Intermittent Fasting – The Day Dieting Died Forever

Welcome to I’m John and I’ll be your host on this site as we discuss and discover the benefits and challenges of transforming your body through fasting and exercise. So what is this thing called intermittent fasting and why does it keep picking up momentum in mainstream media? Is it something that is here to stay or are we cycling through yet another eating craze that will soon be replaced by another catchy diet plan that is endorsed by a few celebrities? Let’s do some digging and start looking closer to what the hype is all about.


Intermittent Fasting – The Definition

Intermittent fasting is simply having set times during the day for eating and not eating. Studies show that when people ate for 8 hours and fasted for 16 hours they had the best results with weight loss than people who ate and fasted with a different ratio. Additionally, people that fasted and ate low carb foods during their eating window had significantly better results than those who just fasted with a 16:8 ratio. And let it be no surprise that people who fasted, ate a low carb meal and exercised 3 times a week experienced the best results for loosing belly fat than other groups.


How Intermittent Fasting Changed Me Forever – Living The Life I’ve Always Wanted

To be Born in the 70s, I was bombarded with the FDA’s nutritional guidelines for daily food intake. Let’s just revisit those shall we? My entire life growing up I was told 60% of my daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 25% from protein and 15% from fat. Throughout grade school I struggled with weight and later in college I would also have that struggle as I continued into my adult life. Food was always a source of anxiety for me because of choosing the right foods to eat and the effects bad choices might have on my body.

Up until a few years ago I had finally hit my peak weight of around 218 pounds. Now mind you I’m not exactly tall either at 5’9″. My doctor had put me on medication due to high triglycerides and scans of my liver were showing I had fatty liver syndrome and if unchecked I was well on my way to cirrhosis of the liver. I seldom drank alcohol but just bombarding myself with the overeating of carbohydrates and food in general was causing my system to fail. Essentially I was literally eating myself to death while living a stressful lifestyle with work.

So at this point I was on a collision course with disaster and something had to change. My brother who has always been a highly motivational person, it’s his gift, got me to start running with a phone app called Nike Run Club. The importance of exercise apps can’t be overstated. This app was so motivating for me because it told me how many calories I was burning, distance, time and GPS route of my workouts. I was immediately hooked and I slowly reversed the trend on the scale in my favor. Within nine months I had gone from 218lbs to 190lbs. Thank you Nike Run Club and my Android phone for fueling my journey with accurate feedback on my runs. I truly believe this made all the difference in the world and allowed me to stay motivated by joining a running club with friends on my phone to stay motivated and in the game.

At this point I was still eating without a game plan and as soon as I eased off with my mileage just for a week my weight would reverse. So here I was about 28 pounds lighter but the second I stopped running nearly 100 miles a month I would immediately gain weight back and most likely return to 218 or even more. Sound familiar? If so I’m very excited to share with you next on how I was able to ease back to virtually no running while maintaining 190 pounds and even loose another 15 pounds while not even running at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love running however not as much as my knees loved running which I felt was becoming very problematic.

Taking My First Steps With Intermittent Fasting – Kicking Bad Habits For Good

In fear of gaining all my weight back and knowing I had to reduce my mileage I soon took on weightlifting 5 times a week with a highly detailed program that trained total body 5 times a week. Weight lifting worked very well with keeping fat off but weight was slowly creeping up and soon I was back at 195 and depressed about gaining the weight back and having trouble with my knee.

A friend of mine who is a doctor and a fitness competitor has quite a following on social media. Recently she just won a few national competitions and received the status of being a professional in the industry. One day I reached out to her and asked her what does she eat? Her response would change my life forever. She mentioned she has her first meal at 12 noon and her last meal at 8pm. She added that she trains in the mornings and after her workout she will then break her fast. This was something I wanted to try so I made the decision that on the 1st of the month I was going to commit to this way of eating which is called intermittent fasting.

In the past 4 months of fasting I have gone from 195 to 175 pounds. It’s been 16 years since I weighed 175 pounds but I was training fanatically during that time to just barely tip the scale for a minute to achieve that weight and I was in my 20s. Now 16 years later in my 40s I casually plan my workouts, mostly bike rides, and can maintain 175 with little to no effort and stress. How is this? By doing something I had never done before called intermittent fasting.

I started off very simply.  Monday through Friday I would break my fast at noon and then start my fast at 8pm. During my fast I only consumed liquids with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. The results were amazing. The scale soon became my best friend as I was back at 190 with no running. As I moved into my second month of fasting I now broke the 190 mark and was consistently living in the upper 180’s. I couldn’t believe it, intermittent fasting worked. Keep in mind I was fasting only Monday through Friday and on the weekends I allowed myself to have carbs and eat early or late which was how things were before fasting. Eventually I stopped having cheat days because I just didn’t like how I felt when eating using old habits. I soon noticed on my cheat days my old eating habits made me feel sluggish, bloated and very uncomfortable. So I stopped having cheat days because I felt gross. Don’t get me wrong occasionally I still have pizza which is my favorite food.


Fine Tunning Intermittent Fasting With A Low Carb Diet – I’ll Never Eat Another Way Again

So the first few months of my fasting went pretty well but eventually I did hit plateaus with my progress. Now stuck at about 185 pounds, which I still couldn’t believe I achieved, I still wanted to hit my goal weight of 175 which my doctor and I had agreed would be ideal for my height. What was the missing piece that was preventing me from breaking through this 185 barrier? The answer I found, through a little bit of research, was I still was addicted to carbs and I was still afraid of consuming fat due to anxieties I had from my earlier days. The time had come to do some fine-tuning without abandoning fasting. To break my fast at around noon I began to eat 4 strips of bacon and 3 sausage links and one scrambled egg. this worked great and I was satiated all the way to 4 to 6pm. Then to keep my carb intake low I would have a giant spinach salad with veggies and a hard boiled egg. For salads I would use oil and vinegar and what happened next was amazing.

By switching to a low carb diet while fasting I broke the 185 pound mark and almost instantly was at the 180 pound mark. I was speechless when I saw this happen. Again, I wasn’t running 100 miles a month at this point and I had eased off of weight lifting due to a shoulder injury. At this point I was just cycling and loving my bike rides. Now very motivated and excited I began to up my cycling and began riding 3 times a week and trying to ride 1 to 2 hours which I loved and so did my knees! Eventually it happened, I was at 175 pounds and I had become the new skinny guy in town. That is my story and that is how intermittent fasting changed my life. What I really like about intermittent fasting is that I never felt deprived or that I was making a sacrifice. Technically you can eat whatever you want during fasting and will achieve results assuming you don’t overeat during your eating window. The best part of intermittent fasting, aside from hitting my goal weight, was it provided a stable eating game plan that eased my anxiety and fear with eating.

Author: John P

John is an avid bodybuilder, runner, cyclist and nutrition enthusiast. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science in 2000 from California State University Sacramento. He has personally trained clients for over 10 years and has training certificates with both NSCA and NASM.

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