This post is long overdue. I have been home from my 4-day cruise to the Bahamas since March 9th. This was my first cruise, and I was excited to spend time with friends in the sunshine. I went with a general fasting plan and a willingness to be flexible with my fasting times so I could enjoy the meal package. I really didn’t want to obsess and have meal times be weird with my friends. I tried to choose lower-carb menu items as a way to keep my glycogen stores lower and to help curb between meal cravings. I did enjoy some desserts and cocktails along the way. I think I did pretty well.
Day 1-travel day-fasted 23 hours-Dinner
Fasting is so easy on a travel day. I don’t like the hassle of bringing food on a plane, and airplane food is never “window worthy” in my opinion. I drank plenty of water and popped salt crystals under my tongue to push away hunger and keep me alert. That all worked. Once I arrived in Miami, I joined my friends and enjoyed cocktails and dinner at a Cuban restaurant. I ordered a dish that had 5 different meats on it-low carb for me! It was delicious and a great way to start the trip. Of course a few mojitos helped too.
Day 2-On board-fasted 14 hours-Lunch, Dinner
I enjoyed the ship’s buffet at lunch time. It is really easy to go low-carb at such a huge buffet! An incredible variety of cuisines and everything was delicious. For dinner, we ate in a restaurant and enjoyed table service. The menu changed nightly so there was plenty of variety. Again, lots of low-carb options for me and substitutions for starches was never an issue. I stuck to Chardonnay at dinner and was able to bring a bottle on board too. I saved the carbs for dessert and cocktails before dinner.
Day 3-fasted 14 hours-Lunch, Dinner
Unfortunately we got hit with lots of clouds and winds for the rest of the cruise. We made the best of it. Similar fasting as Day 2.
Day 4-fasted 12 hours-Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
I ate breakfast for the first time in two years! It was well worth it. Again, I could keep it low carb and eat until I was full. I enjoyed lunch and dinner in the same way.
Day 5-travel day-20 hours fasted-Dinner
Travel days are easy with fasting. Got home and enjoyed a home cooked meal!
How did I do?
As I had heard in the various fasting Facebook groups and read in Delay, Don’t Deny, fasting while on vacation should be flexible. I was prepared to see a higher number on the scale at the end of the trip. But, I was confident that any weight gain would be water weight from drinking more often and from the added carbs at mealtime. And, I knew that if I didn’t go crazy with carbs my body would respond as it should and burn through my glycogen stores once I got back into my typical fasting pattern. Being fat adapted is a huge advantage when the scale goes up on occasion.
Well, my body did not let me down. I lost 1/2 pound while away. I was amazed. I never felt that I denied myself anything I wanted while on the trip. I enjoyed the food, the drink, and most of all, I enjoyed my time with my friends.
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, ischemic stroke, schizophrenia and even drug addiction."
The science is there for the intermittent fasting lifestyle. Call it "time restricted eating" if that is easier to share. Either way, expanding the the hours in which you do not eat are a benefit to your health in so many ways. Join my facebook group if you are interested in trying IF-"Live Free and Fast"
Time-Restricted Eating — A Powerful Way to Prevent DementiaAnalysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
You may have lots of questions about Intermittent Fasting (or Time Restricted Eating) and I am here to help you become familiar with the IF lifestyle. This lifestyle is less about what you eat and more about when you eat. There are many ways to fast and you will discover which protocol works for you. Scroll though previous posts for helpful hints, ideas, reference books, podcasts, websites and more.
I’ll start you of with a few suggestions to get you started:
Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephans. Our group follows her fasting basics and her writing style is friendly and approachable.
The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. An excellent explanation of how food effects our hormones and how to begin fasting.
The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung A favorite reference guide, less “sciency” than The Obesity Code.
The Intermittent Fasting Podcast-This one really got me going. Excellent information and a pleasure to listen to.
The LowCarb MD Podcast-Great information, excellent guests, and honest critiques of the medical industry by two doctors.
Intermittent Fasting Stories- A great companion to Gin Stephan’s books. Real stories by fasters.
Taking that first step is often the hardest part of trying something new. Here are a few steps you can take to get you going with IF today.
1. Don’t eat after dinner. For many of us, eating after dinner is a habit and habits can be broken. You know this. Instead of eating a dessert right before bed, eat your dessert right after dinner. Then, if you are hungry before bedtime, go to bed.
2. Delay breakfast. The goal is to stretch out your fast from dinner the night before. Eat breakfast only when you are hungry. Put it off one hour each day or every few days until it becomes lunch. If you are a breakfast food lover, eat that for lunch! Fasting for 12 hours is a great place to start, and fasting for 16-18 hours is achievable with practice.
3. Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of unflavored, unsweetened liquids. Water, black coffee, and black or green tea will keep you hydrated and feeling full. If drinking black coffee is unappealing to you, cut back on cream and/or sweetener, daily.These additions will raise your insulin levels and trigger hunger. Over time, your taste buds will adapt. You can enjoy your cream and sugar during your eating window, but should avoid them while fasting.
4. Read “Delay, Don’t Deny” by Gin Stephens
5. Read “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Dr. Jason Fung
6. Listen to “The Intermittent Fasting Podcast”. Start with Episode #2 (episode #1 got deleted).
Before and After
Kim and Ryan Smith transformed their health and their bodies with IF. Check out their inspirational story in their book Unbelievable Freedom: How We Transformed Our Health and Happiness with Intermittent Fasting
Getting Started with IF.
Do this today!�This is the time of year when we set goals for ourselves for the incoming year. You are a member of this group, so I am assuming that you are either practicing IF or considering it. In either case, congratulations and welcome! For those of you who are ready to give IF a try, you are heading for an amazing journey to improved health and weight loss! Here are a few things you can do to start you on your way.
1. Set your goals. Is your goal weight loss? If so, choose a goal weight. Would you like to conquer some health conditions? List those health issues you would like to address, nothing is insignificant. You will find that IF will help your body heal in ways you never thought possible. As you include fasting into your daily routine, your body will have the time it needs to address big and small health concerns you may have. Would you like to be free to enjoy food, without guilt, without deprivation, without weighing and measuring? This is a wonderful goal and fully achievable with IF.
2. Record where you are today. Non Scale Victories (NSV) are often what we notice first with IF. Your clothes are looser, your rings fit better, your skin is clearer. NSVs are very satisfying as you work towards your goals.
• Record your current weight. Take measurements of your waist, hips, chest, upper thighs, calves.
• Take pictures. Trust me, you will be so happy to have “before” pictures. Wear an outfit that you will keep for photos when you reach "goal". Take pictures of your face, eyes, bare feet, and hands. IF reduces inflammation almost immediately and you may notice it first in these areas.
Here are my “before” and “after” photos.
My SW (start weight): 165lbs
My CW (current weight): 140 lbs
My GW (goal weight): 135 lbs
My NSVs (Non Scale Victories)
1. My pant size went from size 10 to size 6
2. My top size went from size M to size S
3. I no longer get sleepy during the day.
4. I don’t get tired while driving long distances-which I do for work regularly.
5. My body is leaner and stronger due to the increased growth hormone created during my longer fasts.
Are you starting IF?
Are you ready for this amazing journey to health and weight loss?!
Here are a few things you should do first:
1. Read or listen to “Delay, Don’t Deny” by Gin Stephens. You will learn all you need to know about IF and how to get started.
2. Pick a goal. Maybe you are doing IF for health reasons-list what you want to address. If weight loss is your goal, pick a goal weight.
3. List any health concerns you may have, nothing is insignificant. You will find that IF will help your body heal in ways you never thought possible. As you adopt IF as a lifestyle your body will have the freedom to address big and small issues that trouble or bother you.
4. Record your measurements
Are you wondering what a "clean fast " is? I drink only black coffee, water, unflavored seltzer, and unflavored black or green tea. Here is a great explanation of what can be included in a "clean fast". Gin Stevens is the author of "Delay, Don't Deny": Living an Intermittent Lifestyle". This should be your handbook for IF-its mine!
Before I started IF, I focused on cutting down on my carbs. I stopped eating cereal, oatmeal, and toast for breakfast. For fruit, I bought only berries because they are relatively low in carbs. Then I worked on removing carbs/starches from my other meals. I prepared a larger portion of protein and served two vegetables with each meal. Here is a wonderful cookbook that I discovered from Eat The Butter. The "flip book" style is fun and the recipes are simple, but delicious. Eat The Butter is a website worth checking out for all of the helpful information regarding low-carb recipes and meals. I hope you enjoy!