
• Contrary to popular opinion, fasting can be a healthy way to lose weight. It can reduce levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1, which leads to accelerated ageing), switches on DNA repair genes and reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. 
• According to current medical opinion, the benefits of fasting are unproven. As a diet, it is not recommended for pregnant women or diabetics on medication. Anyone considering a diet that involves fasting is advised to consult their GP first, and to do it under medical supervision.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to avoid hunger during fasting

I had a comment from a reader asking how I avoid hunger now that I am water fasting for two full days every week...

Well, here is the secret people...it is all in the mind!

Water and tea with Stevia (which is a natural sweetener as well as an appetite suppressant) are what I use to help me through, although I find that I only feel hungry when I let my mind take me there...

The power of the mind is amazing. You have to make a decision in your mind that is firm and once you do that, once you KNOW that you will fast until the end of the set time, it really is no problem. The hunger is gone.

When I have my regular eating days, I start getting hungry around 11. When I am on a fasting day, it is 12:30 and I am just realizing that I haven't felt hungry at all.

That is because on my normal eating days I KNOW that I am going to eat at NOON...so around 11am my body starts anticipating this and sending signals in the form of hunger, looking forward to the food.

On my fasting days I KNOW that I won't be eating and so my brain doesn't bother with that...no signals, no hunger pains.

When I pass a sign with a juicy hamburger on it and I am fasting, I will get a pang of hunger. Here is the interesting part, the hunger pains are stronger when I feel tempted and mild when I feel strong.

It is all in the mind. Work on your thinking.

The other thing is to work up to the fasts. Start small and gradually increase. I first began with the every other day way of fasting. Eat whatever you want one day and eat nothing the next day.

I found that to be very challenging at first. I cried at the end of the day the second time I did an all day fast. It was really hard. That is because I just jumped in and didn't work my way up to that point. It was too much to take all at once.

We need time to adapt. The body is amazing at adapting to change but it is much easier if it is a gradual change. I switched to the Fast 5 way of eating shortly after and still struggled in the beginning because I tried to have my eating window at 5pm. This meant that I was doing most of my fasting all in one big chunk, from 10pm to 5pm the next day. It was only when I switched my window to 12pm-5pm did I notice that it got easier for me. I was then able to eat in the middle of the day and fast a little before and a little after with sleep taking up a good amount of my fasting time.

Then I slowly added in a one day fast during a time when I was really busy (I take a pottery class and stay for an open studio once a week that keeps me busy for 7 hours)  and now after almost three years of fasting regularly I am able to do a fast for two whole days once per week. (one of my all day fasts is still during my pottery day so that helps to keep my mind on other activities)

So take your time and work on your thinking. Slow changes over time = long lasting results.


Monday, October 1, 2012

On the right road to bikini

My new goal is to feel comfortable in a bikini in December when I go to Jamaica for a week. I usually feel fine in a bathing suit but haven't worn a bikini in quite a few years.

This new plan is working really well and I think it will help me meet that goal. I am down around 8 pounds since starting this almost 5 weeks ago. That is a nice amount in a short time.

Today I am on the second day of my two day fast and plan to break my fast tomorrow at lunch with only veggies and protein.

My husband is also near the end of his five week experiment to try fasting in a modified way doing regular eating five days a week with two days in a row of only 500 calories for the day.

He has lost a good amount of weight as well and last time we measured, a half an inch off his waist. Tomorrow morning is the final weigh in and measurement to see the progress this has created.

I will let you know if he decides to continue this way of eating and what the final results were.
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