RT Cunningham


Intermittent Fasting is the Only Thing That Helps Me Lose Weight

intermittent fastingAfter everything I’ve attempted to do in order to lose weight, intermittent fasting is the only thing that seems to work for me. It may not work for you. There are all kinds of weight loss programs and all types of methods that are supposed to work. They work for some people but obviously not for all people.

I Got Fat

When I retired from the Marine Corps, I weighed less than the maximum weight allowed for my height. Exactly how much less, I really don’t remember. I only know I had to stay below 192 pounds. Regardless, it didn’t take me long to put on extra weight after retirement. By time I moved to the Philippines in 2006, I weighed 220 pounds.

By February 2018, when my wife (Josie) and I were staying with our older son (Joe) and his family in Florida, I weighed in at 250 pounds. That was despite the time I put into walking to get back into shape. Josie gained weight as well. Joe liked to eat out frequently, and he would take us along with the rest of his family. He would not take no for an answer. And, of course, we didn’t put a lot of effort into arguing with him.

Like most middle-aged men, the fat is concentrated in my midsection. I have a fat belly. While I should be concentrating on fat loss as opposed to weight loss, they tend to go hand-in-hand. I can no longer exercise in a way to concentrate on fat loss anyway (like belly burners).

My Previous Attempts at Weight Loss

I’ve tried to lose weight using various methods, but nothing super extreme. There’s no way I can do extended fasting, but I seem to do real well with intermittent fasting.

Ketogenic dieting didn’t work for me. I couldn’t seem to reduce my carbohydrate intake low enough to go into ketosis. A reduced calorie diet didn’t work either. I was always hungry.

With intermittent fasting, I don’t feel like I’m dieting at all. Way back when I first entered military service, I was doing intermittent fasting without even knowing it. I would eat one day and not eat again for more than a day sometimes. If I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t bother to eat. I lived in a military barracks, without any way to store or prepare food. Going somewhere to eat was a chore in itself.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the practice of eating during a short window of time and not eating in a much longer window. Advocates may recommend an 8/16 ratio, with half of the 16 being taken up by sleep. I use a 6/18 ratio, with some of the 18 being taken up by sleep (I rarely sleep eight hours at a time). I can only fit in two meals during the six-hour window, sometimes only one if the first one starts too late.

I don’t remember exactly when I started practicing this method of weight loss, but it had to have been sometime in the last six months. Since I started, I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’m now at 230 pounds. My belt notch is at 38 inches. I expect another notch smaller when I reach my first goal.

My intermediate weight loss goal is to reach my 2006 weight, 220 pounds. My end goal is to reach 190 pounds, which I haven’t weighed in at since 1998.

Josie and I are now with our younger son (Jon) and his pregnant wife in Hawaii. We try to walk together daily, when the weather permits (some days it rains all day). Walking seems to be getting easier for me and I’m not sure whether it’s weight loss or repetition that’s making it easier.

Photo Attribution: PublicDomainPictures at Pixabay

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By RT Cunningham
January 30, 2020