Fasting has become increasing popular across continental lines. It is used as a spiritual act and also deemed an effective weight loss regimen. Although several cultures find it simple to do, people accustomed to an abundance of food see it as a challenge. North Carolina native, and artist Lisa Albert-Osi shares her personal story of curiosity and defeating a lifelong nemesis.  

The Intermittent Fasting Experience

By Lisa Albert-Osi

I remember when Lent came, I could never get a grip of what fasting was about. I never gave it a good try.  In my mind, the task was impossible. I love food. How could I achieve a whole day without food?

I’ve tried every diet imaginable. I’ve tried Weight Watchers, weight monitoring services, private weight loss clinics, low carb, low calorie, juicing, Keto and the Cabbage Soup Diet. I signed up for Weight Watchers. Things went well for a while but found myself discouraged. I lost interest.

Eating a sensible, well balanced diet three times a day was very costly. I thought to myself, why are the wrong foods readily accessible and cost less than the fresh foods? If you look around, there are few healthy restaurants available. Once you leave the fresh produce section, it’s the end of healthy options at the grocery store.

I spent my entire paycheck on fresh produce to juice.  Okay, I am exaggerating, but a bunch of grapes cost me seven bucks. You do the math. Fresh produce can be costly. I ended up with only a week’s worth of fruits and vegetables. I gave up. I ended up consuming more fruits than vegetables and gained more weight.

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One of the biggest struggles I’d continue to have is the number one drug in America, “Sugar”. Oh my goodness, sugar is like crack. I craved it. The thought of sugar haunted me. When I did resist, all was well. But, if my favorite piece of cake or cookie passed by, I’d lose it.  

None the less, during my journey to lose weight, I found out I’m most successful maintaining Keto habits. Yay! I found something that works. Since Keto was working so well, I joined a Facebook group and did some research. My efforts were very informative. One hot topic of conversation in the Keto world is intermittent fasting. I gave it a try.

There are multiple fasting methods to try.  Another favorite is the 16+hour fast because I felt half the battle was won. I can avoid eating in the evening at whatever time I chose.  I chose to stop eating between 9pm and 11pm. For example, if I use 9pm to stop eating, I’d count the hours from there. The 16th hour is 1pm, when I’d eat again the next day.  If I made it past the 16th hour, I’d lose more weight.While on my quest, I found a great free intermittent fast guide and worksheet to use. As always, please consult your doctor before trying intermittent fasting. You want to make sure of the proper safety measures, know if you are a good candidate and consider any health restrictions.

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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has many great benefits to great health.  It supports weight loss without having to restrict calories. I love this benefit.  I can lose weight and have my cake too! Whenever I find myself unable to resist sugar, I no longer worry about gaining weight because I now understand how the process works.  I will eat cake, fast the next day and still lose weight. Intermittent fasting lowers blood sugar and insulin levels that helps with the protection from type 2 diabetes. For more resourceful information on the benefits of intermittent fasting.  

Fasting Stages

Wondering what happens to your body during the stages of intermittent fasting?  At the beginning stages you may experience hunger pains, but they go away and this happens from day one to day two.  You will eventually start to feel less hungry. I didn’t believe it, but I actually started to feel less hungry. I couldn’t believe I’d made it that far.  Wow, what an accomplishment! I kept going, just to see how far I could go. On the second day the hunger pains were gone. On the third day, I felt a little dehydrated. I experienced muscle spasms, but staying hydrated helped tremendously. I was totally amazed that I made it three days.  Believe me, I never thought it would be possible.

I was so happy I made it! I was amazed. I wanted to shout from the rooftop. The task was far easier than I thought. Just think, a person can sleep during most of the hours required for the fast. I could not believe I waited this long to try this method out.

The Process of Fasting

According to Healthline, author K. Gunnars (2017), indicates that several things happen during fasting.  The HGH (Human Growth Hormone increases during this process, insulin levels drop dramatically, making fat more accessible, cells initiate cellular repair, removing old and dysfunctional proteins, and gene function changes to enhance longevity and protection of disease.

Points to Consider

Finally, there are some key pointers to keep in mind.  Make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.  Be sure to exercise to prevent muscle loss and eat enough good calories to prevent the metabolism from slowing down. It can prevent weight loss. Find other ways to keep yourself active and to divert your attention away from food. Although it may seem difficult just know you have the power to succeed. 

Lisa Alber-Osi expresses herself as a painter of abstract art. With her experience as a nail technician for several years, Lisa’s love for color, shapes and visual arts has given her an outlet. Albert-Osi hopes to obtain a degree in Psychology and become an Art Therapist.