Two Key Lessons for Healthy Weight-loss

It’s been three weeks since I ended my 10-day water fast.

I’m happy to report that I’ve maintained my weight loss after my re-feeding period. 🙂

10 day water fast: lost 16 lbs

7 days of re-feeding (gaining weight in water, fiber, protein and glycogen in the muscles) led to me gaining almost 6 lbs.

That leaves me with a net loss of 10 lbs, which is where I am at today.

What?

That means I haven’t lost any weight since the end of my week of re-feeding (two weeks ago)!

Well, guess what; it’s NOT a failure.

Why? Two reasons:

  • I haven’t gained any of my fasting weight back in two weeks. That’s awesome! Are you celebrating with me?
  • I have MAINTAINED my weight loss for two weeks. Do you know how hard it is to maintain weight loss? Ok, two weeks is nothing to brag about, but that means I’ve been eating and moving my body for two weeks, and my weight stayed pretty much the same. This is a gift because, I’ve learned how to maintain the weight I am, and my next step is to tweak what I am doing, so I can continue to lose the weight I need to lose in order to have optimal health. This was the first key lesson I learned: plateaus can be a gift.

I discovered something else. There are three levels of adapting to a new eating program, and each one has given me information to help me.

  1. Master Level: This level is one that you have figure out, and you don’t seem to be struggling. For me, I have easily been able to eat whole plant foods without any added oil, sugar, salt or flour for three weeks. I have also not had any alcohol or processed food. I am not struggling with this way of eating. I am enjoying it, and I don’t have to think much about it now. Mastered! The only thing I have allowed myself is the occasional tamari, hot mustard or HP sauce. On one occasion I had a delicious plant-based “cheese” dip, but it had too much fat and sodium in it, so I stopped using it.
  2. Learning Level: At this stage, you are applying another strategy, but it is not yet mastered. For me, it is intermittent fasting. My goal is to eat in a 10-hour window and to fast for the other 14 hours. I have been able to do this most days, but not all. This means I am still learning how to do it and learning how it works for me; it is not yet a practice I have mastered.
  3. Try or Introductory Level: Here, you are just trying something to see if it will help. You’ve just begun. For a couple of days now, I added in walking on my treadmill or outside as well as pausing to think about my actual hunger level after I finish eating my dinner. Since I’ve just started these two ways to move toward health, I consider them ways I am trying out.

Once you’ve mastered a bahavior change, these three levels are always at play. As I move along in my journey, I will be able to add things to the mastered category, continue learning things I tried out as well as introducing new tricks.

Both lessons will help me to see my successes and to realize that long-term weight loss is a process that takes time.

I can be patient. My health is worth it.

Be YOU on your journey,

Update: Two Weeks after my 10-Day Water Fast

After completing my 10-day water fast, I began what I think is the most important part of fasting: re-feeding: what I eat after the fast.

There are two phases of re-feeding:

  1. The foods consumed in the first week to ten days after the fast
  2. The way of eating that continues on a daily basis, for long-term health

I follow the re-feeding protocol used at True North Health Center (TN) in Santa Rosa, California. My confidence in fasting and re-feeding comes from my knowledge from two key books:

  1. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eating and Fasting for Health
  2. The Pleasure Trap by Dr. Doug Lisle and Dr. Alan Goldhamer

I also have first-hand experience fasting at TN for an 18-day water fast early in 2020 (right when Covid-19 hit, so I had to speed up my re-feeding).

My Re-feeding Phases

Day 1: fresh juice (celery/watermelon; celery/apple, celery/carrot/apple and celery watermelon). Day 2: fruit (except citrus) and juicy vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, zucchini and tomatoes. Day 3: Add all raw vegetables and citrus fruits as well as cooked veggies. Day 4: Add starchy vegetables like potatoes, squash, carrots. Enjoy thin soups. Day 5: Add legumes and thicker soups. Day 6: Add whole grains. Day 6: Add nuts/seeds.

Long -term way of eating: I am eating whole, plant foods without any added oil, sugar or salt. Occasionally, I will use mustard or a condiment that has a bit of sugar or salt, but that’s it. No alcohol for me. It is toxic to the body, and for a person like me recovering from breast cancer and wanting to prevent it from spreading or returning, booze is out.

Learn more about my weight-loss and mindset shifts that are helping me move toward long-term changes in my lifestyle and ultimately, optimal health.

Be YOU on your Journey,