In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens speaks to Alex, an actor who also does voice work. He is from Oxford in the UK. Alex was first introduced to the concept of eating within a restricted window by his brother, who was trying it. Alex gave the method a brief, half-hearted try, but admits he worried he was ruining his metabolism since he was accustomed to the idea of eating small meals frequently. He’d always been a big guy, very active, a rugby player, and describes himself as “an opportunistic volume omnivore”, someone who loves lots of foods in large portions.
As he entered his 40s, Alex noticed creeping weight gain and experienced difficulty finding trousers large enough to fit him when shopping. He says over the years, he tried “all the stuff” including diet shakes and counting calories, and found it all very tedious. He recounts spending a lot of money on this weight loss quest, only to arrive at a peak weight of 118 kg (about 260 pounds). Having experienced success cutting carbs in the past, he began the keto diet but this also became tiring, and he disliked cooking separate meals from his family and making desserts with alternative sweeteners like Xylitol.
Being cast to film a role 3 months away that would require a bathing suit became the motivation Alex needed. He returned to his exploration of fasting, reading Dr Fung’s The Obesity Code and listening to Gin’s podcasts. He started doing a 19:5, eating “carb conscious” within his window, but not true keto. He was amazed that it was such an “elegant solution” to work with the body’s rhythms and provide a daily period of digestive rest. He has enjoyed a move away from processed and packaged foods. He was able to lose about 30 pounds and had a great time shooting his acting role. Since returning home, he regained a few pounds and noticed an old tendency to want several glasses of wine or extra cake, but he’s reining that in.
Alex encourages those just getting started with fasting to choose an 8-hour eating window and eat well within it. He advises not forcing yourself to perform any exercise you don’t like, but rather, moving in ways that feel enjoyable. Don’t expect miracles right away, but be patient and give yourself time to adjust. He says “if nothing changes, nothing will change” so take the first small step and watch yourself transform!
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