Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) was working very well for me -- even while on a business trip and through the holidays.
I was, however, having two problems with ADF:
First, I was always cold. Granted it was in the fall and wintertime, but I was in CA, not in the Midwest, and the temps are not that cold in CA in the fall and early winter. At times it was quite distracting.
Second, I was concerned about eating constantly throughout the day -- which is called grazing. I had finally given into a fixed calorie amount, but I was still concerned that continuing to foster this habit had the potential to sabotage my weight-loss efforts because it indicated that I was still very vulnerable to stress eating.
On January 3, 2007, I felt inspired to make the change to 20/4 fasting, which I also learned about from the Yahoo Fasting Group. The program is simple -- you eat only during a specified four-hour block each day. That results in a fast of 20 hours between "meals." You can read about the benefits of this type of fasting at this site.
On the chart below, the reason my weight jumps up on January 3 is because I made the switch following an eat day. During ADF, my weight after an eat day would always be 2-3 lbs higher than my weight after a fast day.
The change was a very beneficial one. I usually ate between 1-5, as that was the most convenient time for me. I didn't eat just one big meal, but 3-4 courses over the 4 hour period. I started out ad libbing, just eating what I wanted. What happens, at least what happened to me, is that when I ate such a large volume of food in such a short period of time, my "need" to eat was totally satisfied. I believe that is referred to as our "appestat" or psychological hunger. After several days, the stress eating just disappeared.
I had now overcome two demons -- my addiction to junk food, and stress eating.
And, I was no longer cold all the time.
Adding more Exercise
A second very important change came at Christmastime, 2006. Through a gift from my family, I was able to start going to a gym. I could only go when my daughter did, and only during the hours of the Kids Club or when her husband was home to babysit, but it was enough to get me started.
I was usually able to go at least 2-3 times a week, and was doing both cardio and weights. For cardio, I was using the treadmill, just trying to increase my walking speed and endurance. For weights, I took advantage of their circuit, which had 8 machines -- Arm curl, lateral pull, arm extension, overhead press, chest press, seated leg curl, leg extension, and seated leg press. My routine usually consisted of 20-30 minutes of cardio followed by the circuit and concluding with some stretching. I usually went to the gym in the morning, which was towards the end of my fasting period. I always had good energy to do the workout, and good energy after the workout.
Net loss of 6.6 lbs.
Total weight loss of 68.8 lbs.
I had overcome stress eating
Still in the severely obese category (the green line is at 173, which will drop me out of this category)
The first large gap in the chart is a family trip. I continued with the 20/4 fasting, but the foods I was eating (at relatives) was a bit more calorie-laden than what I was getting at home. Still, I had very little gain back. The later gaps are because I was only recording a new low on my chart. The last weight shows the starting weight for Step 7.
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20