Intermittent fasting weight loss as a function of frequency, quality, and quantity

Saturday, May 25, 2019 | Posted by Scratch

I have successfully completed over a month’s worth of intermittent fasting 20/4, where I fasted for 20 hours and ate only during a time restricted eating window of 4 hours. I lost a good 10lbs, so I am pleased with the results, however, I feel I am stalling out at this point.

I feel that I hit a plateau and that the current way I do intermittent fasting will keep me at this weight level of right about 300 lbs.

For whatever reason, my body seems to have this 300 lb level it likes to find and accommodate. I am on that threshold again and I want to bust through it and reset this natural level that my body seems to find comfortable.

My fear is that what I have been doing was enough to drop me back down from the 310s to the 300s but what I am doing is not enough to break through this threshold of 300s.

How do I get to the 290s and stay there? How do I get to the 280s and stay there? How do I one day drop under 200 and stay there?

No doubt I am proud of the streak of 36 consecutive days of intermittent that ended with some late-night pizza Thursday. This streak proved to me that I can control at least one of the three dieting variables that I believe are a function of health: frequency of eating, type of food, quantity of food.

36 days of 20/4 Intermittent Fasting has me feeling confident I addressed frequency.

How Often Do You Eat (Frequency)?

Frequency is all about how often you eat and the beauty of intermittent fasting for me is that I think I can much more easily control frequency then the other two variables that affect one’s dieting health: food types and amounts. Now I need to tackle the remaining two variables by picking another one to focus on.

Which of the two should I focus on: type (quality) of food or amount (quantity) of food? The interesting question is this: will mastering one take care of the other? Can I eat unlimited amounts of healthy food during my window of 4 hours? Or, can I eat whatever, not paying attention to quality, so long as I simply keep the calories at a level to support weight loss?

Type (Quality of Food)

I am considering the “type” of food I eat as the next focus of my weight loss effort. This means I will be focusing on the types of food I eat during my fast. After all, there were a few days where I had Burger King Whoppers during my eating window. There were a few days I had pizza and wings and beer, maybe too many of those days.

But the drawbacks to Type is about food restriction. Certain foods become off limits. You start saying I can never have bread again or pasta or pizza or fried wings. This thinking seems to fly in the face of intermittent fasting.

Diets that are about focusing on types of food include Keto, low carb, vegan, plant-based, etc.

On intermittent fasting, you don’t restrict, you simply try to eat as healthy as possible and let your natural window tell you when you have had enough. Let your energy levels tell you if you are eating the right kind of food. Don’t dictate. Let your body tell you.

Quantity (Amount of food, calories)

Now if you focus on amounts, such as calories, you have the freedom to eat what you want. So, you don’t worry so much about having a hot dog or hamburger so long as you don’t overeat. Focusing on calories has the tendency for one to seek out the apple and orange because of its nutritional punch considering its size. In other words, 500 calories worth of salad is a lot of food my friend.

Health is a function of how well you can master all these dieting variables—frequency, type and quantity.

My advice to anyone that struggles with weight loss, is to pick the one that is easiest for you to master. Maybe you just need to eat healthy and let the rest take care of itself? Maybe you just need to count calories and let the rest take care of itself?

I have discovered frequency is the one area I find the easiest to control—so intermittent fasting 20/4 works well for me.

My weight is down. My clothes fit a lot better and I have been in great spirits. I think my energy levels could be better, and that is a result of not focusing on the types of food I eat. I also tend to overeat a little too during my fasting window.

To address this, and break through that 300s, I will “pay attention to calories” and “cultivate a bias for healthy foods” during my intermittent fasting window of 4 hours.

Therefore, I am going to track calories, but not assign any value to how many I have. On the Football Fan’s Diet that means I will not score points if I do it or give up any if I don’t. I am simply observing my calories and using that as a gage to make tweaks.

For healthy foods, I will cultivate a bias toward whole foods and a bias against processed foods. I will also cultivate a bias against full bodied beers—that means more Miller Lite, less Sam Adams Boston Lager. I will cultivate a bias against highly refined carbs like pasta, pizza and chips. To me that means limiting them to once or twice a week—reward day or something.

There you have it. My intermittent Fasting plan for the next 30 days