I went Primal back in June of 2010. Once I experienced the healing of my digestion, weight loss, and the disappearance of my arthritis, there was no looking back. Initially I lost 30 pounds and maintained that for about a year. I started reading on some paleo/primal blogs that white rice and potatoes on occasion was ok, if well tolerated. I was excited to reintroduce those to my diet. As far as digestion was concerned, I did fine. Yet, the slow creep of weight gain began to occur. During my physical training, I injured myself which resulted in a greatly reduced level of activity. This was not the best combination. I didn’t gain all the weight back, but it was about 20 lbs. I spent the next couple years trying to lose the weight as my injuries healed, but the attempts were unsuccessful.
In July of 2016 I decided to return to a strict Primal way of eating. No more white rice, potatoes or nut/rice based crackers. Other people may be able to do just fine with these in their diet. I suspected I was not one of those people. As I returned to the Primal way of eating, I began to see some numbers move on the scale! I started to read about intermittent fasting. I had tried it once before, but not wholeheartedly. I had found an article which gave a recipe for Phat Fudge. You eat it in the morning to help get you through the hunger, yet because it is fat, it doesn’t raise blood sugar, thus prolonging the fasting period. My husband and I were headed to Las Vegas without the kids for a week. He was doing a course for work, and I was planning to study my course to become a Certified Primal Health Coach. I thought it would be a great time to experiment with intermittent fasting.
During that week I ate the fudge in the morning, then about 10:30am or 11:00am I’d get hungry. I’d snack on a small handful of almonds. This would get me through to lunch. I ordered salads and other primal fare for lunches and dinner. When I got home from the trip I was down 3 lbs! I was so surprised given my particular situation of having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Due to the hormonal imbalance my body resists losing weight, and yet, I did!
So my curiosity was piqued. I wanted to learn more. In my certification program, intermittent fasting was addressed thoroughly. ( It is recommended that you become fat-adapted first. That means eating low-carb for at least 21 days). Then Mark Sisson mentioned a new book being released about fasting in one of his Facebook updates. I ordered The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore right away. After reading it through, I began a new experiment. This time it was Alternate Day Fasting. Basically you fast one day, then the next, you eat. On fasting days you can have water with lemon juice, coffee or tea with heavy cream or coconut milk, or bone broth. On eating days, you eat Primal as usual. I started this experiment right before Thanksgiving.
I decided to change the recipe of the Phat Fudge. I hadn’t liked the taste, so I made it with ingredients I knew I liked. It turned out well!
So the plan was on fasting days to eat the fudge then enjoy tea or broth with heavy cream. I did feel hunger, but the drinks helped. Some days the hunger felt too much so I would have a low-carb snack. I was also testing my blood sugar regularly. Part of it was curiosity, part of it was medically necessary.* I was on a half dose of Metformin because of the PCOS. There was a couple days that my blood sugar got too low so I decided to go off of the Metformin completely. I continued to monitor my blood sugar and it got better. I was now wondering how going off Metformin was going to affect my experiment. In the past, when I’ve tried going off of it before, my cystic acne would come back. Even on the half dose I was experiencing more break outs, so I was nervous to go off it completely for that reason (Acne is one of the symptoms of PCOS).
My weight would consistently go down about 2 lbs. after a fasting day, but then it would go back up after an eating day. Yet it wouldn’t go up to where I started. Slowly I saw a downward trend! I seemed to be responding! I noticed on eating days my appetite was smaller. I was feeling full. This is something else I took notice of because another way PCOS affects the body is by messing with the hormone leptin which signals the brain when you are full. I had struggled with this for a long time. I just didn’t feel full unless I really over ate and then felt bloated. So to feel full with a normal sized meal was amazing! I noticed my clothes fitting looser. My skin got clearer! I also observed that I continued to build strength in my workouts.
I did the alternate day fasting through the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. I indulged in some sweets and even eggnog! Yet come January 1st I had lost another 3.5 lbs! I would say this was a very successful experiment! After 2 years of a plateau I am once again feeling hopeful. Since getting back to strict Primal and intermittent fasting I’ve lost 11 lbs.
Now that the holidays are past, I am excited to continue alternate-day fasting with less indulgences. I have hope that I will reach my goal of another 10lbs of fat loss. I just did another post meal blood sugar test and it was 86!** I was so impressed. I had meatloaf, butternut squash and a dessert of low carb cookies. A reading of 86 for a 1-hour post meal test is excellent! I will keep you posted on my progress.
Has this piqued your curiosity? If you’d like to explore the idea of signing up for a coaching package, please contact me for your Free Discovery Call.
*If you are on any kind of medication, you should talk to your doctor before attempting fasting. I am not medically trained so you must take responsibility to do this properly.
**For more information on blood sugar management and testing, read Chris Kresser’s article on the subject.