Weight Loss: 36 Pounds (so far . . .)

Back in March i began a concerted effort to drop some weight. Now, like everyone else, i’ve done this before only to regain the weight right back plus more, so i had been looking for something different, as in not a diet, but rather an approach to eating which i could sustain.

I started in March weighing 280 lbs. and as of today, i’m at 244. That’s a number i haven’t seen on a scale in about 20 years.

Here’s what i want this post to accomplish:

  • Explain the lifestyle change i’m taking
  • Give examples of things which have changed
  • Talk about my discoveries along the path so far
  • Tell you what has surprised me
  • Give you my experiences about things i thought would be harder than they are
  • Leave you with some resources in case any of you want to give this a try

Please don’t form any conclusions until you’ve read through this post completely. I know that as soon as you read the next section, you may well think “I could never do that!”

So here we go! This is not something which you buy, enroll in, pay for, or attend any meetings about.

OMAD

OMAD stands for One Meal A Day, though technically it’s not exactly that. It’s based on a concept known as intermittent fasting. Now, come out from under the table while i explain what this really is. The word “fasting” tends to cause extreme reactions in many people with thoughts of deprivation, starvation, torture, monks and saints, etc, etc. This is not that.

What people are discovering and studies are just beginning to show, is that positive changes occur in your body chemistry and your metabolism when you can go for a period of time without eating. Chief among the changes are a lessening of insulin resistance (which is the cause of type 2 diabetes).  OMAD is not a cure for type 2 diabetes, so i’m not riding on the wacko train. However, it does improve your diabetes significantly and my doctor will vouch for that. I’ll talk about my last doctor visit in a few minutes.

If you’re saying “I don’t have diabetes”, that’s fine. OMAD will help you lose weight, and be healthier. If you do have diabetes, OMAD will help with your battle to control your blood sugars.

Here’s how it works:

The magic happens when you go for at least 18 hours without eating anything. Personally, i go for 20 hours. You set a single block of time during which you eat every day. I’ve set my eating time to be either between 5 and 9 p.m. or between 6 and 10 p.m. Others have chosen a different time frame, but the actual time does not matter at all. During that window, i will eat my one meal for the day and perhaps have a snack. The rest of the day i don’t eat or drink anything with calories. This means you can drink all you want of non-caloric things like black coffee, unsweet tea (with an artificial sweetener if you want), water, diet sodas etc. Personally, i gave up all forms of artificial sweeteners years ago. They tend to trigger or exacerbate my problems with headaches. I drink water and unsweet tea. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but i won’t hold that against the rest of you.

The problem of hunger:

We have to address the very large elephant in the middle of the room.

The reason i chose this eating method is because after 61 years, i’ve finally come to the conclusion (i tend to be slow on acknowledging the obvious) that diets don’t work for me because i have no control whatever over how much i eat. I simply can not eat just one cookie or 5 potato chips. I have always been hungry and if i am eating because of my hunger, then i want to eat until i’m not hungry. That’s the way you end up weighing 280 pounds.

Since i have never been able to control how much i eat, instead i now am controlling when i eat. I only eat between 5 and 9 p.m. You’re thinking, “doesn’t that mean you get hungry when you are not in your eating window?” Absolutely. I have learned that while i am unable to eat just one cookie, i can absolutely eat no cookies. Any time i get hungry outside my eating window, i just tell myself “hang in there, you can eat your fill in a few more hours.” In other words, i can say no and that works, but i can’t say “just eat a celery stick” because when i do that, i’m still hungry. If i eat enough to not be hungry, then i end up at 280 pounds. So i accept the hunger and stick with the plan and the pounds just keep dropping off.

It’s been over 4 months and the hunger is less than before, but it’s still there and i’m ok with that. In fact, it actually feels really, really good to realize that i can now control a part of my life which has been uncontrollable for 61 years.

BTW, the hunger does not grow or get worse. It pops up, i acknowledge that i’m hungry, drink some water and go back to what i was doing.

Here are the pluses:

  • I have achieved control over an area of my life i could not control
  • I am having a victory every day instead of a defeat
  • My weight continues to drop every week (sometimes more, sometimes only a fraction of a pound)
  • My blood pressure has come down and i expect to be able to decrease my blood pressure meds as my weight decreases
  • My HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar) has gone from 6.7 to 5.6 which is miraculous
  • I am taking only half the insulin i was taking before
  • I have more energy
  • Because i don’t have to stop and eat for breakfast and lunch, i have more time to do other things
  • And best of all: my mind is clearer. Blood sugar spikes and dips play havoc with your ability to think clearly

Some details:

  • Do not weigh yourself every day. Once or maybe twice a week is all you need.
  • Weight loss is not linear. One week you may lose 4 pounds and another week you might gain a half a pound. This is a long term process.
  • Once you’ve done OMAD for a month, you can allow yourself a splurge day every 2 or 3 weeks. A day when you might eat 2 meals and have a sweet desert
  • I’ve found that i make more progress when i eliminate (mostly) bread and things with sugar.
  • I have discovered that nuts help tremendously. They are healthy and they are filling, and that is normally my evening snack.

Questions i’ve been asked:

What about when you go out to lunch with friends or church has a pot luck dinner after the morning service?

I’ve discovered that it isn’t hard at all to just sit and be a part of the group and the conversation and not eat. In fact, i think i participate better when my mind isn’t thinking about eating and going back for seconds or what i want for desert.

Don’t you feel deprived or like you are in prison?

This is the best part! The opposite is true. I feel like i have freedom from food and i feel in control instead of being driven by my hunger. It’s actually a wonderful feeling.

How to start:

I’m going to recommend you do exactly what i did. Go to this youtube channel and watch these videos This is just a guy who has lost a LOT of weight, telling how he did it and giving you the basics. This is not a company, it’s not a book, it isn’t anything but a guy helping you do what he has done. I’ve subscribed to his youtube channel, which is totally free. This is a playlist of 8 videos. Each one is between 2 minutes and 14 minutes long. You are going to notice that this guy is not going to dazzle you with his videos. He’s just a plain, down to earth guy.

Please ask any questions you have in the comment area below. My goal is to get down to 200 pounds. When i lose 4 more pounds i’ll be halfway there. What do i do when i reach my goal? I’m sticking with eating one meal a day. It’s too good a life style for me to quit it. However, i’ll add some bread or sweets back into my eating once i get there. Or who knows, maybe i’ll shoot for a lower number.

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Comments

  1. This is great John! I’m definitely following your your health journey. I am a fan if intermittent fasting. It’s the only way I can exercise any semblance of self control with food. Do you have specific meals you eat each week?

    • I just eat supper each day. Nothing the rest of the time except water and unsweet tea. It’s also the only way i can gain any self control. My brain can’t handle eat just a little, but it can handle don’t eat.

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