Decisions are followed by immediate actions, otherwise, they are just thoughts. I decided I was going to do the fast and immediately stopped eating. I didn't wait for Monday, New Years, or a birthday to make the change. I took immediate action. Sometimes when you make a decision you don't always have all the details worked. I didn't have a plan for how I was going to change my lifestyle going forward. I had three days to figure it out.
One thing I did not want to do was go on a diet. I hate the diet narrative. The problem with all these diets is they have so much misinformation, they all contradict each other, and they are not a one size fits all. I needed a lifestyle change. I didn't need another diet that wasn't sustainable over the long haul. All this work would be for nothing if I "relapsed" into old habits. It helped that my confidence was at an all-time high coming off the fast.
I came up with several things that I knew were going to be staples of my new lifestyle. I have listed them below:
1. No caffeine has been something I have wanted to try for quite some time. The caffeine headache I got going into the fast will make you never want to quit caffeine again. I can't quit if I never start. I feel like I have just as much energy, if not more. I don't need it.
2. Gluten-free has worked well for me in the past. I lost 30 pounds last time I did over 2 months. There was no reason not to try it again. Gluten doesn't treat my family well considering my mom has celiacs.
3. Less than 50 carbs a day is also something I have tried in the past based on a book (Grain Brain) and research from Dr. Perlmutter. My body uses fat as its primary fuel source. It worked.
4. High fat and protein is the partly Keto that I wanted to try and it worked great. Who doesn't love sour cream or ranch? Taco Salad was a staple at least twice a week for me.
5. A gallon of water a day keeps the doctor away. I can't verify that but I can tell you there is a major difference in energy and body function when you are drinking plenty of water.
6. Intermittent fasting has tons of research to back it. It is something I have always done. I rarely eat breakfast unless its a weekend. I eat an early dinner on Friday to make that happen. 12-16 hours a day is my goal.
7. Low to no sugar happens naturally when you are doing the rest of the above. I stayed away from foods with added sugars. I eat the occasional apple that has natural sugars.
I knew that if I could stick to these 7 changes that I would continue to lose weight. I did not work out. I just made better choices daily. I rarely counted calories. I fasted 12-16 hours a day. It's part gluten-free, part paleo, part Keto and 100% my lifestyle. This is what has my body running on all cylinders. The best part is it's sustainable for me.
On July 30th, 36 days since the start of my fast, I was officially down 20 pounds. I was feeling great. Eating healthily was relatively easy because I was enjoying the food and the lifestyle I created. I had tons of energy. The hard part though was just about to start.