About a month ago, I wrote a post about how to try and get through this coronavirus crisis with regard to your own health and weight loss goals and I suggested that it could be a good time to help regain some focus on your goals and possibly using fasting as a means to help with this.
What I didn’t really anticipate was how much more difficult this can be when you are basically not allowed to leave the house for unessential reasons. In other words, it’s easier said than done and there are many reasons for this, depending on your current situation.
Lock The Pantry
One of the worse things that I have found from being at home is the compulsion to snack a lot throughout the day and I think it’s partly out of boredom or just that the food is just readily at hand and staring at you in the face when you walk into the kitchen.
I might go to make myself a cup of coffee and go to grab the milk from the fridge, next thing you know, I’m walking back into the living area with a large bowl of nachos, covered in cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole and no coffee, singing “na-cho, na-cho maaaan….” how did that happen??
The other part of this is that there seems to be much less healthy foods in our pantry of late and this is due to some shortages in the supermarkets because of food hoarders making things difficult for others. We’ve had to settle for foods that have a longer shelf life or stocking up on some extra snacky type foods for the kids due to the situation.
Things like pasta, bread and ships have crept back into the diet again and along with that comes increased appetite, which of course leads to weight gain.
One thing that I have learnt since I started this page last year, is that controlling your weight and your food intake is a constant battle and it is sooo easy to slip back into old habits which begins a snowball effect of bad eating and rapid weight gain.
If I stick to the Keto diet, I seem to be able to easily manage the amount of food that I eat and this is because the cravings for sugary foods decreases as well as the appetite, generally speaking.
I have been able to go for months on Keto successfully and lost quite a lot of weight from it, but when I have dropped my guard and allowed myself to eat a carb heavy meal, cravings begin to come back pretty quickly and if I don’t grab that control back, things can go downhill pretty fast.
I can only assume that this is a similar experience that drug addicts have if they decide to just have “one hit” for old times sake, but of course the stakes are a bit higher when it comes to hard drugs. I think that I am beginning to realize how easy it is to become “dependent” on those high-carb or high-sugar foods again. In short, these foods are addictive.
3-Day Mini Fast
All of this ties into the reason why I have decided to do a 3-day water fast this week. I say it’s a “mini” fast because the majority of the extended fasts that I have undertaken have usually averaged about 7 days, so 3 days seems small to me but I can see how it may not seem “mini” to others.
One of the reasons that I have chosen a 3-day fast, rather than a longer one, is because I have found it generally takes 2-3 days to reach ketosis through fasting, which is where the body will switch over to using ketones from fat cells as the main energy source, rather than glucose which is derived from carbohydrates.
One of the other reasons for choosing a shorter fast comes from the fact that the decision to fast has literally come about in the last day, so I haven’t really had time to prepare myself mentally for this, which is a pretty important part when trying to undertake an extended fast.
I have also chosen to make it a pretty strict water fast rather than a juice fast because I don’t want to add any additional carbs or calories to my diet that can slow down the transition into ketosis.
Hitting The Reset
I’ve always said that fasting for me is very much about hitting the reset button in order to regain control, particularly in regard to my eating habits. This still remains the case, however, I didn’t really think that I would be undertaking another extended fast so soon after my 7-day juice fast in January.
I think the catalyst for my decision to fast this week came after the Easter long weekend where I re-found my love of chocolate after the Easter bunny’s visit, as well as possibly over-indulging in booze and generally eating a lot of crap, in general.
It was at this point that I realized that I had essentially lost control of my eating habits and was just eating what I wanted without a care. I had relapsed…
I have been successful in the last 10 months to lose about 17 kgs (37.5lbs) and although I still have much to lose, I simply cannot go backwards and if I need to fast every few months or so in order to achieve this, then this is what I will do.
Going “cold turkey” off the carbs for a short period of time, I have found, is the best way for me to do this. I am realizing how vulnerable I am to this “sugar” addiction and how easy it is to lose control again, but I guess the difference now is that I can recognize the signs of my “relapse” and act on it to reign it back in before it gets too far out of hand.