New Year, New You?

December 25, 2021

I’ve embraced a new health regime that I thought you might be interested in hearing about. I feel this lifestyle is truly the way humans were meant to live. And no, I’m not selling anything! Actually, with this lifestyle you may even save money.

What am I talking about? Intermittent fasting. Think about it – our bodies weren’t developed to eat three meals a day plus snacks. They were developed to eat when the food is plentiful (feast) and to go without in between (fast). I know the idea of going without is strange (who hasn’t heard the old “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” trope? Don’t believe it, you really do better without… and will find you have more energy and mental clarity too.

We all are aware how many people are obese these days. It is so sad as it doesn’t need to be like this. It has been proven that the old “eat less move more” or “calories in, calories out” that has been recommended to large people as the way to lose weight doesn’t work. If it did, there wouldn’t be so many large people! The problem is usually one of hormones, and that means the hormone insulin. When we eat often, our insulin stays high, and insulin is the fat storing hormone. So if you eat less often – bingo, you get it!

If you’re interested in fasting, I’ll make some book and podcast recommendations at the end of this post but the first thing you should know is that you’ll want to fast clean. That means when you’re not eating to only drink plain water (sparkling or still), black coffee and plain black or green tea. No flavors, stevia, splenda, diet sodas, chewing gum – or anything that will tell your body that something sweet or food-like is on the way and that it should send out some insulin. Black coffee is a sticking spot for some people but the fast is so much easier when you fast clean. There are people out there saying that you can have up to 50 calories without breaking your fast but please do yourself a favor and clean fast from the start. You can thank me later, ha ha!

Another thing that happens when you fast is your body starts autophagy. I don’t want to get all science-y here but it is basically when your body cleans up old bits and pieces that they can reuse and recycle. Many report long term health issues like allergies, psoriasis, chronic headaches, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and other conditions clear up on their own. It really seems too good to be true but it is reported over and over.

I started fasting in August and found pretty much right away that I loved the energy I had as well as the lightness and lack of bloating. I think my body had a lot of healing to do as I have only lost 18 pounds but I don’t mind being a slow loser. I love fasting, it is my new lifestyle so I don’t care how long it takes.

I started out with about 19:5 (19 hours fasting and a 5 hour eating window). Basically that meant I finished dinner by 6 or 7 and opened my window at 1 or 2 pm. Most people start with 16:8, moving up to 18:6 or whatever feels good to them. The last few weeks I have been doing what they call OMAD (one meal a day) during a 22:2 window. I’ve done one long fast of 43 hours that was fun and I’ll do those here and there in the future I imagine. It’s a very flexible lifestyle as you can shift your window around based on your social calendar. I use a fasting app on my phone but many people just track their eating time (for example 2 pm to 6 pm) and find that easier.

Some people like to weigh themselves daily and some find it difficult to manage the emotional side of seeing weight go up and down. I have been weighing myself daily and I find my weight bounces up and down a fair bit before it settles at a new low.

Most people continue to eat as they normally do – as this is not a diet – but pretty much across the board people say they usually choose better quality, tastier food as it needs to be “window worthy.” Very quickly I got back in tune with my body and it’s satiety signals, which is a real treat.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are a few resources for you:


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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Wonderful article. Thanks so v v much for your kind and generous advice Nancy, I found moving to this regime an absolute breeze. I have an eight hour window, because I like to socialise and that includes something v important in my life, dinner at lots of different hours (currently we have friends here from NYC, boy the hours that keep in that world!), and the 8 hours suits perfectly. This arrangement has my support. ANd thanks again for yours on this (and other stuff).

    1. Excellent explanation Nancy! I’m looking forward to Gin Stephens new book, out the first week of January, called CLEANish. I am plodding along but my body feels like it’s natural so I’m happy to just keep living it.

    1. Thanks for putting this post together. I continue to eat between 2 – 10PM and have been for at least five years now. Covid has taken me off the path in that I might add an extra hour at the end of the day but I will get back to being stricter.

      1. Hi Contessa, I love this lifestyle, I actually crave more time fasted rather than less. I think this and my daily workouts have kept me sane through Covid! Enjoy Maz for me and skritch those little ones! Happy New Year!

    1. Something for me to consider. You make it sound easy and satisfying. I can already envision my schedule! I’ll let you know if and when I take the plunge. Encouraging!!!

    1. When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, between-meal snacking was considered an unhealthful practice. In the intervening time, the big, junk food companies managed to overcome that particular social stigma, and along with the high-carb, low-fat diet recommendations from the government, unleashed a wave of obesity, diabetes, and ill health. I’m glad to see that people are finally waking up to what you’ve written above. Some while back I did watch one of Dr. Fung’s YouTube videos, and found it fascinating. Have you read “Big, Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz? If she’s correct, (and I think she is) just about everything we’ve been taught about diet is 100% wrong.

      About 20 years ago, I started on a road to better health after I watched “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Dr. Robert Lustig, head of pediatric endocrinology at UCSF. I cut a ton of sugar out of my diet, and over the next 18 months lost about 15 pounds of fat. Today I weigh the same as I did in high school.

      It’s a real shame that Americans (and Mexicans too) are so unhealthy because we eat so much sugar/carbohydrate, and do so constantly. And this drives enormous medical costs too. A real shame all around.


      Kim G
      Roma Sur, CDMX
      Where I try to avoid snacking too.

      1. Hi Kim, Thanks for your comment. Yes. I have read pretty much all the health and nutrition books out there. The standard American (and Mexican) diet is so heavy in processed foods and sugar that obesity is pretty much a given. The hormonal angle is so important and not as well known. My reason for writing this is that I know so many people this lifestyle could help! Take care!

    1. Several years ago, you directed me to intermittent fasting when I started taking two health issues seriously. It worked. For reasons that do not need to be detailed, I reverted to old habits for two years, and all of my work was undone. I have been back on a noon to 6 PM eating window for almost a year now and have had good health results. Nothing will stop the ravages of aging, and our bodies will all end up in the same place one day, but, until then, the few years I have left will be far more enjoyable. Thanks again for the tip.

      1. Hi Steve, I’m so glad you have found success with IF. I know it can really help people with diabetes as well as so many other health concerns. The autophagy that fasting gives can be a bit of a “fountain of youth” though nothing will keep us from kicking off at some point. The main thing is to have an active and healthy old age, right? Thanks for commenting.

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