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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

I think I've finally figured out what works for me.

I've tried nearly every diet throughout my life and changed my lifestyle according to a lot of the principles I've learned from past diets. For example, the South Beach Diet taught me that I like eating veggies with my eggs for breakfast. I've tried Keto off and on, and I have a hard time getting past the low electrolyte thing. But I've learned that I do very well with little to no carbs, especially highly refined carbs. I've pretty much had to cut those out entirely, with the occasional bite of pizza or a grilled cheese sandwich. I do feel my insulin spike at these times, so not wanting this to happen helps me stay away.

I have come to understand that I am insulin resistant, and that my body is being overfed and every time I eat a meal and snacks, my body just ends up storing it as fat. It increases exponentially over time. I have been teetering towards diabetes type 2 for some time now, diagnosed as prediabetic a few years ago. It's been super frustrating, being told to cut down on the sugar and get my weight down, year after year.

I haven't had any sugar cravings for about 10 years now (since I gave it up for Lent one year, and just never really wanted sweet treats after that!), and I eat very healthy. Mostly Mediterranean style foods, low carb, no processed foods, no fast food ever, no soda either. I've even cut away corn and soy and most wheat products. And, I exercise too! So why was I still gaining weight???

Recently I watched a bunch of YouTube videos with Dr. Jason Fung, about intermittent fasting. He says that our culture has changed over the past 40-50 years with how and what we eat, and how much. Right now, we seem to think that we need to eat every few hours because we don't want our metabolism to slow down. (I did that diet, too btw! Fast Metabolism diet... it had some good concepts in it and good recipes) The thing is, our body is looking for glucose and if we over feed ourselves, our bodies just store it and then becomes fat. It also makes our blood sugar stay high. This is my problem. I'm trying to keep my blood sugar levels down, and I'm not losing weight. I did lose weight on the Fast Metabolism diet, but I believe it was because I tracked my food intake here on SP and saw that the overall calories were only about 1000 a day, so of course I would lose weight. (!)

Dr. Fung talks about how it's not really calories in/calories out however. His philosophy is that it's a hormonal issue. Insulin is a hormonal regulation inside our bodies that takes care of feeding our cells. What's resonating with me about what he says is that we don't give our bodies enough time to regulate what to do with the energy we just consumed, so most of the time it just gets stored, and eventually turns to fat. He says we need to fast from time to time, to let things settle and give our bodies time to sort things out.

What I've been experimenting with lately is having my last meal at about 3pm (now that I'm working from home) and then not eating again until almost 9am the next day. That gives me an eating window of about 6 hours, and giving my body 18 hours to process everything. And guess what- I'm losing weight! I've found that if I eat very low carb and more protein and fat I don't get as hungry as I'd expected.

I think (for me, anyway) I have a lot of anxiety around being hungry so I eat "just in case" I get hungry later, stuff like that. (also I LOVE FOOD lol) I'm going to stop eating snacks and wait it out between meals from now on, I think. Not eating dinner works for me better than skipping breakfast, as I know many people who prefer not eating breakfast. My dear friend has been doing keto for a few years now, and only eats dinner every day. (Now, she's doing the Carnivore diet, but that's another topic) I think just sticking to 2 meals a day is good for me now. Maybe I'll try out that intermittent fasting where you skip a whole day and then eat what you want the next day, and so on. I kind of like where I'm going with this now. It works for me.

I've already lost about 8 lbs since I've started doing this around 2 months ago, including my "cheat" weekends. I think I am ready to be more strict with myself. So far, so good! Oh, and I feel more clear mentally, and a lot of my joint pain is going away! I don't get my usual heart palpitations during the night. I went to my annual physical last week and in 2 months my A1C went down 0.1 and my glucose went down from 122 to 96! This is literally within 2 months. Something great is happening! And I feel great, too.

All I'm doing is giving my body a break between meals (not snacking) and adding an extra long fast here and there (as we all fast when we sleep, I'm just extending the time a bit more). And, sticking with my regular healthy choices and moderate exercise.

I just thought I'd share! Have any of you tried this?
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