In January this year, I had gone for a 15 day fasting programme for weightloss at a well-known naturopathy centre at my hometown. It was a very rigorous form of fasting with just three glasses of fruit juices a day and plenty of water. I didn’t last long. After three days of it, I ran away from that place. Though I didn’t appreciate their way of doing things due to severe protein deficiency and muscle wastage involved, the idea of fasting stayed behind. Now it is Ramadan, the time of fasting for Muslims worldwide. And the idea of fasting has come back to my mind, not necessarily for religious purposes, but for its health benefits. (And hey, I wouldn’t mind developing a little self-restraint and control over myself if that can be achieved through fasting).
Health first, weight loss next
After undergoing multiple back surgeries under general anaesthesia and being on strong prescription drugs for a while, my immune system has gone haywire. I have problems with lymphatic drainage. I get occasional swelling due to lymph enlargement in my abdomen and neck. Besides this, I have bloated puffy face. I suffer from chronic fatigue all the time and frequent swelling in all my joints due to sero-negative arthritis.For me, weight loss is just a means to an end. My goal is to become healthy. Losing a few pounds here and there may help me very much in my struggle with my hip and knee joint injuries. More over, it may also take the load off my fused back.
Losing weight exclusively through exercise is not an option for me any more considering my injuries. So I decided to hop on the diet bandwagon to lose some flesh. First thing I did was to start a food journal (that was a month back). I weighed around 174.8 pounds at the beginning of the month. By the end of the month, I had lost almost 6.6 pounds with zero exercise. The secret behind that little reduction was cutting back a little of carbs and the incorporation of vegetable juices and salads into my diet. To tell you the truth, consuming Bottle gourd juice for breakfast almost every day/ alternate day, did the trick for me. Bottle gourd is a natural diuretic. So, my initial weight loss has been primarily water weight. Those cabbage soups I had for lunch and dinner (not every day, but at least twice a week for a full month) may also have been helpful. But that was it. My weight hasn’t budged any less after that.
It was during this time that I stumbled upon an old article on ‘Intermittent Fasting’ (IF) which I had read two years back. IF has been touted as the most effective diet in the world by its followers. Since it has become so popular, there are many different ways of Intermittent Fasting to suit the needs and capability of those who adopt this method for weight loss and its other benefits.
After two days of tinkering with the thought, I have finally decided to give IF a try. Since I am new to dieting and fasting in general, I am going to adopt different approaches till I find the one that suits me the most. For beginning the ‘challenge’, I have decided to adopt the ‘Leangains’ protocol first. It involves fasting 14 to 16 hours a day and then indulging in healthy eating for a 10- 8 hour window. I haven’t decided upon my meal timings yet. Don’t know if skipping breakfast is legit or not. But I am going to give it a try for a while. I will be updating shortly on the results positive or negative of it. I will be noting down the daily decrease or increase in my weight to restrict intake accordingly.