Sunday 19 May 2019


Here's the deal: I began my healthy lifestyle journey last 2016. If you're visiting my blog, you'll see some relevant posts like: LONDON DIARY : MY FITNESS JOURNEY 2016 and 3 'NEW' THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY FITNESS JOURNEY. I acknowledge that being fit and healthy is indeed a process and it will take time. However, all those years, I am seeing little to no result. And yes, I am talking about the 'thing' that shouldn't be talked about: the number on the scale! You see, I am familiar with all the pep talks and I agree with all of them. Talks about how the scale doesn't define us and it's just a relationship between our mass and gravity and we shouldn't worry about it but I'm a believer of this adage: If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. Long story short, I only lost a kilo within those three years of being healthy.

Tired and exhausted, I curled up in my bed. I remember I was staying in a hotel room that night (in a given week, I usually stay one night away from home due to a client engagement). There's something wrong in the equation and I need to figure this out, I sighed. At this point, I was running 3-4 times a week for 9 months. 9 months and I lost 1 kilo, okay?! While I like the idea of exercising, I am just frustrated that I can't see a tangible result of my hard work. That same night, miraculously, as I scrolled through my YouTube feed, I chanced upon a video about a foreign word back then: intermittent fasting. I won't bore you to details and as always, you have trusty Google at your disposal but in simplest terms, intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern. It means you'll have a period of fasting and eating. It translates to allowing your body to rest and not stuff it with food round the clock. However, I have a problem here. I've been told all my life that frequent eating is good for your metabolism; and breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

I was thinking so hard about these two opposing ideas but my disappointment was greater than my inclination to status quo so I went cold turkey. This is it, I said at 9:00 PM. I will have no food for the next 12 hours! 3:00 AM, I was up with my stomach making weird noises. I reached out for a bottle of water and forced myself to sleep, thankfully it worked. The morning after (7:00 am to be exact) I was with the rest of the team having breakfast (so much for my 12 hours fasting). The thing was, I tried again the next day. I just made sure that I drank as much water as I can. The day after, I'm still with my client so it's easy to get distracted from my hunger due to meetings and other tasks. The day after, I tried it again.

By the end of third day, things got better. My usual day begins eating at breakfast at 10 am or 11 am (or whenever I feel hungry), please note that I drink coffee or tea at 6:30 am but without any solid food. I drink loads of water too. I'll go for lunch (again whenever I feel the urge) and then dinner is the same. So what did you change, you ask? NO SNACKING! I eat proper meals when I need to eat but I let my body rest from frequent solid food intake in between. This may be a deal breaker for some and I can't blame you. Probably without me being tired, sad and frustrated, I wouldn't have given IF a try. In hindsight, I'm glad I did.

I've also watched so many YouTube videos about IF. Noting all the tips, do's and don'ts. It's like a mini-project for me. They said IF + Ketogenic (less carbs) diet works best but I won't consider myself doing a full on Ketogenic diet. I am trying to limit my carbs but I can't ditch it fully. What I do instead is I increase my vegetables intake (broccoli and spinach, for example). I can still go to a burger place but instead of buns, I go for a naked option (replacing buns with greens). It's not too bad because I can still have my burger and cheese, if I like. 

It's been two and a half months since I tried IF as I type this post. I am squeaking in delight because I've lost 5 kilos as of press time. Some may smirk and say, oh that's nothing. It's probably negligible for some but I was running my ass out for nine months and all I lost is a kilo?! For me, it is a blooming miracle! But wait, there's more! The second biggest improvement is my sleep. It's borderline embarrassing but before, it's common for me to wake up at 2 am or 3 am just to eat something. I later found out that my body was fuelled by sugar so I needed sugar even in the middle of the night to sustain me. How crappy was that? Basically, our bodies need to be trained to feed on our stored energy (aka fat) vs. wanting sugar. If we eat too much sugar, our bodies will think that's the source of nutrients to go for. These days, I sleep at 10 pm and wake up around 6 am like a baby.

There's so much I want to share about IF but I'm aware this post is getting longer than expected so I'll probably save it for later. By the way, HERE's one of the videos I've watched that one fateful night. Enjoy! -CMK

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