Losing 30 Pounds of Fat in Six Months
With ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting
Obesity has become a global health issue. It is preventable, but millions of people suffer from it for various reasons. WHO (World Health Organization) defines overweight and obesity as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health". According to WHO:
"Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Thirty-nine million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020. Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. Of these, over 650 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese. Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5–19 were overweight or obese in 2016."
As a person who suffered from excessive fat, especially in my abdominal area in my younger years, this topic became a passion for me. As a result, I touched on the subject in my books and penned several articles sharing my personal experience in eliminating excessive fat from my body. My aim is to give useful perspectives and point out some alternative ways of dealing with excessive body fat.
The leading cause of obesity is believed to be an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Even though this is logically correct and valid, the real issue is caused by a hormonal imbalance that I explained in this article titled "Why Fat Loss Has Nothing to Do With Calories: Introducing essential hormones that play critical roles in burning fat in simple terms".
The main culprit from my experience was elevated blood glucose, known as hyperglycemia, that spiked insulin and caused me to become an insulin-resistant person.
This piece is a follow up to my trending story titled Eliza Shed 30 Pounds In Six Months With Two Tips: And Never Gained Them Again. I am inspired by interest from my regular readers and new readers who found this story shared by many social media followers.
Several readers asked questions and requested clarification on some key points as they never heard some of the terms and concepts used in the story. Some readers mentioned that what Eliza performed for losing fat has conflicted with what they learned from their nutritionist and weight loss coaches.
These two items immediately created concerns for me based on my prior experience with some nutritionists and weight loss coaches whom I had to deal with as referred by my primary health care professionals.
I don't blame Eliza for firing her nutritionist because I fired mine too. Years ago, when I was experiencing the condition of pre-diabetes, my primary health care professional had referred me to a nutritionist. I was excited by the service and had great hopes. I always respect professionals.
However, this particular nutritionist recommended that I had to consume a minimum of 300 grams of carbohydrates a day. The high carbs diet created havoc on my health. I felt awful with the results because of consuming a large amount of carbs as a carbs-intolerant individual. How could you recommend more sugar to someone on the onset of diabetes?
From my understanding, many nutritionists still recommend consuming lots of carbs to people suffering from metabolic issues, insulin resistance, pre-diabetic, and diabetic patients.
I learned much better and more effective approaches to fat loss as Eliza and thousands of other people used them successfully from hindsight.
As mentioned in a previous article Eliza hired a fat-loss coach who specializes in the ketogenic diet. It is promising that the ketogenic diet and even intermittent fasting have become a mainstream treatment method for patients suffering from metabolic conditions. Eliza wanted to be healthy, fit, happy, and productive.
These two regimes helped me and Eliza a lot. However I reaped the most prominent benefits when I started a new lifestyle called OMAD (One Meal a Day) with a near to zero carbs diet. Some readers keep asking me how this is possible. They question the validity and sustainability of such a lifestyle.
In this post, I introduce these three terms (keto, intermittent fasting, and OMAD) and explain them with examples from the literature, testimonials, and personal experience. Let me start with the ketogenic diet which is the most popular diet or even a lifestyle choice nowadays.
The ketogenic diet has a long history. Fasting and related dietary regimens have been used to treat epilepsy since at least 500 BC.
According to a scientific paper on Epilepsia, to mimic fasting metabolism, the ketogenic diet (KD) was introduced by modern physicians as a treatment for epilepsy in the 1920s. The paper points out that over the past 15 years, there has been an explosion in use and scientific interest in the keto diet.
According to health writer Steven Anthony, "The keto (ketogenic) diet typically holds the daily intake of carbohydrate to 20 grams or less or 5% of daily calories. Protein is typically set at 20% of calories and fat at 75%. In recent times, the ketogenic diet has been used to treat epilepsy".
Like Steven, I used this variation of the keto diet for several years. It was like a god-sent to me after trying many useless diets that did not work for me. In previous diets, I used to starve, feel awful, and act moody.
However, in the keto diet, I never felt hungry. In addition, my blood glucose stopped fluctuating and my insulin was under control in the keto diet. As a result, I had a much better hormonal profile.
The only side effect was initial discomfort, known as "keto flu". However, when I learnt the importance of dietary salt and supplementing with the critical mineral magnesium (Epsom Salts) mainly through my skin, keto flu symptoms disappeared quickly. I never experienced them again.
When I was practicing a ketogenic diet, I remained in ketosis at most times. As a result, my blood sugar was controlled and managed by gluconeogenesis. It means that my body created glucose from protein. This natural process kept my blood glucose in control and my insulin level at an optimal state.
The natural release of insulin is beneficial. Insulin is an anabolic hormone. It is not a bad hormone as perceived. We need it at a certain amount to maintain our health. Even though we need some glucose in our bloodstream to serve our vital organs, the body cannot handle excessive glucose in the bloodstream and perceives it as toxic. Therefore, we need insulin to regulate blood glucose.
The problem with insulin occurs when it is released excessively and too frequently. Excessive and frequent release of insulin may cause a condition called "insulin resistance". This condition means that our body may require more and more insulin to handle the increased blood glucose. It is considered one of the root causes of diabetes.
The ketogenic diet helped me experience the benefits of ketosis. It was almost like finding nirvana. Mental health has a vital role in fat loss. When we are in a good mood, we don't do emotional eating. Staying in ketosis made me more mindful.
Monitoring ketones and seeing around 1.5 nmol ketone levels floating in my bloodstream helped me feel joyful. I felt clear in my thinking. My emotional hunger disappeared. As a bonus, my inflammatory pain symptoms caused by arthritis were reduced.
Fasting has also had a long history. Many religions and cultures recommend fasting at least once a year. Some people use long-term fasting, which requires professional supervision and control. I tried long-term fasting with the supervision of my health care professionals and gained many benefits, such as autophagy that I introduced in this article.
However, nowadays, athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts use intermittent fasting regularly. Even though beginners might need supervision by their physicians, healthy adults can manage intermittent fasting by following fundamental health rules such as ensuring electrolytes are consumed as required.
Intermittent fasting means skipping one or two meals a day. There is no right or wrong way to fast intermittently. However, cutting snacks is essential to stay in a fasted state. A fasted state requires the consumption of no calories. Water is allowed as it has no calories. A popular way of practicing intermittent fasting is eating in an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours.
I tried this regime. For me, the easiest way to fast intermittently is by skipping breakfast and lunch. I shared my experience in an article titled "Breakfast Not Necessarily the Most Important Meal: Remarkable health benefits of one meal a day, intermittent fasting, ketosis based on personal experience".
On the comments section of the story Eliza Shed 30 Pounds In Six Months With Two Tips: And Never Gained Them Again I found these remarkable testimonials about ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting from my discerning readers and accomplished writers on this platform.
Source Steven AnthonySource Patrick M. OhanaDespite warnings, I learnt that breakfast was not the most important meal of the day for me. I did not need lunch either. My family members, friends, and colleagues consistently told me that intermittent fasting was unhealthy. However, for over a decade, I did not experience any side effects. Far from it, practicing intermittent fasting brought me many health and fitness benefits. The most important one is transforming my body to a fat-adapted state.
In a fat-adapted state, the body utilizes adipose tissues as an energy source. This process allows the body to tap into fat stores. The optimal and easiest way of losing fat is to enter a fat-adapted state. The indication of fat-adaptation is the body starts creating ketones to give us energy. Being fat-adapted allowed me to try a permanent lifestyle that is called OMAD.--
OMAD means one meal a day.
Many anthropologists believed that our ancestors ate once a day or sometimes once a week, depending on what they could hunt in the wilderness. Interestingly the concept of breakfast (breaking the fast) was noted and took prevalence around the 17th century. Before that, people did not even eat breakfast.
Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and former chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging, says "there is no scientific basis for our current "three meals a day plus snacks" eating pattern".
OMAD is my lifestyle for over a decade. I finally found the most optimal feeding regime for myself after years of search, trials, errors, and suffering from three meals and three snacks a day, By cutting all snacks, breakfast, and lunch, I improved my health, fitness, and mental clarity. I explained my reasons for cutting snacks in this article.
It sounds scary to many people, but the OMAD lifestyle is not as bad as it sounds. Of course, it would be difficult for beginners who are not fat-adapted yet. However, once we become fat-adapted, the body has a lot of stored energy in fat form. So, naturally, we have a lot of body fat to use as energy source. It is not like limited liver glycogen or ephemeral glucose in the bloodstream.
Some people even think that OMAD is a crazy idea. It is not in my opinion. I don't mind people calling me crazy for something that makes me happy and healthy.
By the way, I am not the only crazy one using OMAD. There are thousands of people globally using this regime, and some of them are athletes, bodybuilders, celebrities, and even health professionals too. Here is a viral video on YouTube articulating the longevity benefits of OMAD.
I did not choose OMAD randomly and without any research. Instead, I decided to choose this lifestyle after reading countless scientific papers and success stories from my trusted people in my circles. I also transitioned into it gradually after using ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting that made me ready for this remarkable transformation.
Starting with the ketogenic diet, practicing intermittent fasting for a while, and permanently transforming into the OMAD lifestyle, I cleaned my gut and removed toxins from my body. Cleansing the leaky gut made a substantial impact on my health. Many of metabolic disease symptoms disappeared. My blood markers normalized.
Toxic fat stores were one of the root causes of my discomfort. Losing pounds of belly fat improved my health and fitness significantly. I even lost more fat than Eliza. And like her, I never gained them again. Like Eliza, I am on low carbs. Actually, I am practicing a near-zero carbs diet and I want to introduce details about in another story as it requires a solid context and a lot of background information.
Apart from substantial fat loss, as a bonus of OMAD, I managed to get rid of my loose skin caused due to significant fat loss from my abdominal area. Even better, after 50 years of age, first time in my life, I gained a defined belly.
When I was younger, I was using many low fat diets and losing a few kilos of weight, but not necessarily fat. However, I got those pounds back in a few weeks and felt awful again. I was acting against my genetic makeup.
Now I don't lose or gain any weight in the OMAD lifestyle. I don't lose muscle or bone density and am in excellent hormonal balance. I am over 55 years old and still in the same weight when I was 18. This unique lifestyle keeps me happy, joyful, and productive.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
The original version of this story was published on another platform.
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About the author
I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.