How Fasting Every Day for Three Years has Changed my Health & Weight

Woman with green juice happy

I wish I had embraced the power of intermittent fasting earlier

I have a bit of a hidden secret. Many years back, I tried fasting — and failed miserably. I couldn’t believe that something so simple didn’t work for me. It didn’t work because I went about it the wrong way. At that time, I was finishing up my competitive bodybuilding phase. However, I felt that dieting this way had gone on for too long and caused some health issues. Being lean is something I worked hard to achieve, and building muscle upon that lean physique was a lot more challenging. One of my biggest pitfalls was not giving myself enough time in the build phase of the journey. Sure, it’s terrific being lean, but doing two things at once sometimes doesn’t work. After having a hysterectomy, my goal is to build my lost muscle and strength -rather than trying to get lean again. Things take time to flourish, and fasting is still a journey. I don’t think you will ever reach a point in your life when your health is at a peak state. We all experience little challenges along the way. It’s inevitable as you age. In staying that, fasting sure does provide a lot of assistance. Perhaps it can’t cure many diseases and health ailments but can do much more than most diets. Here’s what it has done for me, after three years 

One: You’re more likely to succeed with weight loss if it suits your lifestyle and is adaptable to every single life transition.

As I mentioned above, I failed my first fasting attempt because I didn’t listen to my body. I did what someone else told me (in good faith), which led me to put on a lot more weight than I had ever bargained for! I didn’t know it then, but keeping tabs on your natural circadian rhythm is essential for good health. When do you become tired? When are you hungry, and how does that impact your everyday life? It’s a good idea to ask yourself these simple questions. I’m hungry in the mornings — yet my appetite tapers off at about 3 pm. So, I miss dinner instead of following everyone else who skipped breakfast. Is it right or wrong? No, and yes. Maybe it’s terrible for someone else, but not for others. Dieting or lifestyle options need to fit in with your schedule. I have learned that we can’t fight our bodies and win! Sometimes I can’t eat healthy food, or maybe I’m changing time zones. When it comes to fasting, I can always skip a meal or wait until later to eat (when I know I will have healthy food options). If I have a function, I eat a meal. It’s flexible, and that flexibility does not cause weight gain or endless paranoia about breaking your diet. I love it because it doesn’t matter what comes up during the day; I’m flexible enough to alter the course and go with the flow. Life becomes easier when we can “go with the flow” instead of going against our natural body clock. 

Two: It helped me eliminate my obsession with food & endless cravings

 Eating 4–5 meals a day was important when I began bodybuilding. Skipping one meal could be detrimental to building muscle and maintaining a lean body. As I began to eat that much food, I admit, I was getting leaner — but I was always SO hungry! I would pass by shops of any kind that had food, sweets, cake, and you name it — that started to bring on hunger (even though I just ate a few minutes ago!). During a catch-up with my trainer, I mentioned this. His advice was to eat a bit more protein and some fat sources. That didn’t help. When we eat A LOT, we’re always stimulating our appetite centre. This is because we have trained our bodies to expect food at certain times, naturally stimulating our appetite. My first week of fasting was challenging because the food my body expected was no longer available. I became tired, moody and hated life. I wanted to eat and be skinny (don’t we all?!). After the week faded, I stuck to my goal, trying fasting for at least 30 days straight. During that time, I no longer felt plagued by cravings or endless hunger when I didn’t eat. That astonished me, as I expected to be extremely hungry with a huge appetite. Instead, it left space to direct my attention to more important things. If you are or have ever become obsessed with eating on the hour, you will love how much fasting can stop that quickly. I prefer to focus my time on work, my side hustles and life — not about eating a meal. I got over that one a long time ago. Now, I finally feel free. 

Three: It helped me attain incredible blood results every time

 During my bodybuilding days, I had all sorts of muddled up blood work from; • High cholesterol• Liver imbalances• Kidney imbalances• High blood sugar Back then, I was not worried as much. But, since my mother passed away from pancreatic cancer, I have become a lot more strict about what I eat. My doctor then advised me to cut out all supplements and begin eating much less protein. My mum passed away from renal failure. She had many kidney and liver problems in the past — but I never thought her diabetes would lead to cancer. But unfortunately, her whole family had kidney disease, eventually killing them. Mum developed cancer of the pancreas, and as you can imagine, that was painful. However, it wasn’t cancer that killed her — her kidneys and liver failed in the end. I was one of her primary carers until her death, so I know first-hand the devastation involved. Yet, I can’t help but think that perhaps if she had somehow changed her nutritional habits — would she still be here today? I will never know, but I know that too much protein and supplements I didn’t need would cause me to overwork these organs, which could have put me at risk of disease. Therefore, I was compelled to give it all up — as I have today. 

My supplement stack is the following:

  • Vegan protein powder
  • Collagen
  • Vitamin C & Iron
  • Hair skin and nails supplement
  • Krill oil

I no longer take anything unnecessary. However, please seek help from a doctor, nutritionist or naturopath before taking any supplements. They could do more harm than good. 

Four: It helped me have a more precise focus and a sharper mind

During my youth, I couldn’t concentrate on anything, nor could I study or retain any information. This left me apprehensive about joining university again. Recently, I took on a master’s degree in IT. I have no IT background, yet I’m studying something very technical, involving servers, security, etc. This is my current full-time primary bread and butter — but I wanted to challenge myself. It surprised me just how good my initial mark was on an assignment. How did I manage to get it right without background knowledge? It’s hard work, focus and being very dedicated to excelling. But, I would not have the energy, drive and stamina if I didn’t eat well and fast. As a result, my mind is sharper, I can retain more information, and I’m not plagued with forgetfulness. Because my body runs on ketones more than sugars, it feels like my brain is on super overdrive — like a high-speed car. You can read more on this at your leisure, but fasting is known to heighten your brain function. 

Five: I grow and retain muscle -even if I don’t train as much as I once did

I recently had a hysterectomy, I could not exercise, yet I kept fasting. Fasting increases human growth hormone, which retains muscle and burns body fat. So after about a week into recovery, I began walking and raised my pace slowly and surely until I could power walk again. Although I’ve trained for two weeks in the gym, I have retained a good deal of muscle and strength — although I stopped training for eight weeks. When you fast, the body activates the necessary hormones to eliminate old cells and start regeneration. Although I don’t eat as much protein anymore, train for more extended periods and eat a lot less — I still get great results from training. 

Key takeaways

Everyone responds to fasting in either a negative or positive way. So the only way to discover what it can do for you is to try it out for about a month and assess it. If you can’t fast every day, try it thrice a week — or become bold and fast for 24 hours, twice a week. For fat loss, keep tabs on your nutrition and portion sizes. Fasting alone will only do so much, but you must alter your nutrition accordingly if you want fast weight loss results. Will I ever try any other diet or lifestyle plan — not a chance? I don’t feel right when I miss a fast, and I love it. The way I think, my brain capacity, strength and health have improved so much that I doubt any other style of living would ever give me the same results — or better. Sticking with our evolutionary footprint, trialled and tested for centuries with success — should be accepted and used to our benefit now in this current lifetime.

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