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My Experience With Intermittent Fasting the 5:2 Way
I have gone through a progression of eating styles over the last 4-5 years. I ate the Wheat Belly diet, then I ate Keto, and then my thyroid went out of whack, which I now attribute to eating Keto (low carb), and I’ve since heard many people doing the same thing occurred with reduced carbohydrates.
I ate anything and everything during my recovery from hyperthyroidism, I had a period where I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and there was a lot of healing around body shame and shame around food. I felt like it was a pendulum swing back from such a restricted way of eating.
Then I found the Medical Medium and my health started to improve a lot. During that time I cut out meat and chicken and ate vegan 90% of the time, with only eggs and fish being two foods I didn’t want to give up.
5:2 Intermittent fasting
For the last month I have been following the 5:2 diet. I don’t like to call it a diet because it’s really a lifestyle. It was first popularized by Michael Mosley, a British journalist. I saw his documentary and I was hooked.
It all centers around Intermittent Fasting. There are a few types of intermittent fasting, but the 5:2 diet is usually eating for 5 days a week and fasting to 500 calories for women, and 600 calories for men, on 2 days a week (based on at 1/4 of your daily calorie allowance). Many people find this way of eating easier to achieve than the usual restrictive calorie diets.
Health Benefits and Weight Loss
I’ve long let go of my focus on weight loss, if it happens, so be it, but the health benefits of eating this way are well documented. In particular, I want to see what effect it has on my high blood pressure.
Many people have lost weight this way, and it is known to improve metabolic health. If your body does not digest all the time, then it can come to repair and regeneration.
One of the things I liked about this way of eating is that it tricks your body into not feeling restricted and then going into starvation mode and storing fat. In other diets I’ve been on, I would never lose weight because of this.
Low Carb but not Keto
I have now worked out what my body feels most comfortable on these 2 days, and it has made the process easier. I have found foods that fill me up, yet are low in calories. And I don’t eat Keto either, but aim for Whole Food Plant Based. In the beginning it was hard, but adjusting my food made it easier.
Some days to fast
I fasted Tuesday and Saturday but found I had to change it because Friday I have my PT session and I had more food on Saturday to recover. So I moved to Monday and Thursday.
Non Fast Days
I haven’t really found myself binging on the NFD (not fast days) and something I’ve noticed is how much more I love food and enjoy it on the NFD. And not in an obsessive way, but more of an appreciation and enjoyment.
It’s not meant to be a free for all on the NFD, you don’t have to count calories, but you do have to be aware of what you eat.
I belong to a Facebook group for this diet and many people mention that they can’t eat all day and eat all their calories at dinner, but I can’t. I’m getting too hungry. lol I have to have 3 meals so I worked out how best to do that. The groups are great support and you get ideas for what to eat. I also bought 3 books about this way of eating, and 2 of them are for vegetarians.
I use myfitnesspal app to count the calories. I use the barcode scanner when I’m at the supermarket to get a sense of the calorie value of food. I came into this having never counted calories before.
It’s still early days for me so I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
(If youare considering this way of eating, please consult your doctor, and it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, people with blood sugar problems, people with eating disorders)
Let me know if you are interested in eating this way or you already are.
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