Using Bone Broth and Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight

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One of my goals for 2017 was to lose 20 pounds. Since transitioning off of GAPS a couple of years ago (I have remained gluten-free) I have gained back thirty pounds. I was up to 202 pounds and was hating my reflection, and not wanting to buy larger clothing.

Substituting Broth for Meals

The first thing I did to help facilitate weight loss was to start moving back to eating from the full GAPS list of foods and drinking broth was high on the priority list. I had gotten completely out of the habit and I was so determined to stay on track that I decided to create the 30-Day Broth Challenge!

I started out by adding just one cup of broth each day. Within two to three weeks, I noticed changes in my body as aches and pains reduced or disappeared. Over the course of this year I have moved from having one cup of broth daily with no change to meals or foods, to replacing breakfast with one cup of broth, eventually skipping breakfast and getting back into intermittent fasting and drinking broth for lunch.

Bright Line Eating

I discovered Bright Line Eating and tried the BLE “weight loss” plan for a short period of time. I can relate to much of what Dr. Susan says and I LOVED that her plan assigns food portions and offers a list of predetermined foods and amounts to eat, rather than requiring one to track calories. There are some hard and fast rules, one of them being no sugar of any kind and no flour of any kind (even coconut flour [affiliate link], almond flour [affiliate link], etc.). The meal plan consisted of the following:

Breakfast

  • 1 protein
  • 1 breakfast grain
  • 1 fruit

Lunch

  • 1 protein
  • 6 ounces low carbohydrate vegetables
  • 1 fruit
  • 1 fat

Dinner

  • 1 protein
  • 6 ounces low carbohydrate vegetables
  • 8 ounces lettuce
  • 1 fat

As an example of servings, 1 protein could be 2 eggs [affiliate link] or 4 ounces of meat or 1 ounce of nut butter.

After a few days on that plan I felt desperately hungry, to the point I felt like crying, couldn't stop thinking about food and couldn't stop complaining. Eventually I decided to track what I was eating in My Fitness Pal and discovered why I was so, so hungry… some days due to my food choices I was getting less than 700 calories. In addition, the fruit/carbohydrates were causing me problems.

Since I hadn't yet fully committed to eating full GAPS, I decided to try this combination for breakfast:

  • 1 protein = 1 cup Greek full fat yogurt
  • 1 breakfast grain = 1 ounce steel cut oats soaked overnight in the yogurt
  • 1 fruit = 6 ounces blueberries

Within two hours I was ravenous. While it felt decadent to have oatmeal again, after trying this combination on three subsequent Saturdays I had to admit that this was just too many carbohydrates.

I've long known that my body doesn't tolerate carbohydrates well. Two pieces of fruit a day is too much fruit for me. I have to be careful about fruit, it is one of the foods that cause me to start on a binge. It's easier to just NOT eat fruit, than to try to control the cravings. I have come to the conclusion and am still in the process of accepting that there are just some foods that I can't (should not) eat, because they set me up with hunger and cravings that are difficult to control (possibly indicating food allergies).

I am grateful for my experience with Bright Line Eating because it enabled me to ease into tracking my food intake using My Fitness Pal.

Ketogenic Diet

From there I decided to look into the Ketogenic Diet. My friend Renee mentioned that it was working very well for her and she was not feeling hungry even though she was restricting her diet.

I had definitely felt that my fat intake was too low on the BLE weight loss plan and thought, now that's something I can get on board with, lots of fat.

I found this site Ruled.me which offers a 30-Day meal plan (pay what you feel it's worth from $0 up) and I was sorely disappointed to see that Ketogenic Diet followers recommend restricting calories which means you can't just gorge yourself on high fat foods all day long. Bummer. This guy recommends that women stay under 1600 calories a day.  Double bummer.

Intermittent Fasting

Not only was I going to have to track my food, but I had to accept that fact that I was going to have to pay close attention to my carbohydrate intake.

I was still intermittent fasting and learned from my intermittent fasting mentor Jennifer Dages' that her weight loss would stall unless she stayed under 30 grams carbohydrates.

By the way, Jennifer's challenge begins in September, click here to join in: 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge

Since I started keeping my carbohydrates low, combined with substituting broth for meals and intermittent fasting, I have lost 19 pounds. I have almost accomplished my goal and I am going to extend that to losing 30 pounds by the end of this year. The weight has been lost over a period of three months. If I could stay in ketosis for more than 3-4 days at a time (I have a hard time staying low on my carbohydrates on the weekends while I'm home), I feel confident I would lose weight more steadily. In the meantime, I'm happy that I seem to have a handle on what works for my body.

My weekday goals:

  • Stay under 1650 calories
  • Stay under 30 grams carbohydrates
  • Eat around 90 grams protein
  • Skip breakfast or have bullet-proof coffee [affiliate link] using ghee and full fat cream (200-250 calories)
  • Lunch: 1-2 cups bone broth plus 1 tablespoon chicken fat (200 calories)
  • Dinner: Meat and salad or vegetables (This is when I eat the bulk of my calories, 700-1200)

I have been trying to stick with the same eating plan on the weekend days, but it is hard since I am at home. I have tried eating breakfast on the weekends, but it always end up causing me to feel hungry throughout the day. It seems I just do best if I skip breakfast, have a small lunch with the bulk of my calories for dinner.

Some things to note:

  • I am losing weight even though I eat really late at night, usually around 10pm and as late as midnight
  • I don't wake in the middle of the night hungry, I'm sure eating really late plays a part but I think the low carbohydrates also factor in
  • Hunger pangs while staying below 30 grams carbohydrates are really easy to manage
  • Food cravings completely disappear when I stop eating certain foods (for example, potatoes, corn, rice, dairy)
  • It seems like I sleep a lot better when I stay low on my carbohydrates (meaning I fall to sleep easily, stay asleep and more often than not do not have to wake up during the night to urinate)
  • I seem to need to stay under 30 grams of carbohydrates to have steady weight loss
  • It takes about four days of staying under 30-50 grams carbohydrates to see weight loss
  • Even though I can't stick to my goals on the weekends, my weight stays pretty steady and I might even see a drop in my weight after a high carbohydrate “cheat” day

Would you like to try the 30-Day Broth Challenge or the 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge (or both?) click on the links below to join, they are both free.

Start with baby steps, drink just one cup of broth every day! Click here to join us for the September 30-Day Broth Challenge

Click here to join the 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge

 

 

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