I have had success with other programs: In 1980, using a 3 meals a day, no snacks; in 2005-2006 eating frequent meals/snacks; in 2006 alternate day eating/fasting, and the 20/4 program I am now on, eating only during a 4-hour window each day.
I consider this last one the most successful, measured by these factors:
1. Weight loss
2. Total absence of stress eating
3. Total absence of binging
4. Total absence of cravings
I attribute this radical change in my eating habits to a combination of the foods I am now eating (fresh fruits and whole grains I think get most of the credit) and reaching satiety, that feeling of being fully satisfied, not wanting more. I have no sense of deprivation.
My diet consists of whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and sparing on fats and lean meat. I do get the omega fats via flaxseed or omega 3 eggs. I enjoy what I eat -- and it obviously is what MY body wants, as it has eradicated the 3 evils that caused my obesity.
For exercise, I currently make it to the gym about 3 times a week. I do 40-45 minutes of aerobic, some weights, and stretching.
I currently restrict myself to a range of 1350-1550 calories (based on expected maintenance of my 109 lb goal weight), which I get in 5 courses during my 4 hour period: Whole grain cereal, fruit, soup and sandwich, fruit, veggies and sandwich, ending with yogurt/cheese/fruit. However, some people are able to follow this program with no calorie restriction -- they just concentrate on eating healthy.
Currently my eating window is 2-6, but it can be any 4 hour window, and I frequently make it later in order to accomodate special family occasions.
You can go to this site www.fast-5.com for a very good explanation of why the 20/4 fasting works. This man uses a 5-hour window, hence the name Fast-5, but what is important is the explanation he gives as to why this is a good plan for weight loss and weight maintenance. It is accepted by the fasting email group that I belong to that the fasting time must be 18-20 hours to be successful, so one could vary from 4-6 hour eating window. However, I have found that keeping the window shorter -- that is, eating all of my 1350-1550 calories in a shorter time frame -- is more beneficial. But that's my preference -- it's not a rule.
I am not promoting this program, just merely suggesting it as an alternative for those of you who are still struggling with excessive hunger, cravings, stress eating, or binging, or who simply are not losing weight with the traditional approaches.
Could you add me to your friends' list so that we can team up?
Let me know if you need my e-mail address... I am in :-)
Thanks for the suggestion.
I have so little willpower.
I'm really glad you posted this. I downloaded the pdf file from the website, and I've decided to give it a try. It might work for me because I eat great through the day, but I have such a problem with eating at night.
I am 5'3 and 1/2, weigh 165 pounds (though I purposely set my scale to read 5-7 lbs heavy.) I have been monitoring my food intake meticulously for almost 30 days. I eat all the right foods, but I eat 1000 calories too many.
I hope this works for me. I'm 49 years old, and I'm starting to have knee issues. They make noise and when they do, I get the same feeling some people get when they hear fingernails scraping against a chalkboard.
I'm going to start my log today. If you want to be my friend and see what happens, I'll add you. Thanks again!