In my last post I discussed having “found” intermittent fasting and how something was finally working for me.  To date I have lost around 17+ lbs.  I say “around” because I am currently bouncing between 131.5 and 133.5 on the scale.  Am I thrilled – YES!!! Do I feel better – ABSOLUTELY!!!  It’s been a slow and steady process but such a positive one at that.  Being able to let my body do what it needs to do and have the time process what I put into it has changed my life.  And all I had to do was change the times that I was eating.  I am not exercising any more than I did prior.  I am also not restricting what I am eating, or depriving myself if there is something that I want that might not necessarily be the healthiest choice I could make.  And the beauty of all of this is that it doesn’t cost me a thing.

If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting I encourage you to check it out online and do some research.  There is a lot of good information out there for you to read up on to see if this is something that might be right for you.  In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather refers to your eating patterns.  It also doesn’t reference what you should or should not eat – that’s where your common sense comes in.  There are many different intermittent fasting methods that can be utilized.  I currently am following the 16/8 method in which I eat between the hours of 11 am to 7 pm, and then fast for 16 hours.  The hours can be adjusted to meet your needs (for example, 10 am to 6 pm or 12 pm to 8 pm) but the key idea is to have 16 hours of fasting.  That fasting period is important because it allows your body to do what it needs to do at a cellular and hormonal level.  Intermittent fasting impacts Human Growth Hormone, Insulin levels, cellular repair, and gene expression – and in doing so has significant and positive effects on not only your health but also on your weight (healthline.com – Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide).  Again, I encourage you to do the research and read for yourself the positive impact intermittent fasting can have for your body.

So I eat between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm.  What I eat is also important.  I mentioned that I don’t deprive myself, but I also don’t over indulge.  Intermittent Fasting requires you to use a little bit of common sense.  For me, I began meal prepping.  This is a great way for me to keep myself in check, but also to ensure that I am starting off my day with a healthy choice.  I generally will cook up a nice omelette in my giant frying pan that I will then divide into thirds and presto – my first meal for the next three days.  In my omelette I will put spinach, minced garlic, chopped up peppers, chopped up tailor ham, 6 eggs, and black olives.  Once it’s done I will drizzle it with some virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Mrs Dash for a little extra flavor.  The olive oil is one of those good fats that helps keep you fuller a little longer.  I also eat a lot of fresh cut veggies, almonds, tuna fish, egg salad, and fruits.  I did cut out coffee, not because I can’t have it (I could if I drank it black but that wasn’t something I was able to do) but because I loved it loaded with creamer which was well over 300+ calories a cup.  Do I eat chips – yes.  Do I eat carbs – yes but I eat much less of them now.  So a heaping bowl of pasta is now a little more modest.  Do I drink water – yes and now at least 2.5 liters a day!!!  Do I snack – occasionally, but only if it’s before 7 pm.  When I started Intermittent Fasting I was able to identify that snacking for me was my downfall, especially in the evening.  I would snack clear up until I went to bed – thus never allowing my body to be able to do what it needed to do.  While in general I don’t deprive myself, ironically with intermittent fasting I am fuller longer and better able to recognize when I am full, and stop eating when this happens.

I mentioned that I don’t work out any more than I did before and this is true.  Do I go to the gym – yes, but not any more frequently than I did prior.  You don’t need to knock yourself out with crazy workouts or daily early morning routines.  If that’s your thing, then by all means continue doing so, but my point is that this is all about your patterns of eating and the benefits that that brings.

Do I do meal replacement shakes?  Not any more because they were expensive and once I discovered that it was my pattern of eating that needed to be adjusted I decided that the investment in the shakes wasn’t really worth it for me.  If shakes, powders, or meal replacements work for you then by all means continue them as I know many who have had fantastic results, but for me it was something that didn’t necessarily have the greatest bang for my buck so to speak, so I cut it out of my routine.

So if you are struggling with your weight, have tried various plans, diets, and/or programs without the success you’d been hoping for, I encourage you to read up on intermittent fasting.  Do your research.  Empower yourself with the knowledge to know if this might be something that would work for you.  I also encourage you to talk with your health care physician if you have questions or are trying to decide if this is a journey you want to take.  Please feel free to message me as well.  As a busy working mom with three kids I just needed to find something that would enable me to find myself again.  Underneath everything I am, I just wanted to be me again – to feel good, feel sexy, feel energetic, feel healthy, and feel good about myself again.  I found what I was looking for, will you?