Hello my FBFs! FBF stands for fat-burning friends. A low-carb lifestyle turns you into a fat-burning machine! Welcome to my series on getting started. I am dedicating the next few months to sharing my best tips and tricks to help you take off!
Now, before I get too far into all this advice – I have an important DISCLAIMER. I want you to know I am not a health care provider. I am just a gal that lived with obesity for three decades and finally discovered the secret to why, no matter what I tried, I could not keep excess weight off my body! I am here to share my journey and how I reached a healthy weight and metabolism I will maintain for life.
I want you to get your doctor involved in your healthy journey. Especially if you are taking medications for anything – you will need to be closely monitored. This is COMMON and STANDARD advice anytime you start a new dietary protocol. I have found three doctors to support and monitor my Keto lifestyle. My functional medicine MD, my cardiologist MD, and my pulmonary MD (sleep specialist). You may have to search for a doctor to work with you or you may have to ask your doctor to spend some time researching the low-carb, healthy fat lifestyle. But get one on board your Keto or LCHF train! Got it?
Is the Keto or LCHF diet right for you? I can’t answer that for you – but I can suggest you spend a lot of time researching and discuss with your doctor. You can read my September blog series “Keto Heals” to discover all the benefits I have realized. You can read mine and other’s success stories on Diet Doctor. Can you relate? The secret to unlocking your obesity and other metabolic dysfunction could be in the low-carb lifestyle.
Welcome back my FBFs!
I have been so hesitant to write about this topic, Intermittent Fasting (IF). After all, according to the fasting guru, Dr. Jason Fung, the first rule of “Fast Club” is not to speak of fast club.
But I’m sorry (not sorry), I must share a little bit about my secret weapon to my weight loss and insulin control.
If you’ve read my story, you may remember a random google search on Dr. Fung and fasting led me right to the Diet Doctor website. I stayed up into the wee morning hours watching and reading everything I could by Dr. Fung and Dr. Eenfeldt. There’s a lot of resources out there for you to explore, too! Check out my “Getting Started: Favorite Resources” blog and my Keto 101 page for starters!
I like to describe this part of my journey with a simple analogy. When I ate the Standard American Diet (SAD) high in carbohydrates, my insulin rode a wild roller coaster all day long. Eat carbs, blood sugar and insulin spike. Carbs turn to glucose in the body. Glucose depletes in about two hours and I crashed – my body screamed for more fuel. Up and down, up and down. My hormones were so confused and out of whack.
Eating excess carbs all day long increases insulin. An overload of insulin stores the excess glucose (sugar) in the liver. Your body only needs so much glucose so what happens to the excess? Fat storage, that’s what happens! If you continue to eat a high carb diet your fat stores will increase.
“Stop this roller coaster ride, I’m sick and I want to get off!”
Enter the practice of IF. Periods of no food leads to a decrease in insulin production. Less insulin means your body will burn off the stored glucose (sugar) and then switches to fat-burning for fuel.
You have two states to choose. You’re either storing or burning fat. I decided to jump in with both feet and try this burning fat state! I immediately adopted the plans Dr. Fung and Dr. Eenfeldt recommend. Combining fasting with my Keto way of eating turned me into the ultimate fat-burning machine!
The fasting schedule I adhered to for the weight loss portion of my journey looked like this:
For a year, I stuck with this schedule three weeks out of each month. I would shake things up a bit on the fourth week of the month. I’ve read it’s a good idea to keep your body guessing and it worked well for me. The fourth week, I would switch to daily fasts of 18:6 most of the time. I did pull off a few longer fasts a handful of times.
Maintaining my weight loss, I really have no need to extend my fasting longer than 18 hours daily. Here’s my schedule in maintenance:
Because I am a fat burner, I have found these fasting routines to fit my lifestyle very easily. I’ve also learned how to identify true hunger. I’m convinced now our bodies were not designed to eat around the clock. I mean, just imagine our ancestors having Taco Bell attacks at midnight. It never happened! Fasting is not some weird, cultish practice. It has been a very useful tool in healing my metabolic dysfunctions.
Fasting is an important part of my Christian faith, too. All those years I scoffed at the idea and wondered how people could go hours without eating?!? I guess I still wonder how they do it if they are not a fat burner?!? But anyhow, my fasting has been very instrumental in my spiritual healing, too…and I will explore this more in an upcoming Bible & Beans devotional.
As you can imagine, fasting takes mental strength and practice. Yes, practice! I don’t recommend jumping right into a 42 hour fast if you are still a carb addict. You need to work up to increased fasting hours while you are working on kicking the carbs to the curb. In my experience, the two can go hand in hand.
To help pass my fasting hours I did things like: cleaning and purging my house, reading a great book, exercising, and my favorite – shopping for smaller clothes (I needed them)! I also use a fasting app on my phone called “Zero”. I enjoy tracking numbers and results, and just seeing the clock counter sometimes would fuel my commitment to the fast.
An important thing I learned while I was building my fasting muscle – hunger comes in waves. Most of the time slight signals I thought were hunger pangs were actually signs of dehydration. It’s important to learn to recognize the difference and to stay well hydrated and well salted during a fast (pink Himalayan salt is recommended). You WILL learn what your body is telling you. Pay attention and follow the cues. I have cut intended fasts short many, many times because my body will tell me it needs nourishment. I’ve also had great success with fasting. Despite what people imagine, a period of fasting gives me tons of energy. Like this:
I think I have shared what I can about MY fasting experience. Fasting is not for everyone – but I do believe everyone can benefit from “time restricted eating”. Even if you can work towards not eating after 6pm until mid-morning or lunch the next day – you would realize some benefits of lowering your insulin.
Finally, and this should go without saying, do not and I mean DO NOT attempt extended fasting without a doctor’s supervision. That’s just dumb (haha, I borrowed this line from Dr. Ken Berry – you can watch his videos on fasting here)! For a very in depth study of the science of fasting, check out Dr. Fung’s blog series here. He covers everything you need to know about fasting in his IDM Program blog. Or you should buy his books – “The Obesity Code” and the “The Complete Guide to Fasting” (co-authored with Jimmy Moore). Happy Reading!
I’ve posted both fasting schedule graphics in the Subscriber Resources page for your reference. Sign up below as an email subscriber to get access to the free resources!
On my Subscriber Resources page, I’ve created a resource titled “Christine’s Top 20 Keto/LCHF Let’s Get Started Tips and Tricks”. I’ve highlighted my favorite tips and will expand on them throughout this month. I’ve also left a blank page in the document to write your own list on what you will do to get started.
I’ve also posted an excel spreadsheet to help you track your blood test results.
To access the resources, you have to be an email subscriber. Head on down the page and sign up!
You will see another resource on my Subscriber Resource page. I am a strong advocate for setting goals. In fact, I mention this a lot and I’ve blogged about it here: Goals – Define Yours and Change Your Life with Keto or LCHF. If you want to see results, you have to start with setting goals.
Stick around this month and I’ll do my best to guide you if you decide to jump on board the Keto train (or low-carb, healthy fats)! It’s a journey I’m so blessed to have made!
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