AUGUST IS ALL ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING ON MY BLOG!

Last month I got my new blog up and running, and I also spent some time diving into an overview of how to get your mindset in the right place before you start this whole process, how to actually lose weight, what could be happening if you’re not seeing progress, how to transition into maintenance and then the difference between the weight loss phase and the maintenance phase. I’ll be devoting much of my blog to weight loss maintenance topics, but I wanted to take some time to flesh out a point I made earlier-secondary factors. Things that can come into play, within the truth that weight loss ultimately comes down to calories and math. This is where all those lovely diet plans come in, for better or for worse.

Some people prefer to do straight calorie counting and use a site like My Fitness Pal. However, back in 2012 when I decided to lose weight I had NO idea how weight loss actually worked. I didn’t know what the word calorie even meant, and a nutrition label was a totally foreign concept for me. I had never dieted before in my life and I was in uncharted territory!

 

My (former) doctor was no help either-he just told me to lose the weight to see if that could stabilize my glucose number, and then he hung up on me. I was facing a life threatening disease if I didn’t get this right, and I was on my own. In a panic I talked to a few friends who were always dieting, and they all praised the low carb lifestyle. One told me to check out a low carb forum that she hung out at, so I joined and blindly decided to go low carb. Ha! After less than a week I was ready to quit. I hated the food restrictions and was utterly miserable.

As I hung out in the forum I started noticing that there was a group of women who always had such a positive attitude. While others complained about what they were eating and the set backs they were experiencing, these women were usually upbeat and making steady progress. Several of them were also in maintenance, which caught my attention. I noticed they all followed something called JUDDD, and I decided that I wanted to be a part of whatever they were doing, even without knowing what it was! This is when I was introduced to the world of intermittent fasting.

Throughout the month of August I’ll be blogging in detail about intermittent fasting (IF). I’ll be sharing my experiences with it, how it works, the pros and cons of doing this method, and then some of the tools I learned from IF that I’ve carried into maintenance. Again-weight loss is about calories and math. But for me IF was that secondary factor that helped me navigate through the weight loss phase and now maintenance. While it’s definitely not a plan for everyone, and I’ll never present it as such, I’m proof that IF can be a viable method for weight loss and beyond.

***** 
IF is an umbrella term for several plans, so I’m just going to blog about the ones I’ve had personal experience with.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) Vocabulary

ADF-alternate day intermittent fasting. Nickname-JUDDD (Dr. Johnson’s Up Day, Down Day Diet)

  •  Plan in a nutshell– alternate between very low calorie days (also called Down Days), and maintenance calorie level days (also called Up Days). *calorie restricting is built into the plan

5:2IF-

  • Plan in a nutshell– 5 maintenance calorie days a week, with 2 non-consecutive very low calorie days a week. *calorie restricting is built into the plan

IF Windows (this is what most people refer to when they use the term intermittent fasting)-

  •  Plan in a nutshell- eat your calories in a certain time frame every day and fast the rest of the day/night. Most common is 16:8IF, where you consume all your calories in an 8 hour window, fast for 16 hours. *calorie restricting is NOT built into the plan
People to Know
-Dr. James Johnson-the doctor and researcher who wrote the book, The Alternate Day Diet, and is considered to be one of the ‘fathers’ of the IF movement.
-Dr. Michael Mosley-his BBC documentary, called Eat, Fast and Live Longer, took IF to the mainstream and his follow up book is titled The Fast Diet.
-Dr. Krista Varady-one of the current leading scientists in IF research. She was interviewed in Eat, Fast and Live Longer and has since come out with her own book, The Every Other Day Diet.

Read more “AUGUST IS ALL ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING ON MY BLOG!”

ALTERNATE DAY INTERMITTENT FASTING {THE PLAN I USED FOR WEIGHT LOSS}

Today I’m diving into intermittent fasting and more specifically alternate day intermittent fasting, which is the plan that I used during my active weight loss phase. I want to break it down and give the highlights, as well as a couple of disclaimers, and hopefully shed some light on this little known weight loss plan that’s beginning to make waves in the dieting world!

Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting (nicknames-ADF and JUDDD)

Plan Details:

  • every other day rotations of very low calorie days and higher calorie days. Use this calculator to find calorie numbers (ignore the rest of that website because it’s a bit of a mess)

Um, that’s really about it! The simplicity of this plan is what made it so appealing to me. No forbidden foods,  no confusing phases and no long list of rules. You just rotate between low calorie and high calorie days. You can eat however you want within this as well-SAD (standard American diet), vegetarian, paleo, low carb etc etc.

Miscellaneous:

  • start the plan on a high calorie day
  • do not do two consecutive low calorie days. If a low calorie day gets off track, just do two higher calorie days in a row, and continue with rotations as normal.
  • re-run your numbers every 5lbs lost
  • on low calorie days you can spread out your calories however you want. Some prefer to break them up into mini-meals every couple hours, or you can save them for a larger supper.
  • For low calorie food ideas check out pinterest!
  • always pre-plan your low calorie days in advance
  • your weigh-ins will not follow a traditional pattern, but instead will move in a series of bounces and whooshes. You can weigh yourself daily if you prefer, but don’t let the bounces bother you-these are supposed to happen. With ADF you cannot look at daily or even weekly weigh-ins for the most accurate picture of what’s happening. Instead compare your weigh-in after the first low calorie day of the month, to your weigh-in after the last low calorie day at the end of the month, to see your progress.

 Benefits of ADF:

  • Simple and easy to understand and follow
  • accommodates eating preferences
  • you only ‘diet’ every other day, which prevents diet fatigue
  • you can move your rotations to accomodate vacations, parties, holidays etc
  • easy to correct if you get off track-just jump back in on a high calorie day and resume rotations
  • many people experience extra energy on their low calorie days
  • you learn what real hunger is vs. wanting to eat for other reasons (This is a biggie, and I’ll be devoting a whole blog post to this later this month)

Who should not do ADF:

  • people with a history of distorted eating
  • people with certain medical conditions
  • pregnant and breastfeeding women

 Negatives of ADF:

  • the first few rotations will be rough as your body adjusts. Starting out it’s ok to do higher low calorie days (I started at 800 calories and then worked my way down over a couple of weeks). Low calorie days do get easier though, and after you’ve done ADF for a while you may actually start looking forward to the low calorie days.
  • you may experience some hangry moments on your low calorie days, especially during PMS. My husband lovingly called me dragon lady during these times lol. These do not happen all the time though
  • going grocery shopping on low calorie days is brutal. I only made that mistake once! Always make sure to have your low calorie days planned and the food in the house, and save shopping trips for high calorie days
  • some people do fine exercising on their low calorie days, but others cut out exercise on those days or just do walking
***** 
One issue that’s brought up by opponents of ADF and 5:2IF, is the concern that the very low calorie days will cause binge eating on the higher calorie days.  Dr. Mosley addresses this issue in his BBC documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer and his findings matches my own experience. I never had the desire to binge eat on my higher calorie days. In fact there were numerous higher calorie days that I had to be intentional about getting in enough calories, which is really important to do. And this is a common complaint of people doing ADF! It goes against what you’d think would happen, but many times you’re just not hungry on your higher calorie days.
So that’s ADF in a nutshell. While it won’t be a good fit for everyone, I had a wonderful experience with it, and it was the secondary factor that made the weight loss phase doable for me.
If you have questions about ADF please leave me a comment and I’ll try and answer it!

Read more “ALTERNATE DAY INTERMITTENT FASTING {THE PLAN I USED FOR WEIGHT LOSS}”

5:2IF

Last week I blogged about alternate day intermittent fasting, which is the IF plan that I used during my active weight loss phase. After I hit my original goal weight in the spring of 2013 I re-evaluated where I was at, and I decided to keep losing weight as I began transitioning into maintenance. As I was getting ready to do this Dr. Michael Mosley’s BBC documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer was getting a lot of attention. Dr. Mosley’s plan, 5:2IF, is a more relaxed version of ADF and I decided to use it as my transition plan. Over next several months I lost around twenty more pounds, before calling final goal and fully transitioning into maintenance.

5:2IF

Plan Details: 
  • similar to ADF, except you only do two, non-consecutive low calorie days a week
  • low calorie days are 500 calories for women, 600 calories for men
  • the other 5 days are at around maintenance calorie levels (play around with this a bit if you aren’t seeing progress after a week or two)

 

Miscellaneous:
  • start the plan on a high calorie day
  • do not do two consecutive low calorie days
  • re-run your numbers every 5lbs lost
  • on low calorie days you can spread out your calories however you want. Some prefer to break them up into mini-meals every couple hours, or you can save them for a larger supper.
  • For low calorie food ideas check out pinterest!
  • always pre-plan your low calorie days in advance
  • your weigh-ins will not follow a traditional pattern, but instead will move in a series of bounces and whooshes. You can weigh yourself daily if you prefer, but don’t let the bounces bother you-these are supposed to happen. As with ADF, you cannot look at daily or even weekly weigh-ins for the most accurate picture of what’s happening. Instead compare your weigh-in after the first low calorie day of the month, to your weigh-in after the last low calorie day at the end of the month, to see your progress.
  • Dr. Mosley’s book, The Fast Diet, is a great, easy to read book (most libraries carry it)
  • You can find Dr. Mosley’s BBC documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer online for free, and it’s a great introduction to IF and its benefits
  • Here’s a great website/forum for 5:2IF followers (its expanded to include other IF plans too). Lots of information and support!
 Benefits of 5:2IF:
  • Simple and easy to understand and follow
  • accommodates eating preferences
  • you only ‘diet’ twice a week, which prevents diet fatigue
  • you can move your rotations to accommodate vacations, parties, holidays etc
  • easy to correct if you get off track-just jump back in on a high calorie day and resume the plan
  • many people experience extra energy on their low calorie days
  • you learn what real hunger is vs. wanting to eat for other reasons
 Who Should Not Do 5:2IF
  • people with a history of distorted eating
  • people with certain medical conditions
  • pregnant and breastfeeding women

Negatives of 5:2IF:

  •  the first few rotations will be rough as your body adjusts. Starting out it’s ok to do higher, low calorie days
  • you may experience some hangry moments on your low calorie days, especially during PMS. These do not happen every time though
  • some people do fine exercising on their low calorie days, but others cut out exercise on those days or just do walking
*****
5:2IF is a great plan to use if you don’t have a large amount of weight to lose, or as a transition plan between a more aggressive weight loss phase and maintenance. I lost a bit slower with 5:2IF, but I still saw consistent progress on the scale each week. It’s also a more laid back version of IF, which makes it more doable for a lot of people. If you’re interested in IF, 5:2IF may be a good plan to start with!

Read more “5:2IF”

A QUICK BLOGGING NOTE

wow, where has summer gone?!! Really feeling the busyness of the fall creeping in, and this is the time of year when I start making big changes to my daily schedule. One of my kids does a virtual charter school program at home, while my other two head off to our local school. On top of everything that goes along with being involved in two different school programs, church activities start back up, as well as sports and music lessons (we’re adding a new sport and a new instrument to our lineup this fall whew!), etc etc etc. In a nutshell-my time becomes very structured and there’s never enough of it!

 

Sooo, why am I sharing all of this? Because I knew when I started my blog a a couple of months ago that once September hit I would have to re-prioritize, and my baby blog would be moving to the back of the line. I’m still going to be blogging once in a while, but it won’t be a regular thing during the school year. My blog is in large part a reference place where I can direct people when they ask me about my story, and I’ll slowly continue to expand those kinds of posts. But, realistically it may be one or two posts a month starting in September, until school gets out next summer.

I probably won’t join WIAW anymore, at least on a regular basis. I do enjoy that blog link up though, so we’ll see if I can sneak it in once in a while!

Just wanted to let all of you know why my blog will be a bit more quiet-I’m still around and still rocking maintenance, but once September 8th hits, I’ll also be rocking the Learning Coach and parent extraordinaire thing as well! Oh, I forgot to mention I’ll also be watching my newborn nephew a couple days a week starting this fall too-my goodness I’m tired just thinking about my new schedule, think I’m going to take a nap (while I still can lol).