My experience and application of fasting which proved to be beneficial increasing my health and energy, lowering my weight to an acceptable level.
Around 6 years ago, all of a sudden, my weight increased to 95kg. My body looked ugly, I didn’t like myself, had hard time trying to fit into my nice clothes. This further decreased my movement as I felt uncomfortable wearing outside clothes. I felt better wearing loose, sporty clothes in house and when doing walks.
I couldn’t give a meaning to sudden weight surge and not being able to lose as before.
My energy levels were dropped as well. Former exercises, walks weren’t helping either.
In a general check-up due to being breathless in high altitude (in my mountain cottage) I accidentally discovered (very lucky) that I had a thyroid nodule.
So this must be one of the reason my body hormone levels changed somehow and caused my weight gain.
All the doctors I consulted in Trabzon, Turkiye said that my thyroid gland must be removed, and they couldn’t decide from the tests samples if it was a good nature or bad.
I don’t like taking medicine as well as I don’t like losing part of my body specially if it’ll make me dependent on daily pill taking for the rest of my life. There must’ve been another way.
To cut a long story short, I had another through test in UK and found out that it wasn’t a bad natured nodule and can be ignored. What a relief.
But this didn’t solve my weight and energy issue. Living like a nomad lifestyle didn’t help me either. One day instinctively I decided to not eat anything and just drink water.
At the end of the day, I felt different, light and as if a big weight was lifted. I decided to do this twice a week, Mondays, and Fridays. Later, I found out this is called intermittent fasting. Whatever it was called, I felt better but still had my weight issue.
I was walking, doing basic martial arts techniques etc. but it wasn’t enough.
I bought a few diet books but one resonated with me. Modern Mayr nutrition and digesting system by a Turkish author. The book was full of fluff and only 5% of it was useful. But It did help me sort out my digesting issues like stomach upsets.
The changes I applied from this book is as follows;
- Don’t drink water (huge sums) right after or during the meal. A life saver. Drink minimum 1 hour later. I now increased this to 2 hours after any meal.
- Try to chew more rather then gobble up huge mouthful food.
The rest was philosophical side of the things which I found is not practical for todays society. These 2 habits actually solved my stomach and digestive issues, however, weight issue still remained. The only time I lost a few kilos was when I mowed lawn in the countryside which is physically demanding, and I lost huge amounts of water by way of sweating.
A few years back I had bought a book called The Miracle of Fasting by Paul Bragg but never read it. During 2020, I decided to read it. Due to Covid, I had plenty of time alone at home in Turkiye.
Just bear in mind that I am a Muslim and have been fasting since I was 11 years of age, a month during Ramadan every year. During this month of fasting, we do everything we shouldn’t. But still it helps.
This book convinced me to further enhance my fasting. The first thing I did is to start to fast 2 times a week for 36 hours. This was hard initially but once I got used to it, it became very easy and I could see the benefits straight away. At least it did balance my weight. I wasn’t feeling bloated and overweight. Still, something else needed doing.
There is a Turkish Prof. Canan Karatay famous with her Karatay Diet book which is known as Turkish diet book, I bought that as well. According to Prof. Karatay, We need minimum 4 hours between the meals in order to digest and allow our body to start using what it digested for healing our body. If we constantly fill our body with food, it uses all it’s energy trying to digest the food only. Hence we have to allow sufficient time between the meals, allow beneficial enzyms to be utilised by the body .
This also resonated with me. It’s logical and easy to test. So I come up with my own diet and eating plan. Here it is;
- Keep Mayr diet adaptation as explained above.
- Drink a glass of water mixed with a whole lemon juice every morning first thing.
- Fast 2 times a week for 36 hours (I do this on Mondays and Thursdays).
- Eat only Mornings and Evenings and skip lunch totally.
- No snacks or any other food in between meals. Only water. (Tea or coffee can be consumed but better not)
- Consume no salt or sugar (occasional dessert is ok).
This takes care of my nutrition and diet. How about exercise? Here is what I did daily.
- 10-20 minutes of Stretching every morning. I do this cold but recommend a prior warmup for you. I have been practicing martial arts all my life and know what I am doing otherwise you can injury yourself.
- 20-30 + unassisted sit ups. Which means no help for your feet to pull yourself up. It takes time to do this if you are overweight.
- 20-30 + Push ups.
- If you still have energy, go ahead and do more other exercises.
With this system I was able to lose 10kg withing 6 months. Now I am 82-83kg.
This is my journey and may not be suitable for you. Try small changes, step by step and adjust according to your body.
Bear in mind that I am also a qualified sports coach, body building, martial arts instructor and quite knowledgeable. This article is by no means a way for you to take as an advice but to show you that by fasting and small exercises, eating adjustments you can gain health and lose weight.
Is my journey over? By all means NO. My aim is to have 80kg weight and maybe reduce it to further down to 75kg over coming months/year(s). This means keep my working system going, adjust, fine tune and maybe increase my intermittent fasting to 2-3 days at a time scattered over months and maybe to 7 days eventually. I don’t recommend you try this unless you have medical advice.