Everyone is talking about it. How to REALLY know if it's right for you?
What I learned from my experience with Intermittent Fasting: A Journey Spanning 4 Decades
I love intermittent fasting...on paper. In real life, I also like breakfast and coffee with cream and honey, and lunch with colleagues and if I go out for the evening, I don’t want to stop eating by 7:00PM. So, on days when I have no plans or meetings centered around meals, I have the opportunity to fast…if I remember. On those days my challenge becomes what to eat during my food window to make sure I get all those vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, amino acids, carbs, healthy fats, antioxidants, super foods, etc., when all I want is a bowl of Pad Thai, or pizza and beer (insert your own comfort food of choice).
In my gut, (obligatory pun) I've always known intermittent fasting worked for me. In college I followed a comfortable routine of eating every other day. My mother thought I had an eating disorder, I just wanted to keep my weight down and save money. Later in life when losing weight became more difficult (I could no longer drop 4 pounds by Friday) I was certain I had destroyed my metabolism during my college years. That wasn't the case, but it took me a decade of searching to learn why losing weight had become next to impossible. And fasting was no longer part of my busy schedule as a mom, wife, business owner and daily cook for 5 people.
My First Assessment to Find the Perfect Diet for Me
My searching for a diet matched to my unique needs led to a holistic doctor and an elimination diet (21 days of eliminating the 5 most common food groups in the American diet that result in “food sensitivities,” not an allergic response, but close.) I learned I have a sensitivity to dairy and that my body works better when I avoid glutten. I lost 13 pounds in 21 days by avoiding or eating in small doses (because I'm not allergic to them) those 2 groups. I was back on track.
(Yes, the above are photos of me. And these aren't easy to post as I've never been comfortable with my weight — even when I weighed 127 lbs as a 5'10" intermittent fasting college student. But I think I've had a fairly typical American female experience, so I gathered my courage to share these here.)
The Next Assessment: Breaking Down Barriers
Until I turned 50 and, once again it became difficult to lose weight. This time, testing hormone levels and balancing my hormones was very helpful but it wasn't a complete approach.
Food sensitivities and imbalanced hormones will prevent weightloss — even if you find the perfect diet match.
Next-Level Testing: DNA
Fast forward to a post-COVID world where we are no longer as skeptical about surrendering our DNA as we were before COVID. Many of the same high complexity molecular labs that experienced explosive growth by processing all those covid tests, are now returning to their roots — analyzing DNA samples for wellness and improved lifestyle, such as identifying a DNA marker that indicates a predisposition to cancer (BRCA gene) to providing us with comprehensive Nutrition, Fitness, Skin, Personality assessments to the best Cannabis Match and determining our Biological Age.
About the anti-aging claims of Intermittent Faster: a side note
Last year, I took the TrueAge Epigenetic DNA test — a comprehensive assessment of my DNA. It revealed that my biological age is 10-15 years younger than my chronological age. I was pretty excited because I expected to see the opposite. It showed that I had aged more slowly at a previous time in my life, but it didn't tell me when. And that I’m aging faster now, but it doesn't tell me why.
So, if I believe the intermittent fasting proponents, it could have been the intermittent fasting during my college years that slowed my aging, or perhaps it was the 5 years around by 40th birthday when I was obsessed with taking handfuls of vitamins 3 times a day. Or maybe it was as a child living with my parents and the vast majority of our meals were homecooked with vegetables from our family's gardens. In reality, each of those likely supported a slowing of my biological clock.
More about the DNA and Epigenetic testing:
The TruAge test is thorough, lengthy, a little pricey ($490) and certain parts require a phycisian interpretation (which costs extra). There are other, more specific DNA tests that provide a wealth of nutritional and fitness information for less ($165.00). You'll find detailed information on food intolerance, sensitivities, allergies to metabolism rates and tendancies for muscle mass increases/loss and weight gain/loss, plus recommendations for addressing each of these areas. And these are for home use. We've come a long way since the elimination diet.
Real-Time Data: Devices as Addicting as Your Apple Watch
Through this DNA testing, I learned that Intermittent Fasting is a good lifestyle diet for my body. A low-carb diet works equally well because my body is a slow metabolizer of carbohydrates. But the DNA test didn't tell me exactly how slowly I metabolize carbohydrates. For that information, I needed something that delivers real-time data. I found the data I needed with The Lumen. My colleagues like a 24/7 Glucose Monitoring device like Nutrisense. Either way, having a real time, simple to use measurement tool to record and track when I'm burning fats or carbs puts me in control of my intermittent fasting.
And that means I don't have to have a strict "don't eat before 12:00 or after 8:00" approach to intermittent fasting. I customize it based on what is happening within my body real time — as it responds to sleep, exercise, food, etc.
Nine out of ten diets a person tries will fail.
It’s not a matter of willpower; it is because they were never meant to work for every individual's metabolism. Don't simply try another diet. Find the lifestyle diet that is a perfect match for you.
For a Personalized Approach to Nutrition and Weight Loss, here's a summary of the assessments and tools recommended above:
- 21-Day Elimination Diet to identify food sensitivities — something you can do at home with resources on the internet: Cost: $0: Results in 21 days
- Hormone Testing requires a physician order for lab work and prescriptions for hormones: Cost: varies, not covered by insurance: Results in 1 week
- TruAge Test by TruDiagnostics - comprehensive DNA and epigenetic assessment including Biological Age - available for home use, do not require a physician presciption: Cost $499.00, interpretation of specific sections by physician, additional fee: Results in 6 weeks
- Dynamic DNA Nutrition or Fitness tests - available for home use, do not require a physician prescription: Cost $165.00 each: Results in 3 weeks
- Pnoe Metabolic testing: Pricing varies, sometimes covered by insurance: Results in same day
- Lumen - Metabolism Tracking Device: $100.00 off if ordered through Precision Wellness: Results - real time
- 24/7 Glucose monitoring devices: Price varies based on brand and monthly subscription rates; Results - real time.
o Bottom line, intermittent fasting will work for some people, it wont work for everyone. Don't wait decades. We have the tools. Discover what works for you by taking the time to assess and measure so you have the confidence knowing you've found the perfect match.
Several of the assessments and tools are available through Precision Wellness in Savannah. Some are simply recommended and we can help you access or acquire them as well as connect you with professionals (Registered Dieticians, Hormone Replacement Physicians, Medical Weightloss Physicians and RNs) who will guide you in your Personalized Weight Loss journey.
These and more are part of our Weight, Optimized Protocol.
For a free consultation (online or in person), please schedule your appointment below. We look forward to meeting with you!