One of my goals for the year was helping myself to feel better. I admit that I did not feel good about myself because I just felt gross and heavy. Going to the gym has never really been my thing and I cannot run anymore due neck and knee issues. I get frustrated, quit diets and the cycle starts all over again. My goal is to eat well/healthy 80% of the time and the rest could be whatever I wanted. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I like to eat and have an occasional “adult beverage”. http://www.instagram.com/mmmcuster.
After 46 years, I can tell you that there are no quick ways to feel better, but I have found some effective ways that I would like to share. I do not claim to be an expert on nutritional issues, but I can tell you about my experiences. What works for one person, may not work for another person, but it is always worth a try. I am sharing what I have been doing to help myself to feel better.
When this all started, I was completely out of sorts. Last summer, I started the Fast Metabolism Diet, which helped me understand how my body handled food and I started to feel better. I found it on Pinterest and it was actually easy to follow, especially with the app on my phone. The Fast Metabolism Diet cuts out caffeine, sugar, gluten, alcohol and dairy, which acted like an elimination diet. I would never try an elimination diet because it seemed too hard, but this made it easier. You do not feel hungry on this diet and there is even a maintenance program. There are even guidelines for allowing you to deal with parties and such, just in case life happens, which it usually does! I started to feel better after learning how much better I felt without certain food groups. The ten pounds that I lost were an added bonus.
But as usual, I was not able to sustain it for a long period, so I stopped. The program taught me alot of things that I continue to use daily. For a few months, I tried to eat right, but did not always do the best job. I tried some “quick fixes”, but those did not work either and left me feeling worse than before. My schedule seems to eat more of my time and I cannot always control it. I needed something that would work with my ever-changing schedule and would not be too restrictive. I decided that feeling better was more than a number on the scale and I started moving in that direction.
Then, I started a form of intermittent fasting for at least 13 hours, including sundown to sunup. You do not eat or drink anything with calories during that fasting time. During the rest of the day, you can eat and drink what you please. This is easier for me because I can still do it even with my alternating schedule and I can work around busy days and early mornings. I use the Zero app on my phone to let me know when my fast is complete. Some days, my fast lasts more that 13 hours, depending on how I am feeling.
Some of the fasting programs say that you should go for 16 hours and eat for the remaining 8 hours per day. After about a month of 13 hour fasts, I started the 16 hour fasting and have felt really well. It scared me at first and I thought that I could never make it that long. As a bonus, my sugar cravings are all but gone and my hormones seem to be getting better. I am even sleeping better, which for me is amazing!
I now know that dairy products are not my friend and I tend to crave salads and other foods that are more “healthy”. Before all of this, I would eat like a boy, but that has even started to make me feel heavy and uncomfortable. By eating whole foods and slowly losing weight, I am feeling much better daily. After successfully practicing intermittent fasting for over a month, I truly feel better.
I would love to say that weight does not play a part in feeling better, but that it not true! If I feel better, then weight takes care of itself. I would feel guilty for eating “bad” things, then the stress would make me want to eat more. With intermittent fasting, I do not crave the things that I know are truly “bad” for me, so there is no snowball effect. I credit the Fast Metabolism Diet with helping me learn more about how my body was reacting to certain foods. After the last year, I have come up with a sustainable plan for feeling better. If you are interested in feeling better, give one or both of these a try and let me know how you are feeling. I know that we all want to feel better everyday.