This week I have been featuring a few articles about why fasting is difficult. So far, I have written the following:
Today will be the final installment in this series of articles.
In actual dietary terms, the most difficult thing I have experienced in fasting is hitting a plateau.
If you are eating nothing for days at a time, if you are not losing weight that is very frustrating.
As I have said elsewhere in this series, I don’t really experience hunger, but I do get mental signals that I am hungry or I just want to eat. As I think about it, I realize that I don’t really feel hungry, though.
I mean, if you are not eating and experiencing these mental signals that you want to eat (from time to time), that does mean that you are having to make an effort and work through these signals.
If you are making that effort and you don’t get a reward for your effort it is greatly frustrating.
I mean, if you are eating nothing, you would expect that you will lose weight, right? Well, not always.
My Fasting History
I started fasting in mid-February this year. I started out doing Intermittent Fasting (IF). I started out eating 2 meals per day between the hours of 2 PM and 7 PM. I found this very easy to do (just skip breakfast, and eat a bit of a late lunch), and the weight was coming off very nicely.
After a week or two of this, I changed my fast to a shorter eating window, which I also found quite easy to do.
Then, in mid-March, I decided to do a 10 day fast, leading up to a doctor appointment. This was more challenging, but I made it through, and I experienced great results. Lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and great weight loss. I felt great too.
After the 10 days fast, I decided to do OMAD (One Meal a Day) and mix in a few loner fasts, maybe once a month or so.
As I kept eating OMAD, suddenly I stopped losing weight! It was super frustrating. I got stuck in the 260s, and it took about 6 weeks to break the plateau. Eating nothing (or just one meal per day) became frustrating to me when I was getting no results.
Truth is, I was getting results, though. I was losing inches, my health was getting better, and I was looking better (people were telling me this constantly). So, the results were happening, but that scale was not budging, and some days I was actually gaining weight (water weight). I was very frustrated.
But, I knew that if I persevered and kept up what I was doing, I would lose weight, so I kept doing it.
Now, I have busted through the plateau, and I am in the mid-250s now. It feels great to see the scale finally start responding to my efforts.
Yes, some things about fasting are difficult. One of the most difficult is to not be getting that positive reinforcement that you are hoping to see daily on the scale! But, fasting is also very rewarding!