I think the key to figuring out weight gain and weight loss when it comes to PCOS is to experiment a lot. You won’t know if technique A or technique B will work unless you try it. The idea of this experiment is to see how my body responds to fasting. Three years ago, I attempted intermittent fasting to help with binging at night. The experience was relatively good and worked on the most part and I guess if you really think about it my eating habits are still considered intermittent fasting but…I want to try day fasts. I remember considering it before I started intermittent fasting but decided to try the first one before what I felt would be a bigger commitment; the day fast. I’m going to explain everything in a bit but first I want to talk about the weight gain and my semi worrisome blog post about the subject.
I entered 2019 with no intention to follow a crazy diet or anything like that. It was the first year where one of my new years’ resolutions weren’t to lose weight. Instead, I want/wanted to build healthy habits and if this meant I lost a few pounds then great if not, so be it. This all changed when I saw the doctor and the number 91kg destroyed my day. It crushed me. I, however, refused to give in and become unhealthy obsessive with losing weight but I did commit to small things which I had hoped would be enough.
- I started to walk the dog every day (Although this is on and off since it’s still a new habit that I’m trying to build.)
- I ate more but before I would only eat one meal on most days and I know it’s better for girls with PCOS to spread their meals out. So, I started to eat less at dinner and instead ate more meals throughout the day.
- I drank my green tea which I feel helps with my digestion. It gets the body going. I will write more about my experience with green tea in its own blog at a later date.
- I started to drink more water.
It’s not a lot. I just made those few changes which are all I can handle at the moment. Life isn’t some race to the finish line. I’m taking things slow and focusing on four healthy habits no matter how small or big they are at a time. It’s been 8 weeks since I’ve made those changes after the ugly doctor scare and my weight has been going up and down. I weigh myself every Wednesday just so I could see what’s happening and the experience has been interesting, to say the least. It has gone down a bit but I’ve lost and gain the same 1kg for 6 weeks now.
I figured that I have nothing to lose. Let’s try this out. It’s not a big thing and it won’t overwhelm me. I just need to do it four times. Let’s do this. I, however, wanted to look into it more just to ensure that fasting for 24 hours won’t do more harm than good. I turned my trust towards this article before I fully committed to the idea.
This is the plan. Every Thursday for the next four weeks, I will not eat a single droplet of food. The only product I will consume that day is water and my green tea. That’s it. On the other days, I will follow my normal diet. I will do everything the exact same that I’ve been doing for the last 8 weeks. This way when I finish this one-month experiment, I should be able to contribute any significant weight loss to the fasting and not any outside factors. The purpose of this experiment is to test if fasting in this way will help my PCOS symptoms mainly the weight gain. I plan to continue testing different things until I stumble on a system that works. I have nothing to lose. I refuse to just give in and allow this weight gain and the struggles with the PCOS to destroy me.
I will use my weight on the scale as a marker for protentional weight gain and weight loss as this is what I’ve been doing this last 8 weeks. The plan is to fast exactly 24 hours so in order to do this I will only start the fast after breakfast.
Week 1: Thursday 18th of April
I finished my usual muesli and yogurt breakfast just before 11am. I’m twenty minutes in and I’m not allowed anything other than water and my green tea until Friday (19th of April) at 11am. I will come back tomorrow to talk about today.
The day itself went pretty smooth. I pushed through the hunger and just went on with my usual day but…my husband shot me in the foot. Around 5pm so close to the dinner mark and my stomach was rumbling something fiercely, he asked if I could take out the chicken so he can make chili chicken. These last few months I’ve been obsessed with chili and his chili chicken is the best thing in this entire world. If I didn’t already push through 4 hours of hunger I would’ve surrendered and gave in. I kid you not, for the next few hours right up to the point where I could finally eat the next morning, my only waking thoughts was that chili chicken. It’s the only thing I wanted and my husband made it for lunch and dinner that Friday. It was amazing and now I want it again.
Week 2: Thursday 25th of April
I’m a weak person. Everything was looking good but after days of hard work, I couldn’t force myself to skip dinner. After fasting for only 5 hours, I inhaled my fries like I was about to die. I was so incredibly hungry, fasting until the next morning felt like actual torture. I did kind of fast the next day though…It wasn’t 24 hours but it was pretty damn close. Let me explain: I inhaled my fries at 6pm. It was my second and last meal for the day. The next morning, it was planting day. After weeks of working in the garden, it was finally time to buy and plant our plants. We were up and about at 8am and I didn’t stop until I made a good dent in the planting. I had my first meal at 3pm. So, in total, I fasted for 21 hours (give or take a few minutes). So, it wasn’t a complete failure.
I want to take this moment to talk about two things. These last few weeks I’ve gotten into the habit to weigh myself every Wednesday so I can track my weight. It has helped me in getting a baseline of what my bodies does and the idea is to see what my weight has done these last four weeks (at the end of this experiment) with four fasting days. This way I can tell if fasting for 24 hours benefits my PCOS weight loss or not. The day before, Wednesday the 24th of April, I weighed myself like always and…it was a little disappointing. I weighed the exact same as I did the week prior. My day of fasting had literally zero impact. Usually, my weights go up or down a little bit week by week but I don’t know, it was just super demotivating to see the fasting had zero impact. I suffered through the chili chicken temptation for nothing. It definitely helped the I don’t feel like fasting today mood I took on the next day.
The last thing I want to talk about is my amazing husband. He knows first hand how much I’ve been struggling to take back some control over my weight gain and how nothing seems to work. I literally would gain 10kg from just breathing. It’s frustrating because I literally changed nothing with my diet. I did the exact same thing I’ve been doing months prior and bang, 10kg higher. I feel like screaming. Hence, why I plan to experiment more until I can find a diet that works for me. Anyway, Onno wants to support me in this journey and suffer with me. His words. So, he has decided that I won’t be the only one absolutely miserable on a Thursday and he will wake up at 5am and go for a run. It a massive sacrifice and the sweetest thing ever. Thursdays is a crazy day for him. He needs to be at work bright and early so him offering up to wake up even earlier to run (he wants to run more often) means the world to me. I appreciate him so much. I will let you know how it turns out at the next check-in.
Week 3: Thursday 2nd of May
This week didn’t exactly go according to plan. I got a really nasty tummy bug and most of the week I could barely keep anything down. I didn’t think it would be smart to fast (not like I ate much) as I was already quite weak. I’m still going to count this week because well I didn’t eat much. I know this isn’t perfect but sometimes you just have to run with what life hands you. Next week is my last week to fast and I will be honest I’m not sure if this experiment is a success. So much has happened to the point where I’m uncertain if the final results next week will truly be a true showcase what fasting once a week does for my body. I have another week to decide so I will let you know at a later date.
Week 4: Thursday 9th of May
I’m still sick…I’m almost on the two-week mark and I just want to feel better. I haven’t had much of an appetite these last few days. I ate two meals for the first time yesterday since I got sick. I don’t think it will be smart to fast or continue this experiment. I’m already weak and barely eating. I fully tend to go for round 2 in regards to this experiment. I want to know if fasting one day a week will help me lose weight or at least maintain it. I can’t with full confidence contribute any weight loss in this month towards the fasting as I’ve been sick for half of it. My last weight in is on the 15th so then we will discuss the results. I’m hoping I will be all healed by then and ready to start round two the next day but health comes first.
*I made the last four week 86kg so I can a straight line close to the last result. If I put in zero the drop was too crazy and the graph looked funky. Just focus on Week 1 to 4.
Okay now that those graphs make little sense. Let’s discuss the data.
My starting weight was 91,35kg and the day prior to starting the one month experiment my weight was 90,45kg. As you can see, in those 2 months I barely lost 1kg.
One day of fasting.
My starting weight was 90,45kg. My first week was pretty disappointing as my weight made zero change. The next week, I saw some positive results with a drop to 88,90kg. In my baseline my biggest drop in weight was 1,3kg. This only happened once. The rest of the time it was only a few hundred grams, the closet to 1kg being 650g. I felt pretty damn good about the 1,45kg drop from the week prior. Unfortunately, a few days later, I started to feel unwell. From this point forward, the results in the experiment can’t exactly be taken into account. I was ill and I lost weight because for two weeks I could barely eat and if I did it was some crackers and one good meal which I attempted to hold in for hours later. Week 3 (at this point I’ve been really sick for 4 days) my weight dropped to 87,95kg. Week 4 (sick for 1 week and 3 days) my weight stayed the same with 87.95kg.
I’m unable to conclude that this experiment was successful as my sickness played a massive factor in my weight loss this month. If I look at just the first two weeks, I can say that the experiment looks promising. It might help me in losing all the weight I want to lose but if it helps in the maintaining department so that’s nice. I definitely want to redo this experiment so I can say with full certainty that this works for me, maybe in round 2 I will up the total time to 3 months. I want to incorporate regular 10 minutes workout five days a week. I will see what I decide on doing when my health has improved and I’m in a place to experiment again. In saying this, I plan to experiment with many different diet techniques in the upcoming future. I’m tired of allowing my PCOS to control my life and weight. I want to find that works for my body and stick to it.
Here is a rough list of techniques I want to experiment with in the upcoming month.
- Fasting one day a week
- Drinking only smoothies one day a week (In the summer, in the winter I will make it soup.)
- 10-minute strengthening workout five days a week
- No dairy products for a month
- Low carbs for a month
- The keto diet for a month
- More fruit and vegetables (Will clarify more when it’s time.)
- More cardio
I might add or remove some of these. I plan to take things slow, and carefully collect data so I can say at the end if x experiment worked or not. I don’t want any outside factors (sickness, lifestyle change) to throw off results. To further explains, let’s say I want to start the 10-minute strengthening workouts five days a week. I will do this for at least two months so I can get a clear idea what the regular exercise does to my weight before I start another round of fasting. I need a baseline so I know what to compare it too and if this one thing extra is making a difference or not. I’m sorry if I’m not explaining this correctly, I’m trying not to vomit all over my keyboard.
Before I round off this blog, I have a question for my PCOS ladies. What diet techniques worked for you? I would love to know so I can try it out and see if it works for me as well.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!