Yesterday was day three of my intermittent fasting, well if you can call it that. Unlike these three neat balls of yarn, I’m starting to unravel. I know, already eh? And not the kind where the thread neatly unwinds only to become a beautiful sweater. I’m talking about a cat grabbing hold of the ball, throwing it up in the air, again and again until it is a tight mess.
I could hardly eat yesterday. Almost everyone in the house is sick except me. So that means, I’m on caretaker duty and my sleep is disturbed. At 9 pm last night, I was supposed to stop eating but I didn’t and finally closed the kitchen at 11:30 pm. I should’ve planned better for the day. I did have all my ingredients to cook but you know when you haven’t slept well, you wake up nauseous and don’t want to eat. Well, that was me. As a result today, I will open my fast at 3 pm inshaAllah to get my 15 hours in.
I doubt I will see much weight change in the beginning but I am feeling more in control. Next week, I can increase my fasting window to 16 hours. With intermittent, I drink plenty of water. That is something I can’t do during the Ramadan fasts and I’m hoping that I can build up to that slowly.
Bipolar Meds and Weight Gain
One of the meds I take directly affects my insulin levels because it causes weight gain. Many psychiatric meds cause extra pounds but how those side effects manifest themselves depends on the individual. I’ve heard many opinions about why the scale keeps climbing and frankly, it’s time I listen to my own body.
I know for a fact that one of the medications I take at night makes me ravenous. About 20 minutes after I take it before sleeping, my appetite shoots through the roof. You know when you see a Big Mac commercial or smell fries, your mouth starts salivating and your lips start to tingle? You are not hungry and actually don’t like McDonald’s but it’s a natural reaction. Well, that happens to me after I take quetiapine.
For a decade, I tried everything I could to control this late-night eating but all I’ve done is beat myself up. I did ten races in the last nine years yet I haven’t lost much weight. It’s just up and down.
Dr. Jason Fung’s “The Obesity Code”
Then my friend introduced me to the book “The Obesity Code.” I am half-way done but I had to press pause on my reading because I was feeling a bit paranoid about it. I immersed myself in it and the more pages I turned, the more anxious I got. Thus, instead of feeling overwhelmed by it, I’m just trying to put the basic concept from the text into practice.
The book is by a nephrologist named Jason Fung. He talks about obesity from a hormonal imbalance instead of a calories in and calories out theory. From what I understand about his work, eating more doesn’t make you fat. Eating more is rather a result of being fat. In other words, you have a hormonal imbalance which causes you to overeat which in turn makes you fat. For the longest time, we tried to address the symptom instead of the cause.
You’re fat? Simple. Just eat less. That’s like telling an alcoholic, “just stop drinking and you won’t be addicted anymore.” Try it out and see how that turns out. Not well at all, I bet.
What is the hormone associated with obesity then? One of the main ones is insulin. Leptin and ghrelin come in later. I’m still grasping the terminology so comment below if you have any corrections. When we eat, our body turns our food into glucose for energy. To do that, we need insulin. This hormone brings our blood glucose down. If we keep eating, our insulin levels remain high and overtime that builds insulin resistance so you need more insulin to do the same work.
This makes it sound like that the more I eat, the more my insulin keeps going up. Yes and no. I will explore that in my post tomorrow when I talk about how my day goes today. Right now I need to try and get some sleep because last night was quite brutal.
Read my previous intermittent fasting posts here:
My 30 Day Intermittent Fasting Journey ~ Day 1 My 30 Day Intermittent Fasting Journey ~ Day 2 My 30 Day Intermittent Fasting Journey ~ Day 4 My 30 Day Intermittent Fasting Journey ~ Day 5 My 30 Day Intermittent Fasting Journey ~ Day 6