I struggle with being overweight all my life. This puts me at high risk of getting diabetes. My family has it, and I have seen the struggle and suffering they have to endure because of it, especially when they are older.
I don’t want to go through the same path, so I tried dieting. But it proved very difficult for me because when I reduced each meal portion, I would still crave to satisfy my eating habits. I would often fail because of that.
One day I heard about intermittent fasting from Dr. Jason Fung. You can watch his video here. In summary, the effectiveness and benefits of intermittent fasting come from the fact that it gives our body “time” to get energy by burning stored fats and dead/excess cells (if we fast for at least 18 hours).
But you must be thinking it is very difficult to fast. Well, not really if we do it right. This is how I do it.
- I start by stopping snacking. I used to snack a lot between meals. Either eating biscuits, cake, drink juice, coke, etc. So I started my intermittent fasting journey by stopping snacking. I still ate normal 3 times daily meals.
- After a while, like a few weeks then I started skipping breakfast. Why breakfast? Why not dinner? It is because skipping breakfast is the easiest and most effective way of starting intermittent fasting. By skipping breakfast you would already stop eating for at least 17 hours. For example, you have dinner at 7 pm, skip breakfast and have lunch at 12 pm. It means you are already doing 17 hours fast. All this by just skipping breakfast. By the way, you still can drink your morning coffee or tea, just make sure they are without any sugar.
- After skipping breakfast, I then try skipping lunch too. So in short, I am doing One Meal A Day (OMAD). You must be thinking this is too much and difficult to do. Well, yes in the beginning. I struggled to suppress the hunger fangs. Until I found a trick that works for me:
- I would drink 1-2 glasses of water when I start feeling hungry. By drinking water, my hunger subsides. Even though you are not thirsty, drink water when start feeling hungry. Don’t wait till the hunger gets stronger. It would be bad because it means the acid in your stomach is already too much.
- During lunchtime, I would walk around my office block neighborhood. You must be wondering why would hungry people exercise. Well, for myself, it turns out that physical activity makes me forget the hunger and focus my mind and body on something else, in this case walking. This turns out even bring more benefits, we make our body burn more stored fats and recycle excess/dead cells. Win-win solution.
- Note: you may be asking why I don’t skip dinner instead. Well, yes I agree, skipping dinner is actually the best way to do OMAD, but in my case, I don’t skip dinner, because it is the only time I can have a meal together with my wife.
- I only do OMAD Monday to Friday, on weekends I eat normal 2 or 3 times daily meals. And usually, I would enjoy good food with my wife without worrying about gaining weight. Amazing right?
I lost about 10kg from doing a year of normal diet, and another 10kg from intermittent fasting. And my health improves a lot. It was a revelation to see that I cannot use all my pants anymore because they are so big! I have to buy new pants in a much smaller size.
Getting weight loss is actually only a side benefit. The main benefit of doing intermittent fasting is for health, to rejuvenate our body. I strongly recommended watching Dr. Jason Fung’s presentation.
I hope my experience can inspire others to start living healthy too.
Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice, this is only a personal experience sharing. You should consult with your physician before trying.