My choices are always informed by my TDEE <- calculator link.
The first round of weight loss (260 lbs-> 200 lbs) in 2010 was based on doing Paleo 100%, plus Crossfit 3-5x/week.
The second round of weight loss (225 lbs-> 159 lbs so far) has been entirely based on intermittent fasting and Calories in, Calories out (CICO) management.
This document outlines round 2 (2021-2022+)
- Intermittent fast nearly day. Minimum 16 hours fast. Not hungry at 16 hours? Wait til hunger.
- 48-72 hour fasts after I was used to it for a few months. I do this at random, especially if I think I’m stalling and my trackers show I’ve kept calories down. These are great jumpstarts but can be hard at first.
- I minimize dairy, breads, and grains — I eat almost none of these. That worked for me doing paleo, it works for me now. The natural result here is that I’m generally also low carb
- I definitely moderate these restrictions. I’m not giving up ice cream, pizza, chocolate cake, or sushi (rice). Moderation in all things, including moderation. I’m no monk (<- if you get this reference, please send me a message!!!)
- I do calorie tracking on MyFitnessPal (ping me/leave a comment with your MFP link to be MFP friends, happy to share my diary and have more of a network). I find MFP is well worth the premium subscription but the free version works just fine if the premium subscription is too much $$$. Better to log, than not log.
- 1200 calorie max on non-therapy days
- 1700 calorie max on therapy days (Tues, Fri) to allow for a smallish treat
- I have zero self-control but will rarely leave the house for a craving. Food that needs preparation is safe. I keep no junk in the house. No chips, no chocolate, nothing tempting and easy.
If you’re intermittent fasting, let me answer your question.
Does it have any calories? YES, IT WILL BREAK YOUR FAST FFS. I will lose my mind if I see this question again.
- I like to feel full, stuffed, and comatose full. So I use volume eating. This means low calories but weighty foods. Filling for a long time.
- WATER! I have a Sodastream and guzzle seltzer (unflavored)
- Coffee (black, so it doesn’t break fast) is a great appetite suppressant.
- Herbal tea is a godsend. Chamomile at night will not break fast but will help promote sleep.
- Fasting is easier when busy. Boredom = food, for me. I hate being busy <- struggle.
- I use an EVOO sprayer for oiling pans. Olive Oil is very high in calories. About 10 calories per spray.
- I put a ton of edible mushrooms into nearly everything for volume eating.
- Strawberries are about 4 calories a berry. I eat a ton of strawberries.
- Greek and Icelandic yogurt is high in protein and good for your gut microbiome. I love Skyr yogurt.
- I use bags of frozen vegetables that steam in the microwave. I don’t eat a serving; I eat the entire bag. These are very dense, high-satiety, low-calorie foods.
- I minimize bread and grains as much as possible, but I’m not fanatic about it as I was when paleo.
- I drink alcohol usually when I’m PMS’ing, and avoid it the rest of the time. Alcohol is ridiculously caloric. Careful!*
This part isn’t talked about enough!!!!.
- From Day 17 of my cycle through to day 1 of bleeding, I follow Dr. Mindy Pelz’s advice
- In the second year of fasting, post-vax, I have noticed what I term “Endless Stomach Syndrome” (ESS) when I am PMSing, with more unpredictability in my cycle. This is why I started following Mindy Pelz’s work.
- During the 7 days, before I should start my period, I eat whatever the hell I want, when I want. I don’t fast.
- During this time, I frequently gain 5-7lbs. This drops off in the 1-2 days after my period ends. High fat, salty foods cause water retention, nothing to be upset about if the scale goes up.
- Because I moderate my moderation, I average 4-5lbs weight loss/month. In my first year, when I was strict 98% of the time, I lost 8-10lbs/month.
- I walk Eclipse 2-3x/day when the weather is acceptable. Minimum 2 miles/day, but we keep going if we’re feeling good. Up to 6 miles/day, so far.
- Yard sprints playing with Eclipse
- Random acts of dance
- Pull-up training
- Some random mobility, pilates, yoga stuff
I’ve experienced many benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Expanded mental clarity: thinking and memory
- Improved heart health
- Metabolic Health
- I can now easily identify real hunger from “wanting to eat”
- Lower food expenses
- Less cleaning
- More free time
- Weight loss (when combined with CICO)
- Lowering A1C (avoiding diabetes)
- There is some pretty cool science coming out about potentially avoiding Alzheimer’s
- I weigh myself first thing every morning on a Renpho scale with many body measurements, including body fat.
- I have an Omron body fat monitor.
- Withings Blood Pressure monitor
- Every. Single.Thing. I. Eat. goes into MyFitnessPal. Everything. Measure and weigh things for accuracy.
- Before starting, I always encourage people I talk with to begin by logging their current food for 1-4 weeks. You’ll be absolutely shocked at how many calories you’re ingesting. Most people I talk to greatly underestimate calories. Do this for yourself.
- I use the Zero app (some reputable resources at the link) to track my fasts. On the free plan, but I started with the paid plan to learn more.
- I’ve added doing pull-ups every day, using WODfit bands to assist.
- Going for consistency, but I randomly do pilates based on the classes I’ve done before and some yoga and Physical Therapy (PT) PT mobility exercises.
- Way more “lift heavy things” <- muscle will burn fat.
- Dr. Mindy Pelz fasting to support Progesterone and probably should read her books, but I haven’t
- Great Youtube videos
- Dr. Fung on Youtube, and I probably should read his books, but I haven’t
- I like this video in particular (1h11min. worth it)
These doctors regularly update Youtube with great new info, tips, and tidbits. Lean in, and it’s a lot of fun to learn about.
The Last Note
While I have not added many specific citations, I welcome you to Do Your Own Research. Real research. Peer-reviewed research. Dive into the sources, be sure they’re credible. I did that for myself; you do it for yourself.
What I’ve outlined here has worked for me. YMMV. SEE A DOCTOR FIRST.
Remember: Everyone is different. What works for me may not work for you.