by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach
On Fat Tuesday, I went to a birthday party and ate a few slices of really good pizza along with a piece of fancy birthday cake from a bakery.
Two days later on March 7, I spontaneously decided to give up eating snacks and desserts for Lent.
I really like to eat potato chips, cookies, and ice cream whenever I have the chance but during the six weeks of Lent, I was only allowing myself to eat three square meals a day, with nothing in between, often for five, six, seven, eight plus hours each day, my version of Intermittent Fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a scheduled eating plan that is more about when you eat than what you eat. If you leave several hours between meals, (rather than eat a little bit here and a little bit there and a lot over here), you give your body a chance to process and digest your food more efficiently.
Basically, I ate whatever I wanted during my three meals a day (including bread, potatoes, meats, and cheeses) but that was it to the next meal.
To me, Intermittent Fasting is related to the Keto Diet in the sense that Ketosis occurs when the body burns stored fats for energy rather than using quick sugars and carbohydrates.
It’s like going back to the warehouse to buy something rather than taking it off the shelf in the store.
Once you start burning fat for fuel, you’ll start losing weight. But remember, one little grape will knock you out of that process, so it’s important to not introduce any sugars what-so-ever into your fasting time.
Did you know the word “Breakfast” comes from “breaking the fast” from the last meal you had the day before?
I had tried Intermittent Fasting a couple of years ago with great success so I already knew what I was getting myself into but this time was quite different from the first.
The first time I tried Intermittent Fasting, I basically coasted through it.
I didn’t realize that this time I’d be embarking on a spiritual quest, filled with days of emotional upheaval.
Yes, I often felt hungry and cranky and tired but I stuck with my eating plan because I realized that I no longer wanted to stuff down my feelings and numb myself out with food. Emotional eating wasn’t going to be my coping strategy anymore and I wanted to face my feelings and my demons head on.
In my mind, as hard as it was to get through the rough patches, the intense emotions actually meant that I was dredging up a lot of old emotional junk that I had been hanging onto for decades.
Each day as I fasted, I was releasing and clearing tons of emotional baggage so it wouldn’t weigh me down anymore and keep me from living the life of my dreams. Being emotional was actually a good sign!
To me, snacks and desserts represent too many extra and unnecessary calories and I was trying to run on approximately 1500 calories a day, without actually counting anything. I’ve learned that we really don’t need as many calories as we think we do.
The good news is, as of Easter Monday, I’ve managed to release 12 pounds in just over 6 weeks, which is less than 2 pounds a week, which is a very healthy and sustainable pace. I plan to keep going.
My Guidelines for Intermittent Fasting
Of course there are many approaches you can take if you want to try Intermittent Fasting and/or the Keto Diet but here are the guidelines that I personally follow.
- Talk to your doctor before attempting any kind of significant dietary changes.
- Know your big why — I happen to have a big 50th birthday coming up so that’s motivation enough for me!
- Weigh yourself and record the weight in a journal. It’s not really about the weight and how many pounds you lose but it’s a good idea to know where you started. The real evidence is how you’re feeling about yourself.
- Reduce carbs and sugar — less bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice.
- Eat more fat because it helps you feel full and it helps your brain function better and it helps keep things running smoothly.
- No snacks, no desserts, no wine or alcohol.
- Drink lots of water and tea. In another blog post, I’ll share a Turmeric drink that I discovered that I found helpful and I really enjoy.
- See websites that talk about Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting.
- Eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Try not to eat past 7pm.
- Eat mindfully and taste each morsel of food you put into your mouth. Food does start tasting better and better as you go along.
- Take supplements including: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, Women’s Daily or Men’s Daily, and Magnesium.
- Take Wellness Walks 4-5 times a week.
- Workout and lift weights at least once a week.
- Train to run — I’m up to running 8 minutes!
- Find an Acupuncture Clinic and go as often as you can — they can tailor your treatments to help support your digestion and weight loss efforts and it’s really relaxing!
- Do stretches daily.
- Reach out to old and new friends and have one meaningful conversation, (preferably face to face and in person), each day.
- Get a good night’s sleep every night.
- Crystals that might help include: Amethyst, Angelite, Bloodstone, Blue Apatite, Calcite Alabaster, Carnelian, Citrine, Garnet, Labradorite, Red Jasper, Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Sunstone, Tiger’s Eye, Turquoise.
- Good foods for weightloss include: Low carb/high fiber veggies, avocados, Greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, berries, nuts, dark chocolate, fish/seafood, meat, poultry.
- Eat lots of orange foods like carrots, salmon, and mango — they’re about honouring the Divine Feminine within all of us.
- Meditate every day.
- Check weight at least once a week and record your progress in a journal along with any other significant details (like your mood or wins or the weather, etc).
- Practice daily self-care.
- Relax and manage stress.
- Clear clutter in your environment.
- Live from your essence and take your ego out of it.
- Assure yourself that this isn’t starvation and that you’re doing this for your long-term health and you will eat lots of good food every day.
- Talk to a Wellness Coach, like me!
Intermittent Fasting isn’t easy but eventually you get used to not eating as often. Somehow, I managed to get through baking without sampling, cooking breakfasts for crowds, 3 dinner parties, 1 restaurant lunch, potato chips in the house, and Easter brunch without giving into temptation.
Now, my skin in clearer, my hair is softer, my eyes are brighter, my pants fit better, and I’m living more as my authentic self. To me, that’s worth it and I’m planning to continue to eat like this for the foreseeable future.
If you have any questions about Intermittent Fasting or would like some Wellness Coaching, please contact me, Maria, by email.