12 Ways Intermittent Fasting is Helping Me Maintain My Weight Loss.

For those of you who may not know, I am a weight loss surgery patient from 1995! I lost 125 pounds that first year and what a ride it was!  Through the years, I have done fairly well to maintain a good healthy weight, but not without constant and consistent effort. I have a commitment to my Success Habits and on a good day I own them all! Other days, sometimes weeks, sometime seasons, not so much. I have made my own way by learning about my own unique metabolism, my personal likes & dislikes, and I have come to know what works and what does not work for me in my bariatric life.   

I have turned to our Back on Track Program at times and found good success. I have also learned and incorporated a variety of “clean eating – whole food” plans as well as embracing fast metabolism programs and more. Seems that different things work at different times in my life.  Perhaps you have found that as well.

Recently, I started studying Intermittent Fasting. I’ll not share any particular type of program, but encourage you to do as I did, and simply google the words, then read, study, learn from what makes sense, and discard the rest.

For religious reasons, I have often fasted monthly, but for the past 4 weeks or so, I have been doing 16:8 Intermittent Fasting. It looks like this:  I STOP eating at 8:00 pm each night and do not eat until noon the following day. And I must say it has been easy and effective. I have lost weight and I feel so much better! Here are some of the benefits I am seeing.

  1. Simply NOT eating eliminates the endless banter in my mind regarding what do I eat, what did I eat, when do I eat, how much do I eat? It is so simple and has been easy for me throughout the varied schedules of my life. Honesty, it’s quite peaceful.
  2. I drink all the water I should be drinking; I just do it primarily during the 16 hour fasting break when I am not eating – sound familiar? Don’t eat and drink at the same time? I have a renewed love for a warm cup of herbal tea, or a glass of ice cold water with cucumbers and mint. Drinking is far more satisfying.
  3. I am sleeping better. I have always been a good sleeper, but late night eating has often kept me awake, caused me to have weird nightmares or wake up groggy.
  4. My mind is clear. During the morning hours I feel more awake, alert and focused. And that has to be good! I am an old school dieter from way back and missing breakfast was taboo. But, the health benefits of allowing your body time to rest, are incredible. (I’ll let you read up on that).
  5. I feel healthier. You know, not puffy, bloated or heavy. My hands and feet are not swollen. I suspect that if you struggle with your weight, you know how that feels. You also know how great it feels to be in control and healthy.
  6. After 25 years as a WLS patient, I had lost a bit of that ‘full feeling’ on a small amount of food. Well, its back! My portions had gotten a bit out of control, but after fasting for 16 hours, I simply cannot eat as much as I had been. Cool!
  7. We know from our years of experience and research that mindless grazing can be a huge challenge for many. But imagine what 16 hours of no grazing at all might do for you.
  8. During my ‘eating window” from noon – 8 pm, I know to eat good foods; primarily protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but I have not been too obsessed with what I am eating. I maintain that Intermittent Fasting can enhance any food plan that you are on. Success Habits, Back on Track food plan or whatever works for you.
  9. I am more in tune with my body. More regular, if you know what I mean. I have taught for years the importance of listening to our body’s signals. Intermittent Fasting, has slowed down my tendency to frantically eat my way through my hectic life and provides me with the opportunity to be still and listen.  
  10. Being the frugal (hear cheap) shopper I am, I simply can’t beat FREE! This has cost me nothing but study time. Of course, I need to buy some new clothes.
  11. As a weight loss surgery patient, I seem to be getting more bang for my buck. Intermittent Fasting, along with my surgical tool, has brought me back to feeling in control, on track and succeeding.
  12. It is sustainable! I don’t feel like I am on a diet, being deprived, or anxiously awaiting the time that the agony is over, and I can get back to eating what I want. It simply works for me, at this time, and in this place and I don’t see any end in sight. 

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8 Responses to 12 Ways Intermittent Fasting is Helping Me Maintain My Weight Loss.

  1. J R Dixon says:

    So great to see you getting this information to the bariatric surgery community. I wish I’d known about the benefits of fasting before I had my WLS in 2007. I lost 70 pounds, and gained back 50 following the “conventional advice” to eat lots of protein and eat several times a day. Both things lead to elevated insulin, which consequently lead to weight gain, especially in those with T2 diabetes or insulin resistance. With the help of fasting (I do alternate day fasting—each fast is 36-42 hours in duration), I have lost 30 pounds in 6 months, and regained my physical and mental well being. I wish more people would give it a try. As you said, it’s free!! The only thing you have to lose is fat and its co-morbidities!

  2. Marilyn MacDonald says:

    Hi Colleen. I had surgery in 2008. Lost 110 lbs and like you I was able to maintain most of that loss over the past 11 years. However, recently I found myself struggling for control until I researched and decidedly to give intermittent fasting a try along with the food plan best for me. It has given me a new sense of fullness and control over my food. In addition I too have lost weight all but one pound from my lowest post surgery weight. I love it. Your story has helped me as I was a bit worried that no where in the else world did I read about intermittent fasting. Thank you

  3. Jackie delafe says:

    Hi Colleen, Thank you for this wonderful article in intermittent Fasting, I always wanted to try it out, 1 question please in the 16 hours that you don’t eat and you recommend drinking water, tea.

    Can I in the morning before noon can I have a cup of coffee with little cream? please let me know… You have been inspirational to me throughout all these years.

    Thanks for always sharing, and keep up with the Great JOB your doing.

    Best wishes always,

    J. Delafe

  4. Debbie Helmick says:

    Thank you so much for the sharing this info. I need some help with my weightloss journey. I am 13 years out from my gastric bypass and still struggle. Sincerely, Debbie

  5. Marlene Clark says:

    Thank you !!! I am going to do this !!!!!

  6. Lynette says:

    Loved this article! I’m trying it and finally I’m seeing weight decrease. Thank you for this!


    Colleen – when I read this post the end of May I was looking for a diet to help me lose some weight. I had WLS on 1998 and lost 122 lbs, but I too struggled with gaining and losing 20-25 lbs over the years. I also had a total knee replacement in March and I wanted to take off the extra lbs I had gained. I started right away with the intermittent fasting (16/8) and discovered it worked well. Here it is the end of August and I have lost 20 lbs. I like it so well I’m going to continue. All the reasons you mentioned work the same for me except I need to sleep better at night. Thank you so much for helping me to find a way of getting these extra lbs off and I hope a few more.

  8. Katie says:

    Thanks for this post, I know that it was written last year, but in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am struggling with my moods and and my weight even though I am exercising regularly and trying to get outdoors as much as possible.. I’ve had thoughts about intermittent fasting floating around in my brain and I’ll research it more based on your post. Thank you!

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