This series is called Gluten Free AND Healthy because it’s about being healthy, not weight loss. But weight loss can be a part of getting healthy, and in my case it was.
I lost about 25 pounds over an 8 month period. I was at a weight where I was content to stay, but I hadn’t lost all the weight I gained since my thyroid problems started. I thought it would be nice to lose another 5 or so pounds. The problem was that my weight loss had reached a plateau, and I didn’t know what else to do.
Then I read about intermittent fasting. It sounded like there were health benefits and that it might help me lose more weight. I was amazed to find that doing it went better than I expected, and I lost weight much more easily than I had been.
I will let you read about intermittent fasting here, and I’m sure a search will reveal more information on the topic. But I do want to mention, that I didn’t add intermittent fasting until after my health (diet and exercise) had gotten to a good place.
Intermittent fasting can be done in a variety of ways. For me, here’s what it looks like. My goal is to eat between the hours of noon and 7:00 pm. The maximum amount of time during which I eat shouldn’t be more than 8 hours, so that gives me half an hour on each end if I need it.
Even though I don’t eat until noon, I still eat three meals a day. Typically that means breakfast at noon, lunch (which is usually pretty light) at 3:00, and dinner at 6:00 or so. Outside of noon – 7:00 I only drink water or unsweetened tea.
Like I said, this is how I choose to do intermittent fasting. There are other ways such as fasting a whole day. Or you could choose a different time frame such as 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. The point is to intermittently fast. The effect it has is to shift your body from burning carbs to burning fat for fuel. And because of this effect, it is actually beneficial for people with blood sugar problems, even though they are told to eat every couple of hours. (That is true when in carb burning mode.)
I used to be someone who never skipped breakfast. I awoke with a blood sugar low and needed a hearty meal before starting my day. So I thought I would have a difficult time with intermittent fasting, but after a few days, it became much easier. Over time, I found that I prefer eating that way. My goal is to do it 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. But I find that even on the weekends, I don’t like eating in the morning. The earliest I want to eat anything is 10:00.
Intermittent fasting helped me take off an additional 10 – 15 pounds which I never expected to lose! Once I lost all that I needed to, I ate more calories during the hours that I allow myself to eat.
When I have gained a few pounds, such as on vacation (believe me, those pounds go back on quite easily!), I find that it’s easy to lose them again with a week of cutting back on calories and doing intermittent fasting.
As I mentioned, there are other health benefits to intermittent fasting. Benefits such as “reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damage” can be difficult to measure, but lowering triglyceride levels is not. A blood test I had done in October showed that my triglyceride level was only 36! That’s down from 74 the year before, and even that is not high.
How about afternoon fatigue. Do any of you have trouble with that? Well intermittent fasting can help with that too. You’ll also find other suggestions in the article How to Banish Afternoon Fatigue.
Intermittent fasting has been a great tool for helping me to get healthy and lose weight, and it’s something that I continue to do even when I don’t need to lose weight. So, whether weight loss is one of your goals or not, I encourage you to look into it.
As always, I’m not here to tell you what to do, but to tell you what has worked for me in hopes that it will point you in a direction that is helpful to you.
Have you tried intermittent fasting?
Note: I linked to Mercola.com several times in this post. I have no affiliation with the web site. I simply find some of the information useful.