As a woman of a certain age, I'd started to notice that staying fit and healthy was getting harder and harder.
I'd mostly watched what I ate over the years, went to the gym a couple of times a week and generally tried to look after myself. But in the midst of all that there were always meals to cook, kids to feed, daily life to live, the gym to visit, and parents, siblings and friends to catch up with. On top of all that, I was being told I needed to drink a green smoothie, not eat too much meat or alcohol, meditate, say some affirmations, write in a journal, eat chia seeds and not too much dairy.......and I was exhausted. And if I'd been exhausted but fit and trim it might have seemed worth it, but despite doing all those things I was putting on a kilo (2.5lbs) a year. By the end of 2018 I was exercising six times a week, a was vegetarian, got plenty of sleep, limited my sugar intake but still the weight crept on.
Give up alcohol they said. Work out longer! Reduce your portion size! Never eat dessert again! I tried all of that and none of that helped me feel fit and healthy either. I tried Keto, Noom, Kim Beach, good old calories In/calories out and I couldn't stick to any of them. I've got degrees and post graduate diplomas, I'm a published author and I've read a few books on health and wellness. Was I just stupid? Weak?
Well, according to Jason Fung M.D, I was neither weak nor stupid. What I hadn't understood was the link between hormones and health which was why my weight was a constant battle. I read his book The Obesity Code and it completely changed my life and my health.
What I learned from Jason Fung
Put very, very simply our bodies can't tolerate the constant snacking that is the 21st century Western lifestyle. For optimum health and performance our bodies need to spend more time on repair and regeneration and less on digestion. When we fast for a certain period each day, our bodies can not only regulate our hormones much more easily (which equals much easier weight management) but an incredible thing called autophagy occurs. Autophagy is literally our body recycling the old and broken cells that accumulate every day which leads to innumerable health benefits.
So, long story short I now fast between 19-20 hours every day, usually between 7pm and 2pm the following day. During the fast I have nothing that could trigger insulin and digestion hormones so no flavourings at all. The only things have in that time are water and black coffee.
Positives of Fasting for Me
Much greater mental clarity (SO good for writing)
More time in the day
Eat and drink whatever I want in my eating window
Drink more water
Freedom from worrying about weight gain
Am only a few pounds from my ideal weight
Spend less on food
Negatives of Fasting for Me
I'll be going into more detail in later posts about how I got started, things to consider etc so let me know what you'd like more detail about.