As a wheelchair user it can be quite difficult to lose weight. If you can’t walk then it’s obviously harder to exercise. My weight is usually relatively stable but it’s still more than I would like it to be. So I’ve been trying to lose some weight for a while.
My usual weight loss strategy is to try to eat healthy foods and hope that the calorie deficit is enough to shed some pounds. However, that hasn’t been very successful so far. Some weeks I would lose a few pounds and then it would shoot back up the next week. It’s discouraging.
So I decided to change tactics. I have started doing intermittent fasting again which I began about 3 weeks ago.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. There are a few different ways you can do it but I am fasting 3 days a week. On Monday Wednesday and Friday I don’t have breakfast and I don’t eat anything until 12 PM. I only eat in an 8 hour window from 12 PM to 8 PM
This is not the first time I have tried intermittent fasting. I have done the 5:2 diet before where you fast 2 days a week and eat normally the other 5. Back then I had breakfast and dinner but not lunch on fast days. For some reason my body didn’t seem to like doing that. I often got tight muscles with spasms on fast days and palpitations during the night. So I stopped doing it eventually.
I feel much better doing my current strategy. I don’t experience any muscle spasms or palpitations because of it, just maybe a bit hungry but it’s not too bad. If I am busy doing something I don’t even notice the hunger.
Skipping breakfast is an easier way to fast because I’m already fasting overnight so it’s just an extension of a couple of hours. Usually after I finish showering and getting dressed it’s about 10 AM so it’s not too long until 12.
So has the fasting helped me to lose weight so far? Well, yes and no. For a couple of weeks I saw a slow and steady decrease in weight but then recently there was an increase, which was disappointing. However, my weighing scales are not always accurate. I can be weighed 3 times in quick succession and get 3 different readings. But I will continue with the diet because I’m confident it will work. I am eating fewer calories so logically I should lose weight. I’ve read that it could take about 10 weeks to see results so we will see.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Apart from helping you to lose weight, Intermittent fasting has been found to have other health benefits too such as the following:
- increases metabolic rate
- decreases insulin levels
- improves mental concentration
- improves gut health
- possibly reverses type II diabetes
- increases lifespan
- slows the rate of ageing
Here’s a good article which gives more info about evidence backed benefits of intermittent fasting.
I like how there is actually scientific evidence to back up the benefits of fasting unlike some other fad diets. Although it seems like most of the research has been done on fasting in the short-term, and more research needs to be done on the long-term effects of intermittent fasting.
If you are interested in trying intermittent fasting yourself the below websites provide some good information about it:
This is a great Ted talk about intermittent fasting:
Here is another good video about IF with some useful information in it:
So far intermittent fasting is going okay in terms of how I feel. But in terms of weight loss I haven’t seen any great results so far. But it’s relatively early days and I might not see results for another 6 weeks maybe. But I’m confident that it will help me to lose weight if I stick with it.
Have you ever tried Intermittent Fasting? Or did another weight-loss strategy work for you? Let me know in the comments.