Today marks two months of incorporating Fast-5 (19:5 daily fasting schedule) with the Five Bite Diet (a very low calorie accelerated weight-loss strategy). In just eight weeks I’ve lost 23 pounds! This has brought my total weight-loss to a whopping 72 pounds and I’ve gone from a size 14 (down from an 18) to a size 10 in two months. The best part is, I have no doubt I can maintain the weight-loss through Fast-5 alone, as I had previously been plateaued for four and a half months while sticking to Fast-5.
This is the last leg of the race for me. I started my journey at 237 pounds and 102 to lose. Today I’m just 30 pounds away from my goal weight of 135. It feels amazing, exciting and surreal, but I know I can’t rest on my laurels. If anything, these have been the most intense few months of my weight-loss journey. I’ve had to push harder, work at staying focused, say “no” more often and stay on my mental game more than ever. In doing so, I’ve learned some valuable lessons which I felt compelled to share – mostly to pay it forward, but also as reminders to myself as I work to reach my goal. Here are my personal top tips for successful weight-loss.
- Do not compare yourself to anyone. We women are often guilty of this one. There’s no point in watching someone drop the weight faster than you and feeling that you must be doing something wrong. We have no idea what role the other person’s metabolism, lifestyle, hormones, etc. are playing in their loss. But more than that, we have no idea how difficult or easy it’s been for them to lose. I often chuckle to myself when people tell me, “you are so strong” for sticking to fasting for so long. Folks, I’m really not any stronger than the next person. Fasting has been easy for me. If it were that hard, I probably wouldn’t have stuck to it, believe me!
- Coach yourself. I can’t stress enough the importance of being your own coach. Talk to yourself, write to yourself, motivate yourself, pick a theme song for your journey that you play to yourself. You get the picture. Be your most enthusiastic fan and your own unwavering supporter throughout your weight-loss journey. In the end, your success comes down to creating a positive relationship with yourself and your body – one that is unconditionally supportive and not focused on guilt and admonishments but on encouragement and kindness.
- Recognize you’ll never lose weight perfectly. If you slip up, pick yourself up and keep going as soon as possible. This is a big one! I lost 23 pounds in two months after adding the Five Bite Diet to my fasting schedule. Sounds great, but guess what? Five Bites is very hard for me to do. I find Fast-5 to be a no-brainer and it’s a solid habit at this point. It’s easy. Eat within a five hour window. That’s the only rule. I never felt deprived because I could eat whatever I wanted, I just had to wait for it. But with the Five Bite Diet, that all changed and I wasn’t happy about limiting my intake to a measly 500 calories daily after a 19-hr fast. I felt deprived, hangry, annoyed. I slipped up many times and just said, “To hell with it!” several times. In other words, I’ve half-assed the Five Bite Diet and still lost over 10 pounds per month! I now know that, when it comes to weight-loss, perfection is not possible. You will have moments when you’re off your game physically and or mentatlly. It happens, but just keep going. There’s no need to fast perfectly, just fast consistently – as consistently as you can. You will still see results. Trust me.
- Do not place too much value on statistics, studies and research findings. I’m something of a data geek. I love reading about nutrition and about the latest weight-loss related study in particular. But as interesting as they might be, it may or may not translate to anything meaningful for me personally. We have to pay attention to our own bodies and no Harvard study is a shortcut to that. It takes time and practice and often a lot of trial and error, but it’s so rewarding when you can finally say, “I know this works for me.” No study can negate that.