Intermittent Fasting. I tried it for the first time on Tuesday of this week. Today is Friday, so today will be my 4th day of Intermittent Fasting.
How it works
I am doing an 18/6 Intermittent Fast. that means that 18 hours of the day I don’t eat. 6 hours of the day I am allowed to eat, but I must eat a ketogenic diet. That means very low carbs and plenty of protein and fat.
In the morning, a couple hours I get up, usually around 8 AM or so, I have a cup of Bulletproof Coffee or Bulletproof Tsokolate. This cup of coffee is very filling and holds me until my scheduled eating time, 2 PM. Usually, at 2 PM I have a meal, lunch you can call it. I will eat some snacks between 3 PM and 6 PM or so. Then, at 6:30 or so, I eat dinner. Right now, I am eating super low carbs, less than 10 grams per day, usually only about 5 grams of carbs per day.
After about 7:30 or 8:00 PM, I do not eat again that day. Again, the next morning, at about 8 AM, I drink my Bulletproof Coffee and start eating again at 2 PM.
So far, I am very impressed. Here are my weight loss numbers so far:
Day 1 (Wednesday morning weighing): Lost 3 pounds
Day 2 (Thursday morning weighing): Lost 2 pounds
Day 3 (Friday morning weighing): Lost 2 pounds.
So, in the past 3 days, I have lost 7 pounds. Hard to argue with that.
Those are great results and I am very happy.
Is it hard to do?
I have never really fasted for long periods of time. I consider 18 hours of fasting to be a fairly long period of time, even though there are people who fast for much longer periods. I was worried that I could not do it, or that it would be like I was in agony. Surprisingly, I was wrong! It has actually been very easy for me. I don’t know how it would be for you, I only know that for me, it has not been hard at all.
Drinking that cup of bulletproof coffee really fills me up and holds me for about 4 hours. After that, I do get fairly hungry at about 12:30 PM or so, and I am relatively hungry for about an hour and a half, until 2 PM when it is lunch time. Sometimes, if I am very hungry during this period I will make a cup of regular coffee or a cup of tea. Drinking something hot gives me a sensation of being full (or fuller), so that helps me a lot.
Things I like about IF
Probably the main thing that I like about IF is that I actually get hungry, and to be honest it is a good feeling. In the past, if it was time to eat, I would eat. It did not really matter if I was hungry or not, it was time to eat. It has been rare that I would actually be hungry before eating. Feeling hungry is a fairly new sensation for me on a regular basis. I like it. I like teaching my body that “hey, when this feeling comes along, that is the time when you eat”. It is important for me to learn that.
Of course, I like the weight loss too. I don’t think ti will continue at the rate that it is going now, and I won’t get discouraged if it does not. I follow a few people who have been doing IF for a long time. Most of them lose, on average, about a half pound per day. With almost any diet, you lose significant weight at the beginning, and I know that. But, on this IF thing, I feel good, it is not hard to do and does not feel artificial. It really feels like my normal lifestyle now, and I hope it continues that way.
A year ago, I was using 100 units of insulin each day to keep my diabetes in check. Even with that high level of insulin use, my diabetes was not in really good control, only fair control. When I started Keto last year, I went down to using 40 units of insulin, and have been on a journey or decreasing insulin use. On Monday of this week, I was using 26 units of insulin each day to control diabetes. Starting on Tuesday when I started doing the fast, I have been closely monitoring my blood sugar and adjusting my insulin use based on the numbers I am seeing. Tuesday I used 16 units of insulin and the numbers were very good. Wednesday I used 10 units of insulin and the blood sugar numbers were fine. Yesterday, Thursday, I used 6 units of insulin and the numbers were still great.
Today, I plan to not use any insulin at all and see how it goes. I am confident that I will be fine without any insulin at all.
Back in December 2016, I met with my Endocrinologist, the guy that helps me manage my diabetes, and I told him that my goal was that by the end of 2017 I would no longer be using Insulin. He told me that he felt it was impossible. I believe that today I will be starting my “no insulin” goal. I think it will work fine, but we shall see. Even if I have to stick with using 6 units per day, that is an amazing accomplishment in my book, but I really want to get off of Insulin altogether.
Insulin promotes weight gain. So, using less insulin means that I will lose weight more easily now. That is why I want to get off of the insulin!
So, at least for now, I am going to continue with Intermittent Fasting and a Ketogenic diet during my non-fasting hours. I am liking it, and it is working for me!