OK, sorry, I'm not the most photogenic guy in the world and my daughter says I should dye my hair :)
But I'm almost 56 years old now and I'm working on losing some weight. I've managed to lose 8 pounds the last 5 weeks and I'd like to lose another 15 to 20 pounds. I'm trying the 16/8 approach where you fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour period. Effectively, I'm cutting out my lightest meal of the day for reduction of about 500 to 800 calories each day. It may actually be healthier to eat during a shorter period with a longer fast because it forces the body to burn fat towards the end of the fasting period and should help to stabilize blood sugar levels for a longer time. Most people eat during a 12 to 16 hour period and fast for only 8 to 12 hours, mainly while sleeping.
I eat a fairly low carbohydrate diet, with about 50-60 percent of calories from fat and only about 20-30 percent from carbs. I try to minimize sugar and polyunsaturated fat - among the worst additives in the modern diet. The fat in my diet is mostly saturated and monounsaturated fat from pastured and wild animal foods. These are the healthiest fats that our ancestors have eaten for many thousands of years. The extra fat in my diet helps to curb hunger so I don't get very hungry during the 16 hour fasting period.
With my new routine, on workdays, I start breakfast at about 6:15 am and finish lunch at about 12:30 pm, which is actually a 6.25 hour eating period. On weekends and holidays, I push breakfast to around Noon to 1:00 pm and then finish dinner by 7:00 pm for about a 6 to 7 hour eating period. So, I'm really doing closer to a 17/7 or even an 18/6 regime. I've been very pleased with the results so far and highly recommend this approach to those of you who want to lose some weight.
To lose weight, you have to establish a calorie deficit - where your body is burning more calories than it receives from the food you eat. If your metabolism is in a steady state, that means increasing your exercise and/or reducing the number of calories you ingest. About three and a half years ago my weight had reached nearly 245 pounds while trying to do a low fat diet, where I had been gaining weight instead of losing weight. I switched to a low carb diet and decided to increase my exercise by walking 2 miles every day to try and lose weight. Most people burn about 70 to 100 calories per mile, whether you walk or jog that mile. That comes out to no more than 200 calories per day for a 2 mile walk. It takes net deficit of about 3,500 calories to lose a pound of weight. That means I should have lost about 2 pounds per month and I did actually lose about 10 pounds in about 6 months - but I gained most of it back that fall and winter by cheating too much and indulging in too many sweets over the holidays. It wasn't until I broke my sugar addiction and maintained a consistent low carb diet early the next year that my weight dropped significantly. I lost about 20 pounds in about 3 months doing a rigorous low carb diet with no cheating, thanks to dropping sugar as well as aspartame and sucralose. My weight loss then slowed and over the next 6 months I only lost about 10 additional pounds. My weight loss ended at that point and I started gaining weight very slowly. I gained almost 10 pounds over the next year and a half. I guess I like to eat too much. I did manage to lose about 2 pounds during the month prior to starting the 16/8 regime. My weight today is back down to 213 pounds, which is the lowest that I reached a little less than two years ago. My goal is to drop to at least 200 pounds, and I might keep going to 195 pounds, which is what I weighed at age 40. I will update this post when I reach my goal.
For those of you who want to lose weight - try the 16/8 along with a low carb, low sugar, and low polyunsaturated fat diet. Good luck!
Update November 11, 2008
After about four months now, I've lost 18 pounds and I'm down to 203 pounds! I plan to keep going for at least another 10 pounds.
Fast Way to Better Health by Dr. Michael Eades
Protein Power verses Intermittent Fasting by Dr. Michael Eades