I have a typical body for an American male of my age. All my life I have been average. I mean average! Average height. Average weight. Average grades in school. Average.
Unfortunately for me, average means I gained weight consistently throughout my adult years. I did a lot of the average things during the 50s, 60s, 70s and all the rest of those decades, and one of those things was slowly gaining weight. I jogged a lot during most of those decades; when I lived in Berkeley there were long runs to the top of Grizzly Peak twice a week for ten years. Maybe that is a bit more than average, but it wasn’t unusual among my acquaintances. The point is that I went from weighing 150 pounds when I graduated from high school in 1953 to 194 pounds in 2007. I know that was my weight that day because we just put up our fancy Tibetan calendar from Shambhala and I had noted 194 there on January 1st 2007.
This last year Debbie and I have been dieting and we each have lost 22 pounds and I now weigh 161 pounds. Wow! Or boring, you might say, but a bit of further research on dieting here in America demonstrated to me that the diet industry is flawed. Flawed! There is a blizzard of information and yet two-thirds of Americans are overweight and about five percent approaching BMI of 40. That’s fat! Don’t get upset with me for saying that word if you are one of those people. BMI of 40 is fat! The diet industry is a total failure, or perhaps only 99% failure, and thus their advice isn’t worth much.
Debbie and I have been doing the intermittent fasting diet for 13 months now and the way we have been doing it is as easy as breathing. We hardly think about dieting. We have some easy habits and we do them. We eat as much as we feel comfortable with at our meal times and our bodies rarely tell us that we are hungry, so there is no pressure from within to eat. So, there is absolutely no strain of any kind to our dieting.
Google “diet” and there is mountains of information and most of it presented in such a way that it seems to make sense. Some say eat lots of this and none of that, but there are others who say exactly the opposite: they say eat lots of that and none of this! Most of the problem comes from excess sugar and especially excess fructose sugar, but notice I say excess. A little of that stuff won’t hurt you, but … and it’s a big BUT! It is hard to eat only a little sugar and it’s functionally addictive. It is far easier to just avoid as much sugar as possible. Just say NO. That was a slogan several years ago when it was being applied to drugs, but fructose sugar is a big one of those drugs that should have been included. “Just say NO to sugar!” Our food industry pushes sugar because it’s cheap to include in their products and the sugar addicts like it. Because so many foods have been loaded with sugar we have all become sugar addicts without realizing it. The modern world is loaded with sugar addicts.
Intermittent fasting works if you do it in a sensible way. Eating the way people did back in the 1950s works just fine. Eat breakfast, lunch and supper and nothing else before or after those times and you will do just fine for weight maintenance once you are near your ideal weight. When you want to lose weight at a pound per month close your eating window up an hour on each end. That means eating breakfast an hour later and supper an hour earlier. If you want to lose two pounds per month tighten up your eating window two hours on both ends. Do a couple of weeks with one hour before you move to two hours; that will make the adjustments easier. If you are twenty pounds over your ideal BMI of about 23 it will take about ten months to get there. Yes, that is a long time but it’s as easy as breathing, and I assume you expect to keep breathing those ten months. Our eating window has been noon to 6 PM.
Our bodies easily adjusted to six hours of eating.