OK, I’m 65, relatively sedentary, and like food. That’s a problem in about 15 different ways, and I’ve finally decided to do something about it.
And I’ve been losing about 4 pounds per week.
And it’s probably one the the easiest things I’ve ever tried to do in my life.
Basically, it’s not consuming calories for 16 hours each day. Water, yes. Diet soda, you bet. Coffee, yep, just no sugar or milk (actually, I cheat a little on that).
The idea behind the Intermittent Fasting 8/16 diet is that you eat normally for 8 hours each day. After 14 hours of not eating, the body goes into ketosis and starts consuming fat cells for energy. So you have two hours of internal fat consumption. That’s long enough to start depleting the waistline bulge, but not long enough to do harm. At the end of the 16 hours, the food window opens and the body returns to normal.
I think of the routine that way — like a window that opens and closes. Mine opens at noon and closes at 8PM. (That’s 12:00 to 20:00 hours for those on 24-hour clocks.) During the fasting period, I keep busy, so I’m not thinking about what I’m not doing (i.e., eating).
During the eating window, I try to use common sense about what I eat. I’ve found I don’t crave carbs or sugar as in the past. They’re no longer the temptations that they were. Part of that is the result of seeing almost immediate success with the diet.
If something happens and you have to vary the window period, you can. You just want to make sure you get the full 16 hour fasting period. So maybe you start the window the next day a little later and get your nutrition in 7 hours instead of 8.
In early 2017 the University of Southern California released a study showing that intermittent fasting—or eating only during prescribed windows of time–can reduce the risk of getting some major diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.(1, 2, 3)
One person we know — another 60-something — lost 35 pounds and got her blood sugar sufficiently under control that she could go off insulin. Another guy lost 45, in less than 6 months and is quite healthy — and he could knock down several beers one night a week while on this diet.
There is also research underway at Washington University in St. Louis to see if intermittent fasting can be used as part of a treatment for MS. There is some positive initial indications that by improving gut bacteria, it can help with that disease of the immune system.
My energy level is up, focus is up. This is really good. Not perfect, but good. (Nothing’s perfect.)
Remember, I’m not trying for extreme weight loss in a short period of time. That’s risky. I want a steady pace of loss with results over time that are permanent.
The first reference below is a great overview.
- Min Wei, Sebastian Brandhorst, Mahshid Shelehchi, Hamed Mirzaei, Chia Wei Cheng, Julia Budniak, Susan Groshen, Wendy J. Mack, Esra Guen, Stefano Di Biase, Pinchas Cohen, Todd E. Morgan, Tanya Dorff, Kurt Hong, Andreas Michalsen, Alessandro Laviano, Valter D. Longo. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Science Translational Medicine, 2017; 9 (377): eaai8700 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8700
- University of Southern California. “Scientifically-designed fasting diet lowers risks for major diseases: A phase III trial of a fasting-like diet shows the greatest benefit for ‘at-risk’ patients.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170216103923.htm>