When I was young, like in my 20’s, losing weight was not a problem. I have not always had a weight problem. In my 20’s and early 30’s, if I wanted to lose weight is was just a matter of working out. I’d go to the gym a couple of days out of the week, and I was good.
When I joined the Navy, I was 24 years old. They taught me to run/jog. At first, I wouldn’t say I liked it. My shins hurt! I had splints. Eventually, the pain stopped, and I got used to running. I started to enjoy it. Running became my free ticket to eat whatever the hell I wanted!
For years I was able to eat whatever I wanted and not worry about gaining weight. Eventually, my body won out against exercise. At around 35, I started gaining weight, and no amount of training or activity could stop it.
What I’ve learned very recently is I was creating insulin resistance in my body all those years. Exercise is great. However, if your body (pancreas & liver) don’t get a break from sugar intake, carbs, and insulin releases, you become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone designed to cause the body to store fat. Sugar raises blood glucose levels, and insulin is needed to lower them. However, insulin is not released to deal with sweets only, but anytime you consume any food.
So, when I started to gain weight, exercise and dieting no longer worked. Restricting calories didn’t work because the recommended 3-6 (smallish) meals per day cause an insulin release. As a result, my blood glucose level was always somewhat high. Reducing calories made me more hungry. I’d give in and eat even more. All the while, I was steadily gaining more weight. For many years I was caught in a vicious cycle. I was becoming more insulin resistant and eventually was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I guess those are some of the technical reasons for not being able to lose weight. The biggest reason is that when I was young and able to exercise, I learned a habit I have not successfully broken yet; Over-eating! To this day, I still overeat.
In 2019, I discovered intermittent fasting. At that time was when I learned about the effects of insulin on the body. Luckily, I found fasting much more manageable than reducing calories over the whole day. Fasting has a different impact on the body. Once I experience the initial hunger, the pain goes away. It does not return for a very long time.
Intermittent fasting is setting a smaller window of eating against your fasting hours. I usually fast 18-20 hours a day, so my eating window is open 4-6 hours, depending on how long I’ve fasted. You might think the weight would fall away very quickly. However, it still matters WHAT you eat. I still eat crap! It goes back to the nasty eating habit I developed when I was in my 20’s. However, fasting is so good for the body that I could bring my A1c into a normal range in just a matter of months.
I have another doctor’s appointment in a few weeks. She will run the usual blood tests to get a read on my lipid levels, cholesterol, blood glucose, A1c, and a whole host of other things. I will let you know if my A1c is still optimal. If not, I will have to do some adjusting to do a little better. I already know I need to make better choices as to the foods I am eating. I am sure it will reflect in my results.