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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

90-Day Life Challenge: Intermittent Fasting

This is Day 1 of my 90-day life challenge, and I'm beginning with my weight. Currently, I am 5'3" tall and (according to my appointment on July 15, 2016, I am 214.4 lbs. Obviously, this is an unacceptable weight for someone my size. I typically wear an XL or a 16-18 comfortably. 

To track the effectiveness of intermittent fasting, I will post updates after each of my chemo infusions since this is the only time I weigh myself. Not proud of where I'm starting, but very proud of where I'm going.

Why Try Intermittent Fasting?

Last week, I did a Google search for "diets that improve blood sugar." I'm not diabetic or even close to it, but I do have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome [PCOS], which comes with a healthy dose of insulin resistance. I needed something that I could manage while still mothering my wee-one and working two and a half jobs. And up pops intermittent fasting. I'm not gonna lie, I was extremely intimidated by the idea of not eating for 16 hours at a time, but the logic is sound. My oncologist even thought it would be a good plan for me to try since it's main benefits are: managing blood sugar, retraining your body's response to hunger, and (of course) facilitating weight loss. It has even been suggested that intermittent fasting can lower the bodies risk of certain cancers that are exacerbated by weight gain, i.e. melanoma.

So, What Do I Need to Do?

On a random Google Image search of "intermittent fasting," I stumbled on this beautiful infographic that explains the ins-and-outs of the Lean Gains version of fasting, which is basically 16-hour daily fast, followed by 8 hours of an eating period. The source of this infographic is linked under the image. As you can see, there are many ways to use intermittent fasting for health and weight loss, but I've chosen the LeanGains 16 hours "on" and 8 hours "off," primarily because I want to have lunch and dinner with my family. All forms of fasting recommend some form of exercise before you break the fast in order to use more fat stores and accelerate weight loss, but that is a challenge for a different day.

So, Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?

The short answer is, eh, it depends. Since you do not eat for long periods of time, you would either need to have a relatively easy time dealing with the feeling of hunger, or a deep desire to control that impulse. I fall into the latter category. At the same turn, this would not be good for someone with a specific dietary need to eat small meals at short intervals, or for a diabetic person who has not checked with his/her doctor first. 

Additional Resources


Well, that's the basics, and like I said, I'll post another update after my next infusion appointment on the 29th. Wish me luck! I welcome any criticisms or commentary on my methods, or any suggestions for improvement.

Happy reading,

Your Devoted Friend

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