The power of intermittent fasting plus LCHF and exercise

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The power of intermittent fasting plus LCHF and exercise

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Wineandnibbles 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Hello,

    Having been a long-term lurker on these forums, I thought I would give a quick lowdown about what worked for me in the hope that it might encourage/help others.

    At 46, I knew I was overweight but when I tried to pinch my middle, I couldn’t, so I buried my head in the sand a bit as middle-aged men do. When I went for a review of my blood pressure medication and statin (there is a clue there I must have missed telling me my health is not what I think it is – after all, I walk constantly and eat lots of healthy food, oh and the wine and crisps in the evenings!). I had almost never eaten fast food, enjoyed an Indian or Chinese take-away maybe no more than once every six to eight weeks and generally stayed away from cakes and sweets, preferring low fat.

    So, now the nurse was telling me I was obese with a BMI of 31.7, but I really didn’t consider myself that overweight, being unable even to pinch an inch.

    I started on the LCHF diet at 106kg (1.83m tall) and almost instantly my appetite was dulled, so I stopped having breakfast (which had been healthy anyway: full fat Greek yoghurt and oats and berries). This meant I was having a late lunch, no breakfast and therefore on the 16/8 or better. Lunches were full of salad, meat, fish, olive oil, cheese, eggs, nuts, and I felt completely full, always. In the evenings, I still had nuts and I learned to love pork scratchings, although it must be said they are highly calorific. I also drank red wine, but more mindfully. The weight dropped off and by mid-December I was down to 91kg, never feeling hungry. What is really strange is that I had almost no cravings, except for one: fish and chips pinged my radar one night and despite trying to overcome it for two days, it got the better of me and I made a conscious decision to have some. Terrified about the outcome on the scales the next day, I had nothing to fear, as the weight was at most 0.25 kg higher, which disappeared within a day back on the LCHG / 16/8.

    Also in mid-December I made a conscious decision to enjoy my birthday with a meal out and lots and lots of alcohol, but bizarrely a gym workout before. My weight went up by 1.5kg overnight, but I went for a long walk the next day and got back on the ‘diet’ and it was gone within a couple of days. The same for the Christmas weight. I had whatever I wanted but went for extra-long walks too. What I realised was that weight gain is not necessarily fat gain. It could be down to water, exercise or a myriad other factors, and this made me feel in charge of my fat loss.

    After Christmas, I carried on exercising moderately to vigorously and had LCHF meals when I could, but the Christmas chocolates had to be eaten and I had 3-4 weeks of pretty much binging on chocolates and wine most evenings. This is when I decided to fully sign up to the 5/2 way of life, still, where possible, combined with LCHF and lots of exercise at the gym and walking, but having limited ‘naughty’ things like crisps and wine.

    Today I hit my target of 80kg, which is a loss of around 4 stone. My BMI has gone from 31.7 to 23.9. Truthfully, it has been hard work, but fortunately I didn’t suffer any plateaus for longer than a week. I had a target of 90kg approx for Christmas, as a surprise for family, and in the past 11 days I challenged myself to cut out all alcohol and crisps, which I am happy to say, 5/2 gave me the discipline to achieve, and I lost the final 3kg in that time.

    In summary, the words of the nurse at that medication review echoed in my head throughout this journey. When she told me my BMI was 31.7 and I said that it was terrible, she said it was only terrible if I left it and didn’t do anything about it. Similarly, when my doctor told me I would face steep premiums for getting insurance I was shocked. I found that brisk walking almost every night, even in the freezing winter, helped with my weight loss. You don’t need to join a gym really. I chose a gym that involved a 1km walk from the station at both ends, so burn 400 cals before I even get on the treadmill.

    On a lighter note, what kept me really motivated over the last couple of months was the global fat scale – Google it if you have never heard of it. I am glad to report that I am now typical for Madagascar in my age group!

    Finally, thanks so much for the support of you guys. I am an avid reader and hope to keep up to date with this site now I take that scary step towards maintenance.

    All the best. If I can do it in the freezing winter then so can you. I used to be boiling hot all the time, probably due to my fat duvet, now I’m constantly freezing, but that is the only drawback. Oh, and it’s true that people are friendlier and smilier towards you when you are a ‘normal’ weight too.

    Take care,

    Oh, and I forgot to say, it’s amazing when people you know and see regularly fail to recognise you from a distance, as happened to me today, twice. Keep the faith everyone.

    Also, buying a fitness tracker which counts tour tdee for you is a godsend and a fantastic motivator.

    This system works. You just need to find the determination to stick to it as much as you possibly can and not to sabotage it by going overboard on NFDs.

    Wiseandnibbles, I very much enjoyed reading your wonderful story. All the best for maintenance! From reading your posts, I sense that you’ll do just fine. I’ve been in maintenance myself and find that it isn’t so different than my weight loss phase was. For the most part I’ve continued fasting 2 days a week. If I find I’ve shed too much weight I simply skip a fasting day or eat a bit higher calorie content on my fasting day. The discipline of fasting the two days a week really supports healthy hunger levels and therefore helps me make better choices on my non-fasting days. I’ll add that I also have a health condition which puts limitations on exercise (I even have to be careful/mindful of the energy expenditure during walking), so I suppose my situation is less common given that I relied pretty much solely on 5:2 for the fat I shed during my weight loss phase, and for maintenance of that as well.

    Hi Minka,

    Thanks very much for taking the time to reply. I think I will follow your model and see where it leads me, although the idea of shedding too much weight would have been unbelievable a month or two ago!!

    I totally agree about healthy hunger levels; I can honestly say that I don’t get hunger pangs now – just a vague need for something and sometimes maybe a little rumbling stomach, which may even be cured by just water or bouillon or homemade soup. I do take a high-quality, potent probiotic, which may help in that department.

    I certainly think carefully about the calories and what they can they can do for me nearly all the time, although I think now I am in maintenance I’m entitled to the odd chocolate bar or packet of crisps!

    By the way, I virtually eliminated bread, potatoes pasta, rice (all of any colour or carb content) from my diet during the weight loss phase. It was noticeable that as soon as I partook in the above (ether complex or simple), the weight loss stalled. Forget the idea of needing carbs for exercise, I burned my kilos of fat from my own body in the cold highways and byways of Berkshire, on the treadmill or in the pool. If people have excess fat on their body, then they have the perfect on-board energy supply, without the need for any diet foods or pills, except for loads of water. People aiming to lose weight should just use their own fat to fuel brisk walking, swimming, weight training or whatever, and they should see results.

    My Best Buy: a soup maker. Homemade veg soup, especially celery, is the best, and can come in at well under 150 cals for a massive bowl.

    All the best to you

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