I had to stop myself from giving updates until the holidays were over. I had to make sure that even after the binges, I could get back to my pre-December weight fast.
Up till Dec 24, I was holding up pretty well. Then Christmas came. Then New Year. By January 1, I had gained 4 pounds. By January 5, I was back to my previous weight. So I think I proved that I have some cred to continue this discourse.
What I have achieved so far could not be done without taking a serious look at your food intake. I have tried all sorts of diets in the past. But for last year, these are the things that worked for me:
I practice the 16-hour fasting period. I start eating at 12nn and stop at 8pm. I do take coffee in the morning. And I can drink hot herbal infusions at night. I am uncomfortable with the term, though. I’ve been doing this for months so this is hardly ‘intermittent.
The eating window I chose works best for me. It allows me to enjoy dinner with my parents. This is something very dear to me. Last December, I actually became quite lax about this, though. I realized I was still eating way beyond 8pm, usually on peanuts. So, one of the first things I did in January was to be strict about 8pm cut-off.
Though IF seems pretty recent, I have heard about the concept decades ago. This was under the “Fit for Life” diet program. The authors talked about the 3 stages of digestion, each 8 hours long. And how one should only eat at the ingestion phase. So IF is consistent with this old regimen.
Proper Food Combining
Again, the practice came from “Fit for Life.” One should never combine protein sources with carbohydrates. You can only combine either of those food groups with vegetables. Steak + salad, never Steak + Mashed potatoes. I did this years ago and lost a lot of weight then. But I eventually abandoned it as the science seemed sketchy.
But two years ago, someone mentioned the idea again, this time in the context of functional nutrition. I decided to revisit but tweaked it. I ended up avoiding the starchy carbs (rice, bread, pasta, sweets). I ended up with a low-carb diet.
Tracking Calories and Proteins
In the ‘Fit for Life’ program, you could eat as much as you want during the 8-hour eating period, and as long as you observe proper food combining. I didn’t subscribe to that as I still believe in the energy equation based on calories in and out. Hence, it was important for me to still track my protein intake and count the total calories consumed. As I mentioned in the first post of this series, I tracked this crudely on a worksheet. As by my reckoning, as long as I stick to about 1,700 calories a day, I would lose weight.
Over the holidays, I allowed myself to indulge in sweets. But I must say that I still did not go overboard too often. A few days I saw my calorie intake hit 2,500. But I quickly adjusted after.
I have started reading up on this. More on this once I start doing and start observing the results.
So there you have it. I wouldn’t get to this without watching what I eat, obsessively. LOL
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