It has been more than 9 months since I started to follow Intermittent Fasting regimen. I should say it was beneficial to me from lots of points of view. I lost about 31.5 pounds of weight (14.3 kg) going from 200 lb to 168.5 lb within this timeframe. I look slimmer and younger and overall I have a feeling of lightness and agility when I move.
I changed what I eat and moved away as much as I could from consuming processed food, though I do eat it a couple of times a week. I completely refrain from eating raw sugar or drinking soft drinks. I eat almost no sweets or pastries.
As for Intermittent Fasting I went from 16:8 which stands for 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours eating window to 18:6 that I do for months now. And I did 19:5 for a couple of months in a row. I also did prolonged fasts of 24, 39, 42 and 68 hours. I mostly did 42 hours fasts which I documented in this blog previously. I should say that prolonged fasts are nothing like 16:8 and they are more trickier to handle, but they result in faster and larger weight loss in comparison to classic 16:8 fast.
I also started to walk regularly throughout the week doing twice as much steps a day in comparison to pre-fast time. Over the weekends I actually do 3-4 times more steps than before I started fasting and do on average 10,000 steps or more. On weekends, I always walk in a fasted state in light clothes even in a very cold weather. In addition, initially I started doing weight training in a fasted state right after walking, but now I do it on evenings about three times a week using dumbbells and resistance bands.
What helped me to be motivated and keep on going were the books and YouTube videos that medical doctors, journalists and regular people produced on the subject of weight loss using Intermittent Fasting. These people were challenging wrong and widespread nutrional dogma of eating low fat and high carb food that caused worldwide epidemic of metabolic syndrome.
To name just a few, Gin Stephens, Jason Fung MD, Mark Mattson PhD, Robert Lustig MD, Benjamin Bikman PhD, David Perlmutter MD, Gary Taubes and others. Their books shed the light on why Intermittent Fasting worked and what were the dangers of sugar and especially fructose that was a part of it. All in all, I watched a couple of dozens of videos and read more than 15 books on the subject and a number of peer-reviewed scientific papers.
I also a member in a group of friends where we share advice on Intermittent Fasting and weight loss. My friends who followed me were able to loss 48 lb and 28 lb pounds each one respectively. I guess they are happy with the change they went through. And they are.
Well, despite all of this progress, sugar is still an addictive substance that I crave from time to time, especially after extensive workouts and other physical activity that accumulates during the day. Today, was such a day. On Saturday, I walked and ran in a fasted state for 3 km, than walked in a snow in the afternoon for about 3 km, and then had a workout with dumbbells in the evening. All in all it was quite exhausting. On Sunday, I woke up and went on walking and running in a fasted state this time for 6.2 km. Then in the afternoon I walked additional 3 km. As a result, in the evening at about 8 PM I had a craving for sugar and ate two slices of white bread with chocolate spread. All in all, about 16-20 gr of sugar (half of which is fructose).
So even though I know that sugar is unhealthy and outright dangerous, just like alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are having sugar a part of my diet for most of my life makes it quite difficult to eliminate it completely. Most of the time I am good without it, but sometimes cravings are there.
I hope, in time I’d be able to get rid of sugar and substitute it with berries or fruits rich in fiber. It isn’t an easy fight, fighting an uphill battle with sugar addiction that hundred millions if not billions of people face daily.