Does the idea of fasting sound like something you’d rather not try? Worried that you’ll faint, get a headache, slow down your already screwed-up-metabolism or miss out on the “essential” nutrients everyone needs?
Well, if you want to see someone who has been experimenting with fasting since September 2017, look no further than your friendly acupuncturist at ERCA! Yes, that’s right. Am I skinny or gaunt? Nope. Have I dropped weight? A bit, but not a shocking amount. Do I feel tired or hungry? No, not at all. In fact, I feel lighter and more energetic than before. Believe it or not, adjusting to periods of eating and NOT eating hasn’t been difficult. It feels like an instinctive and natural way to eat, and the difference has been noticeable to myself and others. I love that it’s flexible with my schedule: meaning, you can tailor it to fit your life.
I started off by reading The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. If you missed out on our November 2017 book club where we discussed this book, worry not. We’re hosting another book club on the same subject. This time, we’ll discuss a simpler, more distilled approach to Intermittent Fasting (IF) with the book Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens. It’s only 97 pages!
There are many fasting techniques that you can easily integrate into your life. I started out with the easy-as-pie “16/8.” This means that if I take my last bite of food at 7:00 PM, then I don’t put anything in my mouth other than water, black coffee, or unflavored tea until 11:00 AM the NEXT day, 16 hours later. You actually sleep through the bulk of the 16/8 fast. I highly recommend this for a week or two before you move on to a lengthier fast and shorter “eating window.” During this time, I’ll tell you that I tried IF primarily to lose weight. However, there are so many health benefits that are discussed in the two books mentioned above that weight loss becomes a side effect of this lifestyle. Some things I’ve noticed are:
- My face has slimmed down (no double chin!) and my skin has brightened. I wake up spry and energetic while remaining that way during my entire fasting window. Also, I find myself moving a lot more and feel less of a need to spend time exercising.
- My mood is more “up” and steady, with fewer peaks and valleys. I don’t get frazzled as often as I did before. On a busy day at work, I can keep pace and I’m more focused and patient.
- Quick waves of hunger visit me while fasting but I stay busy (and question if it’s physiological or emotional) and forget about it within a few minutes. I now realize that there is nothing dangerous about the feeling of hunger. At this point, I welcome it, knowing that my body is burning fat as its source of energy (“autophagy” is taking place!). Let’s save that for our discussion at book club on January 28, 2018, from 3:00-5:00 PM at the ERCA clinic!
- My clothes that are usually tight fit comfortably now, in spite of the fact that the scale doesn’t make any big moves. Last I checked, I’d lost 8 lbs. in 3+ months.
- I can have days off too. Since it’s a lifestyle, I make it work for me which means taking a day off. Vacations happen. Birthday cake happens. I actually look forward to getting back to my IF lifestyle because I like the bloat-free feeling and lightness.
Sound like an approach that might interest you? I can assure you, it’s easier than portioning out your food, counting calories and obsessing over WHAT to eat. Incorporating acupuncture with IF is a powerful combination when it comes to weight loss and hormonal imbalances, which play a huge role in the obesity epidemic. Be ready for a change this year!