I have always been overweight ever since I was young. It was terrible for me growing up because I resorted to crash diets and whatever eating habit that was not healthy at all. For a time I was “slim” and fit in with the crowd – five feet and four inches at 118 pounds and a size 8. I wanted to be slimmer, but my face looked bony, and so I stopped.

 

Source: pixabay.com

Fast forward a few years, I got married and had my first baby. After that, it was history. From 118, I became 130. When my second child was born, my weight jumped to 160 pounds. I lost a bit and dropped down to 145. My third child came and bam! I gained another twenty pounds. After the 4th, my weight shoots up to 190, and now, three years after my fifth child, I am at my heaviest. I currently weigh 220 pounds.

 

Being Obese Was Normal In Our Family

 

It is so true. We were all fat. My dad was fat. Mom was fatter than dad. My brother was huge and my sisters, well, they were a bit chubby. Of course me, I was really big. I wore a size 20 and was petite. In my mind, my husband loves me, and he’s fat too. We love eating together, and so losing weight was not a priority.

 

It Is A Matter Of Choice – Losing Weight Or Staying Obese

 

Two years ago, my brother had a personal issue which prompted him to lose weight. His doctor suggested Intermittent Fasting. It worked for him and now, he is eighty pounds lighter and has the right weight for his height.

 

Two months ago, my sisters followed his way of eating, and to my surprise, they also lost weight. One of them shed off ten pounds while the other lost sixteen pounds. They still ate what they wanted, but unlike before that my sisters would ravage two slices of New York cheesecake in one sitting, right now they would share one slice. And so I had an epiphany. What is this Intermittent Fasting that people indeed tend to lose weight? Is it a healthy way to shed off excess pounds?

 

Intermittent Fasting Basics

Source: flickr.com

 

What is Intermittent Fasting or IF? It is an eating plan that includes a period wherein you can eat and when you need to fast. If you ask experts, they won’t call this a “diet” program. This plan is an eating pattern which provides many benefits like losing weight, strengthening your body, and enriching your mind, as well. It’s not about WHAT YOU EAT, but WHEN YOU EAT. It is the reason why the pattern is not some diet craze.

 

How Is Intermittent Fasting Done?

 

Regularly, those who follow the IF eating pattern will have to fast for 16 hours straight every day.

 

My sisters start their days at 8 am, and as they wake up, they drink water. After an hour, they have their coffee. They go to their offices and wait until lunchtime. Lunch is at noon (12 pm), and that will be their first meal of the day. The second meal is around 4 pm. Their dinner must end by 8 in the evening. The cycle goes on like that on a daily basis.

 

What Are The Restrictions During Intermittent Fasting?

 

There are no restrictions as to the food you eat for the main meals. But of course, you must avoid sugary and fat-packed processed foods. When choosing what to eat, go for more natural meals which include whole grains, whole wheat, lean protein, veggies, fruits, and nuts. If you crave for sweet foods, don’t deprive yourself. You can still have that Starbucks Caramel Frappe as long as you order the smallest cup and share it with a friend. If possible, no cream.

 

If you think you can’t handle that, just try. You can’t say no until you’ve tried it. Believe me when I say that my sisters practically live in Starbucks. But ever since their commitment to living a healthy life and doing IF, I’ve seen them sip a cup for only two or three times the past two months. They also order drinks that contain less sugar and avoid fast food places. Diet or not, fast food is never healthy anyway.

 

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Your Body

 

I got this information from reading online resources backed up scientific studies. According to experts, intermittent fasting can:

 

  1. Affect HGH or Human Growth Hormone – it increases HGH production five times which can promote fat loss and muscle growth

 

  1. Decrease Insulin Levels – when insulin is low, fat is more accessible to access and more natural to lose.

 

  1. Repair Cells – a person who is fasting will undergo a cell repair process and dysfunctional proteins within the cells will be discarded.

 

  1. Promote Gene Life Longevity – by doing IF, studies proved that the cells are more resistant to diseases and lives longer.

 

Is Intermittent Fasting For Everyone?

 

A word of caution – not everyone can do IF. Those who have diabetes, heart problems, under medication, a history of eating disorders and are already underweight must never follow the IF eating pattern. Children are also advised not to do IF. Consult your doctor first if you are physically and mentally fit for the said eating lifestyle.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Yay Or Nay?

 

Personally, I say YAY. My brother lost a ton of weight and had maintained it all year long. At times, he says, he is still fasting – not to lose weight, but for the health benefits, it provides. My sisters also lost big time, and they’re energetic. I say YAY because I want to lose weight as well, and honestly, I’ve been doing IF for a week now. My body is adjusting, and it’s not easy to say NO to cheesecake, milk tea, and chocolates, but my jeans are more comfortable to close. I love that feeling. And oh yes, I lost two pounds already.