There are new diet trends popping up every day. It’s hard to know which one will truly work for your body and your lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is splitting your days or weeks into eating and fasting periods. They most commonly known options are the 16/8 method, eat-stop-eat, and the 5:2 diet. The 16/8 method restricts your eating period to 8 hours throughout the day. You end up skipping breakfast and only eating between 1-9 pm. Eat-stop-eat is fasting for a 24 hour period once or twice a week. The 5:2 diet has you consuming 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutives days. You can eat regularly during the other 5 days.
Seeing all these diets popping up, you can start to think to yourself, “What will work for me?” I started with an overnight 12-hour fast, usually 6 pm to 6 am. Then I would extend it to 14, 16, or 18 hours every few days or after very high calorie days.
I generally ate normal meals during the day and didn’t do any meal prep. As time went on, the fasting was very easy and has now become very normal for me. My focus and energy have improved and I have a healthier relationship with food and it is easier to make healthy food choices.
When my schedule changes, I keep my 12-hour fast, I just have to alter the time of my first meal (breaking the fast). I tried to keep my meals low carb/paleo, but I wasn’t strict on this. I didn’t have any particular cravings, and if I did, I allowed myself to eat whatever it was I wanted. This would satisfy the craving. In 8 months, I’ve only broken the 12-hours once, by one hour.
Other than fasting, my day and meals were very much like any other day before I was fasting. I continue to have anything I want, but always ensure I stick with the fasting. My weight went from 270 to 220 lbs from September to December 31, then plateaued until mid-March. I completed a 48-hour fast and then since then, I’ve lost another 20 lbs. I did start taking a daily vitamin, even though I was eating full meals. This was just to make sure I was in a peak state physiologically. Additionally, a coworker (also a MD), started fasting at the same time and we both lost almost the same amount of weight from September to December.
Diets work differently for everyone. You can’t expect to have the same results as someone else. I wanted to share my story to show everyone that you can certainly find something that works for you. If you are looking to lose weight, it may take a couple attempts to find the right diet but when you find what works the results will be tremendous!