Dark Light

This is really for everyone out there: if you’ve been struggling to lose weight and are about to give up, please don’t and read on. I haven’t had much success with other methods over the years, but with intermittent fasting (I.F.), I’m finally getting rid of the unwanted fat!

I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite some time, but I had my laser eye surgery back in end of January and there’ve been changes in my job so I just put this writing aside. Now I have some spare time so this is the perfect time to spread the word: I.F. works like a charm!

I.F. has been a thing for some years in the west, but it only started gaining popularity in Asia in these 1-2 years. The primary reason for me to try this out is because, I wanna lose weight, in a healthy way. I’m so glad I’ve tried it. It’s not difficult to put it into practice and not hard to maintain results.

I’ve been thick for years and have been struggling to keep fit. I’ve started practicing I.F. since May last year and I could feel and see the body changes after around a month. After 2-3 months later people started noticing the changes as well and giving me compliments! It’s been about a year now and I can still maintain my weight – which is the lowest since I can remember! In fact, I.F. not only aids in weight loss, it also brings many other health benefits.

If you wanna lose weight gracefully, keep on reading!

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (I.F.) is about restricting intake of food and drinks that carry calories within a prolonged period of time.

For example a “16:8 diet” (daily time-restricted feeding) means not consuming any food & beverages with calories for 16 hours. During this restricted window, you are allowed to drink water, tea or coffee that do not stimulate insulin.

An alternative is to restrict calories in certain days. A “5:2 diet” (periodic fasting) means eating normally in 5 days of a week and choose any 2 days to restrict very low calories intake of 500, for instance.

The aim of IF is to give our bodies sufficient time to use up our primary fuel source (glucose) and turn to burn our body fat for energy. After a period of time, your body will have burned enough fat that you notice weight loss and a change in body shape.

How I do it

The first time I came across I.F. was on a Chinese blog post many years ago. The writer didn’t call it I.F., but the way he practiced it was. According to what I remember, he skipped dinner entirely, end up losing a lot of weight. I was tempted to try his method out, but at that time I was living with my family and my Asian mom wouldn’t let me skip every dinner…so in recent years when I’ve moved out and lived alone I can finally see if this works out!

I’m so glad I gave it a try, cause now I can’t stop giving this diet up!

In the beginning I wanted to see if the change is obvious so I chose the “18:6 diet” (18 hours of fasting; 6-hour eating window). I’m not a morning person so skipping breakfast isn’t a challenge at all. The difficulty that I faced was adjusting dinner time. When I was in Hong Kong, my family would have very late dinner like after 9pm. What I’d need to do was to push dinner time by a few hours earlier. Because of my job, I usually woke up at around 11am or noon. Having lunch at 12pm would mean that I’d have to finish dinner at around 6pm.

Often on days off I’d wake up later and had my lunch at 2-3pm. I wouldn’t intentionally push the dinner time later and tried to stick to finish dinner by 6-7pm. Hence sometimes I practice “20:4” (20 hours of fasting; 4-hour eating window).

During my eating window I always eat full. I literally eat everything that I want. Fries, ice cream, deep-fried food…you name it! I don’t really cut down carbs as well but I found out I couldn’t eat as much as before. I can only eat up to 70-80% as before. My appetite has definitely shrunk. Therefore I’ve developed a new eating habit for having 1.5 meals in a day. What is a half meal? A green smoothie as my dinner! Technically it still carries calories but I don’t really “eat” so I call it half meal ?.

Transition period / Eating window

I know how it feels! Most of us struggle in the beginning for wanting to eat so bad during the fasting window and doubting the effectiveness of the I.F. diet.

I think persistence is really the key. To combat the hunger sensation, I’d have apple cider vinegar near the end of eating window to boost the feeling of satiety. Some people choose to have chia seeds. The idea is same which is to prolong the feeling of fullness.

Also, distract yourself when you feel hungry also works for me. The hunger sensation usually only lasts for minutes. Once you get through it each time, you’re one step closer to success!

If you struggle to skip dinner because of various reasons, like family/peer pressure and social need, you can skip breakfast instead. Theoretically if you fast enough the result should be more or less the same. Some have commented that skipping breakfast seems to be a more feasible option for our modern lifestyle and easier to practice and manage.

How is my result?

Because I don’t have a scale with me so I can’t really keep track of my progress. The time I knew about my weight was about half years after going after I.F.

I lost 26lbs from 130 to 104 (-20%) ! 👏👏👏

It’s debatable that I.F. may or may not help retain muscles (according to a study I.F. promotes fat loss while preserving lean mass i.e. muscles; but a new study says otherwise). Nevertheless, I.F. does change how I look in body shape!

One thing my friends and I notice, my main loss in fat is around the the hips and thighs area, followed by my arms. It seems to suit an interesting claim that I learned lately which says men usually lose abdominal (belly) weight first and women lose weight around the hips as they start seeing weight loss progress. My waistline is still far from ideal so I think I’ll have to work harder on that!

Weight loss…Is that all Intermittent Fasting about?

In the beginning when I started my I.F. routine, I’d do some researches to see how it affects our body. I came across a youtube channel run by Cindy (mainly in Mandarin + key words in English; some videos with Chinese subtitles) who is a certified health coach. She shares her professional knowledge on food & nutrition with us.

In particular she creates a series of videos on I.F. I highly recommend everyone to go visit her channel to get more modern food and health information. From Cindy’s point of view, weight loss is only a “positive side effect” of I.F. Its main function is far more than that!


Autophagy is what Cindy thinks IF is mainly about to promote. It happens around after 18 hours when we stop eating (18-hour fasting). In short, autophagy is about newer and healthier cells replacing the old damaged proteins and organelles. During this process, our body is less prone to illnesses and infections. If we practice I.F. together with a healthy diet (such as eating less junk food and carbs), it even promotes better skin health, lower blood pressure and increase muscle to fat ratio!

Apart from Cindy, Dr. Eric Berg specializing in Healthy Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting is also someone I look up to. Hes the author of “The Healthy Keto Plan” which talks about specific strategies on doing the healthy version of the ketogenic diet as well as intermittent fasting.

Check out the below video on some important benefits that IF brings:

So now we know I.F. is much more than weight loss or losing fat. Are you tempted to start fasting from now?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like...