Tuesday, 8 July 2014

How to break a weight loss plateau: Intermittent fasting.

Hey there Sweets,Hope you all slept well.
 For some people, when they begin their weight loss journey, its all nice and rosy till they hit a plateau, that's when the real work begins. I plateaued at different points during my journey; 90kg, 86kg, 80kg, 78kg and 76kg. It can be really frustrating when you've been trying for weeks or even months and you are still at the same weight. Chai!!! Some people have been complaining bitterly, so i had no choice but to share this. Its gets so bad that some people go and eat junk, then gain back all or some of the weight they lost. I have been there, i know the feeling and i don't think i want to feel that again.

There are many ways one can use to break a plateau and i have tried quite a number of them. I will give them to you one by one as time goes on, so stay tuned. Today i want to talk about Intermittent Fasting. But first i'm sure some people would like to know what a weight loss plateau is...

According to mayoclinic.org : A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose muscle. You burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight even doing the same activities. Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism.

So when this happens, you need to find new ways to break the equilibrium. You need to try new things, e.g increase workouts, reduce your daily calorie intake etc. One thing i did to break out of many plateaus that I've had in the past is to do intermittent fasting. This is not a small sometin o. Please read through.

  Disclaimer: Please note that this technique is for only those that are not prone to ulcer or  low blood sugar, or high blood pressure, etc. You should try this if only and when you have discussed with your doctor. 

Intermittent Fasting:

  • Means that you get to fast for a total of 14 to 20 hours then follow it up by feasting/eating all the calories you need during a 4 to 10 hour period afterwards.
  • You should eat between 1200 to 2000 calories during that period.
  • You keep repeating this till you break the plateau or reach your weight loss goal.
  • Count calories and make sure you eat up to the required calories a day, else your body will refuse to let go of the fat. Lol!
I personally do this for like 3 to 7 days then follow with normal eating routine. If you like you can do it for a shorter period, but just make sure you listen to your body. When you feel too weak or fainty, please eat something. You need to start small.


Here's the process for doing this: This is just an example.
  1. Eat your last meal today (Tuesday)  7pm.
  2. Go to bed by 10pm
  3. Wake up Wednesday morning by 6am. This means you have fasted for 11 hours. Great!!
  4. Of course, you have to skip breakfast, by the time its 12 noon you have fasted for 17 hrs.
  5. You eat your first meal anytime after 12 noon. 
  6. You can keep adding 30 mins (after 12 noon) daily till you reach your goal weight.
  7. Make sure you start small, start with 12 to 14 hours of fasting then move up. This is very important for people who aren't used to fasting normally.
  8. You can drink water or coffee (without sugar or milk) during this fast, but 'die-hards' (like me) we go all the way to the wilderness. Hahaha!

What about exercise? 
This isn't a must but you get to lose weight faster if you incorporate exercise to your fasting.
You can workout while doing this but follow these rules:
  • Do only short workouts that last from 15 mins to 30 mins in the morning.
  • Save your major hard core workouts for an hour or so before you break your fast.
  • You eat a very low calorie fruit then workout for about 45 mins then continue your fast till you break later.
Its important to eat zero calories while fasting. 


Intermittent fasting works because:
  • When we eat in excess, the body stores it as fat. It is a back up just in case you go hungry.
  • When you fast for long periods, your blood sugar reduces and your body is forced to take the fat which it has stored in different areas of the body, to burn as energy. 
  • That's why long period of fasting is advised here, so that by the time you break your fast, your body would have burned a considerable amount of fat.

Intermittent fasting also reduces cancer risk, reduces inflammation, increases your metabolism, decreases your chances of having diabetes etc. And you get to break out of the dreaded plateau. Yipeee!! 
I have used this routine many times and i saw great results, its not just hear-say. I post what i have tried and tested. Have you or anyone you know tried intermittent fasting? Please share your experience with us. God bless.
Cheliz.


Photo credit: super skinny me

20 comments:

  1. Good evening Cheliz, trust your day has been okay.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. I am still at 100level in this weightloss journey. Lol
    Points noted till we get to that juncture. Have a good evening. MissB

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    1. My day was fab MissB. Hope urs was too. Lol @100level in weight loss. Thanks dear and God bless.

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  2. Thanks Cheliz for sharing this great info. It will help scores including me in no small way. Keep up d good work.

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  3. I sure will try this. Though I was unconsciously doing it these past 3days. Not exercising frequently though. Let's see how it goes for me. Wld keep u posted. Am seriously battling with 78kg plateau.
    @zeebaby

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    1. Zeebaby dis 78kg don too tey o. I think its time for koboko remedy. Lol. Try this tho, by God's grace the scale will shift. Take care.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this. Love the new look of your blog too. Can a newbie to weight loss also do. Intermittent fasting? Lost 15kg last year and piled it all back a few months after. I am so depressed about it. In my head I know the right things to do but my love for rice no gree me. Thanks for sharing and God bless you.

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    1. Thanks a bunch sweet. A newbie can do it but i don't advise it because 1. You are yet to study and understand certain things about your body when it comes to weight loss. 2. You need to build endurance. 3. You need to understand that food is for fuel and not just to satisfy your cravings. When you get a hang of these 3 things, it will be easier for you. Besides an overweight newbie will probably lose weight faster than someone that has lost over 20kgs, so its best to leave it till when things get tough. Imagine this; you weigh 100kg and you start with intermittent fasting, by the time you lose 20kg, what then will you use to challenge your body at that stage? You get now? Lol. Dont be depressed dear, i know what you feel. depression wont give you any solution, it will only make you eat more. Look for a partner or a kind of support system that will be your strength when you are weak. Buy a new pair of pants or a dress in a smaller size and challenge yourself to fit into it by a certain date. That's what i did and it always got me going. Have your rice, but eat in moderation or at least 2 times a week. It is well dear, the Lord is your strength. Take care.

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  5. I tried being on just fluids for like 6weeks. Lost so much weight and funny thing is, I was never weak apart from the first three days. I was active, was always taking water, forgot about food sef. Till I came down with malaria and almost lost my life.
    I'm considering doing it again oh. Cus I don't think anything is working. I will get prophylaxis for malaria and her siblings off course. What's your take on this

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    1. Hi Zinny, fluid fast always works but the idea behind it is to get as much nutrition as you can. If you have read some juicing books, you would notice the huge amount of fruits and green veggies that go into just ONE glass of juice. Its huge and very expensive. 1 glass of good fresh juice can cost as high as N5000 or more if you want to do it right. What am i saying? You need to get as much nourishment as you can when doing a fluid or juice fast or else you risk falling ill. You musn't do it their way, but make sure you are eating enough to nourish you. If you were well nourished while taking the fluids, your immune system could have easily knocked off the malaria. When i started my journey, i did go on smoothies for some days, before i knew it, i fell seriously ill, i was so sick one night, my hubby rushed me to the hospital. i was scared. fyi i am not the sick sick type, i hardly fell ill, even during pregnancy, i never got sick. When i got better, i had to re-strategize, that was when i started taking multivitamins and making sure that i ate lots of fruits and veggies in the right portion. This is very very important. Thank you for this question, its a good one. Invest in good multivitamins to nourish your body as you try to lose weight. Also try and eat a wide variety of fruits, use them as you like in your juices. God bless.

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  6. Thanks a lot for the advice Cheliz.I will begin the baby steps, get out of the depression mode and keep you posted. God bless you

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    1. Ok dear. Take it a day at a time. *Big hug*

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  7. You have been very persistent about this multivitamin thing. Is it that import while loosing weight and what multivitamins do u recommend? Bless you. Chioma.

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    1. Hi Chioma. If you read the answer I gave Zinny above it explains a lot why I dont miss my multivitamins. I take it very seriously. In as much as we try to eat healthy, we might not be getting in as much nutrients as we need, thats where multivitamins come to make up for what we forgot about. And you get to stay healthy. Hopefully, No fever, no cough, no colds etc. Your immune system toughens up for you. I use reload multivitamin for women. I have been on them for over a year now. I feel good about it, another good thing is that It helps my hair and nails grow stronger and faster. Lol. And to answer your question, yes it is important for weight loss, taking them speeds up your metabolism, which enhances weight loss. Thanks a bunch.

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  8. Wao, I ve been missing o. Thanks love. Will go get mine asap. Chioma

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  9. Goodday Cheliz, Please is it possible to reach a plateau after losing just 6kg and still doing more exercises and eating right?

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    1. Yes its possible depending on your body type and how active you are. If you are very active at 100kg and you start your weight loss journey, you will lose a bit of weight. Then if you keep doing the same exercises and eating same thing and maintain the same active lifestyle, (depending on your body type) you could stop losing weight. You need to intensify your exercises and/or further reduce your daily calorie intake. We all lose weight at different levels so just find what works for you. You must keep changing your routine, sticking to one routine wont get you far. thanks for the question and take care.

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  10. Thanks my Madam@ d top. *smiles... Have a great day Cheliz

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  11. Hi Cheliz...... i rilly need ur help at to dis weight loss issue. Pls do u have an email i can send u a private msg. Pls its important. Help a sister in need.

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    1. Lol. Ok dear mail me on chelizruby@gmail.com cheers.

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