How I became a big loser
I have always been skinny and physically fit.
But then, because of circumstances, and I guess working my way through my forties, weight gain happened. It was not gradual. It was sudden. I gained about 20 kilos in less than 6 months. And the weight kept going up gradually for the 2 years after.
Then one day I entered my statistics into an online form and it told me that I am borderline obese. It wasn't a huge surprise. By that time I had difficulty putting on my shoes. In public, I would quickly become breathless from tucking in my stomach. When I meditated my belly was sitting in my lap and supporting my posture in that it was pushing me back and not allowing me to slump.
On the outside, I didn't show any signs of even caring about my weight. Truth is I did care a lot about it. It wasn't healthy. It wasn't good looking. It wasn't fair.
It wasn't fair because I wasn't really doing anything wrong that I knew of. I didn't eat excessively. I have always had a very healthy diet. 99.9% of my meals are prepared at home with fresh ingredients. Being in a farmer's market for me is one of the greatest joys in life. I was physically active.
It wasn't fair because I didn't know what I was doing to cause my obesity, and didn't know what to do to change it. Needless to say I tried a myriad of diets none of which even remotely worked.
Then back in march I came across a review of a recently published book (the obesity code, by Dr. Jason Fung).
The book was very readable, though technical enough that a scientist can read it.
The rest, as they say, is history. In the first 4 weeks I lost about 12 Kilos. I actually lost more. I lost more than 12 kilos in fat, but only 12 kilos in weight due to active participation in the remodeling of our house, a solid muscle mass builder.
So what's my diet. Basically a blend of the recommendations in Dr. Fung's book as well as a few articles I mentioned in prior blog posts on Nowrish. In other words:
- Cut down on foods containing refined sugar and white flour.
- Make each meal complete and well balanced. That includes whole milk yogurt, butter, olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegitables, meat, grains, etc.. Also allow yourself a little chocolate, ice cream or another desert a few times a week. Make sure it is attached to a meal and not in between meals.
- Fasting between meals. I practice two main types of daily routines for fasting. One of them I lovingly call Bronze Age Fasting which I practice 25 days out of a month. The other one, The Castaway Diet, I practice 5 days a month.
- Sleep well.
Two routines of intermittent fasting
Bronze Age Fasting
Have 2-3 meal a day but observe the following:
- Not eating eat between meals. The only things allowed between meals are pure water (not vitamin or sport water), tea with no sugar or honey, and coffee, no milk no sugar. That's it.
- Space meals so that you will have
- One long fast period each day. In my case I had no food between dinner and breakfast, a 12 hour fast.
- One medium fast period each day. In my case I had no food between lunch and dinner, a 7 hour fast.
- Limit the meal time to one hour. During that hour have a balanced meal. Feel free to have a moderate sized desert, some chocolate, etc.. Just make sure that it's during the one hour meal period.
- Many times I skip breakfast or lunch. In essence, I don't eat a meal just because it is meal time. I eat because I am hungry.
The Castaway Diet
One meal in a 24 hour period. Eating window of 2 hours.
I didn't change much with regards to the way I work. But magically, the diet did help bring down the stress level. Perhaps due to the extra energy I am feeling. Maybe also to the change in hormonal balance caused by the re-calibration of the body's response to them. More research needed.
All in all, The hunger level is down. The energy is up. Face looks younger and healthier. Smiles come more easily. And, I am able to wear my favorite clothes from 4 years ago including slim fit shirts..
Most importantly, I hope I will be able to be healthy longer and be an active father and husband into my old age.