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Has anyone done/is anyone doing intermittent fasting?

Ellen

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I've done some research on this. I would love to hear your experiences, both positive and negative. Also, did you ease in gradually or dive right in, and do you do 7 days a week or less? Any tips?

Any and all info appreciated.
 

Arcadian

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Whatever you do, ease into it and start small. Some fasting protocols allow for protien/fruit drinks and those are ones that I'd look to following.

I think the intermittent fasting of today is easier. it does allow for real food but you fast the rest of the day. however you do it, always be mindful of what you might do to your metabolism.

This might be a trigger for some, sorry but just telling my story.

A friend and I did this. She because she was morbidly obese and needed to lose weight before her operation. I because I was her friend and there was no way I'd let her do this alone. She needed to as lifestyle change and show she was serious because she wasn't going to be able to eat what she used to. What can I say I'm a hanger on type... Love her enough to make sure she didn't feel alone.

We mapped out a plan to do it. Using the guidelines we got from her Dr I set up a plan that was tough but managable.

So we did it for 6 weeks, taking in only the necessary nutrients to live. I took in protien in the form of whey-based drinks, and some vegetables (no fruit at all). She ate one regular meal a day, fasted the rest of the time (lots of water, lots of vegetable drinks [no fruit], LOTS of coffee!!) No soda including diet soda. No carbonated anything.

Vitamin intake became very important (This is when I discovered high B complex vitamins from solargay!), and enough Omega3 based oils. No fish oils, all plant based.

For myself it was a bit harder. I was roughly 170lbs. I'm not fat, just heavily muscled (I used to compete!) So I had to be careful.

I lost weight sure, nearly 40lbs, but it wasn't all good weight. I went from a size 10 to a size 2.

She lost 30lbs which was a good enough start, and we also worked out (we worked out daily!)

This tooks huge tools on energy levels but we both muscled through that.

From my own standpoint the first week was my hardest. I woke up cold and hungry a lot. My sleep patterns were pretty rough, and I was cranky. I stayed colder for a while until about week 3. Something in my body switched about then and I was able to handle fasting and I slept better.

She told me I helped to keep her honest! No candy, no sneaking through drive-thrus. She changed her habits and how she felt about food to make a successful transition. She evened out and her weight is now very stable. She went from nearly 500lbs to well under 200. Even now she will do a complete fast a couple of days a week. Her body is used to it and its now going on 6 years.

IMO do it only as a lifestyle change. Don't do this as a "diet" or "for a little while" because the bounce is hard on this one and you can mess up your metabolism if you're not careful. I also caution for some folks to do this under the care of a physician. fasting for operations or procedures is not that hard (most of us have done it), but they don't typically last that long. The type we did can be dangerous while trying to live a normal life.

For me, this is NOT a lifestyle I can handle. I already miss meals because I forget.
 

Ellen

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Arcadian, thank you for sharing. I hope others heed your advice.

As for me, I am not wanting to do anything like that. I want to do a 16/8 cycle. (For those that don't know what that means, it means you don't eat for 16 hours, then you have an 8 hour window to eat in) I am close to that on a normal day, so this will only be stretching the time I don't eat from a dinner to next breakfast by like 1-2 hours. Not really a big deal.

I'm also not looking at drastically changing what I'm eating, just eating clean. Trying to get away from refined sugar for the most part, and most wheat. I don't eat too many processed foods as it is. But I will never cut out a whole food group, that's not healthy. I will still eat fruits, veggies, meat, dairy, some grains.

The other thing is trying to keep my cals in a decent place. I'm not going to cut too much, as I started weight training also almost two months ago. I work out at the gym usually 3 days a week, and then do something at home a couple as well.

I'm looking for some weight loss (15-20 pounds) plus the added benefits that come from IF if done correctly. (there is much scientific research on this pointing to some really positive effects)

I did come across a video I will link, and these two gals do talk about how women need to be really careful and why. Especially if you have had an eating disorder, or are of child bearing age/nursing. As you said, if you go too far/too hard, you can really mess your hormones up and your weight.

Insomnia, dry mouth, hunger, upset digestive system, constipation/diarrhea, and dizziness can all occur upon beginning this but should subside fairly quickly.

Thanks again for sharing.

Video-Intermittent Fasting 101: For women
 

Golden_bird

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Hello! I also need to lose some weigh after having my babies back to back. I am just trying to be not that hard on myself . If I had a good dinner ,I will skip the breakfast ,if I didn’t eat dinner ,I will have breakfast next day ! But I figured out ,that the size of portion is the bigger at issue !i try to teach myself to eat small porting or when I have a signal that I am full and do not overeat . When I am fasting ,I am just thinking that it’s the time when my body have time to cleanse itself ,heal so it goes easier
 

AprilBaby

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Someone at work did this but it was totally unhealthy. On Tuesday/Thursday she lived on Diet Pepsi. Nothing else. She lost about 25 lbs in 3 months to fit in a dress for her brothers wedding. I’m thinking about trying this in a healthier way.
 

Arcadian

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@Ellen What you're proposing sounds very healthy to me and I'm glad you're going this route. Indeed some anti aging experts feel that intermittent fasting is actually great for the body, as long as its done within reason. There's other things one must do of course, and as a woman you do learn that your numbers on the scale don't mean as much as your mental health....lol And exercise is going to be really key. You can mess up and end up losing too much muscle mass. Not something you want to do! exercise can help you keep your muscle mass. The more muscle mass, the more effeciently you burn calories. In my case I don't really eat a lot of fruit as it is, and it wasn't hard for me to give up.

In college I had some very unhealthy tendencies. Again I don't want to trigger anyone, but i was....small. those types of numbers I won't even put out there again because it was just disgusting. And yes if one has had that type of a disorder one should not intermittent fast (or any type of fasting unless under physician care).

@Golden_bird before you do this, explore it first. I would never recommend this for anyone nursing (if you are please put that first)

You should instead try to lower the amount of carbs first. That alone (refined sugars especially) goes a long way and, its harder than you think. You can expect headaches, body aches, LOTS of irritability when you do this.

Once you do that, then try to lower the amount that you eat per meal within common sense guidelines. You know what I did to my friend? I packed away all of her big dinner plates. She ate out of bowls and small saucers and that makes a difference because the food looks in scale. On our big dinner plates it looks small. This is why some people hate going to french restaurants because they feel the size of the portion is too small in scale with the size plate you get. How much is a single serving of rice? Its quite small, less than the size of your fist! We as a society are too carbcentric even though they can taste really damn good....lol

Next would be shorten the times in which you eat and lengthen the times you don't. As it is, I overnight fast, which isn't exactly a fast to me but for some it would be. Basically that means my last meal is at 7:30pm, I won't eat again until 8am. during the day my meals are small but nutritious. I eat a bit more often, about 4- 6 small meals a day beause for me its best for maintaining my body. I have cheat days. I have to have something to look forward to (lol) but quite often I do forget to eat sometimes, because my job is complex and sometimes very stressful. I'm hypoglycemic so I have to watch my blood sugar constantly, especially if I mess up and skip a meal.

What I did with my friend...that wasn't very healthy for me. It saved her life sure, but for me, it was barely surviving. And yeah I got a high from it but still...not what I recommend. Those who have the stomach sleeve or stomach stapling have no choice but to eat those small meals, and learning to do it before hand is a life saver. Like I said, my friend continued to do this and maintains her weight this way, but she also had the sleeve and was morbidly obese.


@AprilBaby I hate to think how hard her kidneys had to work on those days!
 

Ellen

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Golden bird, I echo Arcadian. If you are perhaps nursing, please hold off until you are done. Definitely best for you and the wee one. :) And you raise a good point, we all need to learn when we are satisfied, and then quit eating!

April, that sounds insane. Just drinking soda is totally unhealthy. Diet soda is even worse, though most people don't know that. It's poison. :/ If you haven't, watch the video I posted. It's got some good info. I know you are somewhere around my age, so I will link you to another gal I just found today. She is for 50+ gals. ;-)


Arcadian, that's a great tip about the smaller plates. I eat my breakfast and lunch on a salad plate. Need to work on dinner. And I have been reading up on how to visualize portions according to how many calories it is approximately. We DO love our carbs! *sniff* And, we do WAY over eat in this country. I don't know how many times I have heard a foreigner say they moved here and gained a bunch of weight. Part of that is our super sized portions. Plus some other factors.
 

rainwood

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People often interpret intermittent fasting as something different than it actually is. It is not living on the bare minimum of calories. That is what a nutritionist I saw called 'starving' and no one should do that. Intermittent fasting is eating so you have 14-16 hours between your meals. For most, that would be eating what you normally eat, but skipping either breakfast or dinner to get that 14-16 hour interval. The general idea is that's how people used to eat, and our bodies are designed to have that longer interval to deal with the waste products that result from eating. It's not a juice fast or anything like that, it's just setting a longer interval between meals than most people have. The nutritionist I saw said that it usually works best for your metabolism if you skip breakfast - the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day being incorrect - but that if you really need breakfast then either skip dinner or eat a sufficiently early dinner that you get that 14-16 hours before breakfast. And when done correctly, intermittent fasting doesn't slow down your metabolism. I lose weight when I follow it, along with watching my simple carbs intake. It also reduces snacking, especially late at night.

Intermittent fasting is how I ate when I was really slender. I didn't know that's what it was called. I just skipped breakfast. It's easiest for me to skip breakfast because I'm not that hungry in the morning, and I'm actually less hungry for lunch if I skip breakfast. For others, skipping dinner or eating a really early dinner works better for them. It's best to do it 7 days a week, but it can be done for fewer days but with slower results. I've gotten a bit off track, but want to get on track because I feel better when I do IF.
 

Golden_bird

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@Ellen What you're proposing sounds very healthy to me and I'm glad you're going this route. Indeed some anti aging experts feel that intermittent fasting is actually great for the body, as long as its done within reason. There's other things one must do of course, and as a woman you do learn that your numbers on the scale don't mean as much as your mental health....lol And exercise is going to be really key. You can mess up and end up losing too much muscle mass. Not something you want to do! exercise can help you keep your muscle mass. The more muscle mass, the more effeciently you burn calories. In my case I don't really eat a lot of fruit as it is, and it wasn't hard for me to give up.

In college I had some very unhealthy tendencies. Again I don't want to trigger anyone, but i was....small. those types of numbers I won't even put out there again because it was just disgusting. And yes if one has had that type of a disorder one should not intermittent fast (or any type of fasting unless under physician care).

@Golden_bird before you do this, explore it first. I would never recommend this for anyone nursing (if you are please put that first)

You should instead try to lower the amount of carbs first. That alone (refined sugars especially) goes a long way and, its harder than you think. You can expect headaches, body aches, LOTS of irritability when you do this.

Once you do that, then try to lower the amount that you eat per meal within common sense guidelines. You know what I did to my friend? I packed away all of her big dinner plates. She ate out of bowls and small saucers and that makes a difference because the food looks in scale. On our big dinner plates it looks small. This is why some people hate going to french restaurants because they feel the size of the portion is too small in scale with the size plate you get. How much is a single serving of rice? Its quite small, less than the size of your fist! We as a society are too carbcentric even though they can taste really damn good....lol

Next would be shorten the times in which you eat and lengthen the times you don't. As it is, I overnight fast, which isn't exactly a fast to me but for some it would be. Basically that means my last meal is at 7:30pm, I won't eat again until 8am. during the day my meals are small but nutritious. I eat a bit more often, about 4- 6 small meals a day beause for me its best for maintaining my body. I have cheat days. I have to have something to look forward to (lol) but quite often I do forget to eat sometimes, because my job is complex and sometimes very stressful. I'm hypoglycemic so I have to watch my blood sugar constantly, especially if I mess up and skip a meal.

What I did with my friend...that wasn't very healthy for me. It saved her life sure, but for me, it was barely surviving. And yeah I got a high from it but still...not what I recommend. Those who have the stomach sleeve or stomach stapling have no choice but to eat those small meals, and learning to do it before hand is a life saver. Like I said, my friend continued to do this and maintains her weight this way, but she also had the sleeve and was morbidly obese.


@AprilBaby I hate to think how hard her kidneys had to work on those days!
Oh no !i don’t starve my baby !i didn’t care about how much I weight when they were nursing :))I didn’t gain that much weight to begin with (around. 20 pounds ) Starting with a very healthy weight ,but still those stubborn 4 pounds didn’t go before I stopped breastfeeding my daughter at 20 months old. I realized how much more I ate when I was breastfeeding ,and I have been pregnant /breastfeeding for the last 5 years :)) so it’s time to change portion sizes and habits lol :)) and it feels to good to do not share my body with anybody else :lol-2:
 

mellowyellowgirl

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MEEEEEEEEEE MEEEEEEEEE

Actually I am doing the 5:2! Does that count?

Been doing it since January! Lost 10 pounds!

Happy to post about my journey if you want more details as I'm not sure if this qualifies as "Intermittent fasting".
 

Ellen

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rainwood, thanks for sharing.

Golden bird, good to hear you're not nursing! I laughed at you not having to share your body! Don't blame you, 5 years is a loooonnnng time. ;))

Asscher, it is indeed a thing, and a very beneficial one at that!

mellowyellow, I'd love to hear what you're doing! I've read about the 5:2, but always like to hear from real live people.
 

mellowyellowgirl

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Okies so when I had my baby (5yo now) I fed him and after birth promptly returned to my thinnest weight ever (56kg).

Baby grew up, life went on and I put on weight slowly, about over a kilo each year. Every year clothes seemed to get tighter.

After I hit about 65kg (and it was still climbing) end of last year and decided I'd had enough. Through pure chance I chatted to an acquaintance and realised she did 5:2. I was fascinated as she was someone who seemed to give very little thought to her weight and food in general. This gave me more faith as I wasn't dealing with a chronic dieter and if someone so sensible with their eating habits was incorporating this into their lifestyle then so can I.

So I went home and did all the research. watched the documentary and started in January.

First 2 weeks the 500cal days were rough! You did not realise how many calories are in things!!!! But eventually I got used to it. I didn't lose much weight though (only about 500 g in 2 months) as I ate quite freely on all the other days but I didn't gain any more weight.

I decided to add more exercise so I did 15,000 steps a day, every day. On fast days I also didn't start eating until noon and stuck to my 500cals.

I've lost 5 kilos so far (10 pounds) and still going. My sister lost 9 kilos!

This is my weekly timetable:

Sunday - Normal to indulgent eating

Monday - 500 cals

Tuesday - Normal eating

Wednesday - Normal eating but light lunch

Thursday - 500 cals

Friday - Normal eating but light lunch

Saturday - Normal to indulgent eating

To be honest these days I feel like I NEED my fast days just to feel less full. Stomach has shrunk overall so can't hit the buffets as well as I used to. I love this eating plan because there is always scope for me to eat whatever I want. It doesn't feel like I will permanently and bleakly eat rabbit food for the rest of my existence.

My weight loss is actually rather minimal as I LOVE my desserts but I have lost weight and am sooo happy with this eating plan. I'm used to the fast days now.

Today is a fast day. About to have some blueberries and strawberries for dessert. Iced Cupcakes tomorrow!
 

AprilBaby

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Ellen, thanks for the video. I started swimming 1/2 mile a day and I think the idea of eating with the 14 hr interval might work best for me. I will be 60 in April and I would like to be on great shape by then.
 

Ellen

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mellow, thanks for elaborating.

"You did not realise how many calories are in things!!!!"
Truer words were never spoken! lol The dang things are everywhere..... and that leads me to my next comment. We are told, Calories in, calories out. Must burn more than you eat, etc. I would hear that and think, I don't buy it. When I was growing up, I ate. I ate A LOT. And I was extremely thin. And I never once exercised. I got married, started having kids. Always lost the weight, still ate a lot. I am not really proud of this, but to prove my point, I could out eat my husband. Still remained thin. At one point, almost too thin. Still no real exercise, though I did do bouts of brisk walking with my friend. But never on a continual basis. It wasn't until my mid to late 30's that I began to have the slightest bit of trouble maintaining weight. I look back on my eating and seriously, I had to be eating anywhere from 3000-4000 calories a day. With no exercise. Was thin. It blows the whole "burn more than you eat" out of the water.

Which leads me to a couple things I have learned recently. One, at 30 we start losing muscle mass. Statistics vary on what % every decade, but it doesn't really matter. The point is we do, and the less muscle you have, the less fat you burn. Secondly, hormones play a huge role in weight loss. Namely insulin and cortisol. I know now that the reason I am probably having so much trouble with this 20 pounds or so, is because when I quit smoking and drinking, I took up sweets! To the point that my weight and where it mostly sits says I am insulin resistant. That's why the intermittent fasting works so well. It brings your insulin down, and helps it stay there instead of spiking on and off all day.

I read about this book in a comment on line, and bought it today. Doesn't matter that I am not obese, I want to know the real way my body works and the true way to eat for life to keep weight off. And that does not mean tracking calories and starving oneself. It just means eating clean. I've got to get off the sugar and white flour. And not eat all day long.

Here's the book. It's written by a nephrologist who treats diabetics. Read the reviews, there are other drs. saying the same thing he is, they agree with him (the author). And if you want a window into the insanity we live with, keep reading til you get to the gal who was either pre- diabetic or diabetic, who began practicing IF, got her numbers down, and her doctor FIRED her, because she wasn't just taking the meds and following the drs. protocol. That, is the world we live in. But the truth is, we CAN reverse diseases with diet. It's being done every day, tons of testimonials on line all over the world. The truth is finally getting out. It's about time!

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss
https://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Code...7&sr=8-1&keywords=the+obesity+code+jason+fung




April, you're just about 9 months older than me. I knew you were close! ;))
Swimming is great, and wouldn't it be wonderful to usher in that next decade looking fabulous!? Do let me know how you get on.

In fact I hope anyone who tries this will post about their experience. This would be great incentive for others. :appl:
 

YadaYadaYada

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I tried this but it didn't work for me at all. However I also have a hormone imbalance so that could be why, it did do wonders for my energy though!
 

Ellen

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Stephanie, that is definitely one of the most commented on benefits, the energy.

Did you cut out junk food/sweets/soda, etc? And limit calories to a normal amount? The fact that you experienced some good side effect makes me think there might still be hope! I would definitely recommend looking into that book I just posted above. I think it could very well help you figure things out. :))
 

YadaYadaYada

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Hey Eileen,

Yes I was eating very healthy and not overcompensating with the meals I did eat but it just didn't work for me. I have PCOS (Polysystic Ovarian Syndrome) so it's a regular struggle. I'm actually scheduled for a physical the end of August so I'm going to talk to the doctor (new to me) about lots of things IF included because he practices it regularly.

I will definitely look at that book and give it a try, thanks so much!
 

Ellen

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Glad to hear your new doc practices IF, there's half the battle, with him anyway. lol I surely hope you get some help.
 

YadaYadaYada

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Ha! I know, my husband actually saw him for the first time recently and told him he was too young to be on a statin (when his other doctor was insisting) and that he was willing to work with him on diet and exercise to see if it made a difference first. He is an osteopath and I've had good experiences with them so fingers crossed!

Ellen, forgive me for calling you Eileen! It's been a long day. I've read your other threads and we share a lot of the same beliefs healthwise ;-)
 

Ellen

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told him he was too young to be on a statin (when his other doctor was insisting) and that he was willing to work with him on diet and exercise to see if it made a difference first

Wow, hold on to that one!! :appl:

My husbands cholesterol runs high, if you buy in to what is deemed high, but that's another thread. lol Any who, I got him for a brief time to cut out white flour stuff and sweets. His numbers dropped 40 points. His doctor said, whatever you're doing, keep doing it. Trouble was, he didn't want to keep eating that way, so it went back up. :/ But diet can definitely help.

And no need to forgive you, I was never offended to begin with. Gave me a chuckle actually. ;))

I'm going to go a bit off track for a second, because I wanted to mention something that might help your PCOS. I don't know if you saw my posts in Missy's thread about autoimmune disease and iodine, so I will post a 3 + minute video of a doctor who has studied iodine at great length and its role in our health. Around the 3 minute marker or so he mentions cysts in relation to iodine deficiency.



Also, a quote from his book, which I cannot recommend enough. "Iodine can cause tumors to shrink and necrose from the center. I have observed similar results with nodules and cysts in the thyroid, ovaries, and uterus after instituting orthoiodosupplementation."(taking iodine! lol)

Iodine plays a HUGE role in our health. If you want to know how it has helped me, just look up Missy's thread.

*steps off soap box* ::)
 

missy

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Hi @Ellen, great thread with excellent advice. Just wanted to share 2 links with you. As you know there is no universal right or wrong and it comes down to the individual and their specific needs and health concerns and all those important details that matter. Just for those of us with thyroid issues and adrenal issues be careful and start slow. Please keep up posted and wishing you good health!


https://www.amymyersmd.com/2018/06/intermittent-fasting-autoimmune-disease/

https://www.thepaleomom.com/benefits-of-intermittent-fasting/
 

Ellen

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Thanks for the links Missy. I certainly hope I didn't give the impression that IF was a "one size fits all" type of thing. I did give a warning to women before posting that first video. But thank you for the specific cautions!

And for those reading, I do have 3 thyroid nodules and some low thyroid symptoms. I will definitely give updates!
 

Ellen

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For those with experience in fasting, did you notice your breath becoming bad? I don't know what to do, as any real or artificial sweeteners can evidently spike your insulin. So no gum or breath mint.... I guess I could carry parsley around with me. :lol-2:
 
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missy

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Ellen no I know your thoughtful process and definitely agree with everything you wrote. I forgot you also have 3 thyroid nodules. I keep forgetting to share that info with my new doctors. Must remember that for tomorrow’s appointment. Thanks. GL!
 

Ellen

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:wavey:
 

mellowyellowgirl

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For those with experience in fasting, did you notice your breath becoming bad? I don't know what to do, as any real or artificial sweeteners can evidently spike your insulin. So no gum or breath mint.... I guess I could carry parsley around with me. :lol-2:
Raspberries or a few blueberries. I know they are food but they clear the breath! There's even an article on it somewhere! And you only need to eat like 3!
 

YadaYadaYada

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Ellen your husband and mine sound a lot a like! I like his new doctor a lot, he was going to keep going to the other one and I asked him why keep giving him your money if you're not happy with what he's advising you?!

Thank you for the information about iodine, I'm going to have a full blood workup done and then introduce the iodine. Great information.
 

omd21

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I did an intermittent fasting protocol about four years ago. Three days a week, I ate about 600 calories around 3:00 - 4:00 pm, so i'd been fasting for 20 hours, the other four days of the week, I ate my maintenance calories, around 1650 calories, at any time I wanted.

On fasting days my 600 calories came from vegetables, avocado, and lean meat. The other days my calories were divided by macronutrient, a certain number of protein, fat, and carbs every day, all coming from healthy sources.

I lost weight quickly on this regime and looked incredible, had a six pack, etc.

However, I wouldn't personally recommend it. Life got in the way and I stopped fasting, albeit I continued eating healthy, and over the next year or two I regained the weight I'd lost plus another 10 lbs.

I also went through a period, after I stopped fasting, were my blood sugar levels would drop too low for no real reason, or sometimes go a little high after meals, and my hormones were not quite right, I was experiencing adrenal fatigue and anxiety.

I now have a much harder time losing and maintaining weight, while before I did IF it was not really difficult for me. This could be simply due to the aging process but I suspect it had to do with putting my body through fasting for a prolonged period. I think women in their late 30's and 40's need to be more careful with drastic protocols, as hormones are beginning to change.

I think the 16/8 approach sounds much healthier, I already eat pretty close to that schedule and I'd be willing to try it again.

The best method for weight loss and maintenance I've found is eating pretty close to the Whole 30/ paleo, lean meats, loads and loads of vegetables, some fruit. I can still eat oats and rice, never dropping calories too low, and doing weight training. As we get older it is so important to keep muscle mass. That's what keeps our metabolism healthy.
 
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