Hey there! I’m Monica, hailing all the way from the Netherlands.
Are you ready to be inspired by a transformation that goes beyond the numbers on a scale? I’ve always had a deep passion for food and well-being, both physically and emotionally. But life took its toll on me, pushing me into a spiral of excess weight, chronic illnesses, and a sense of hopelessness. That’s when I discovered the power of Data-Driven Fasting (DDF) through Optimising Nutrition.
Let me take you on a whirlwind tour of my Optimising Nutrition story, a tale of perseverance, discovery, and phenomenal results. Just a few months ago, I embarked on my first Data-Driven Fasting Challenge in April, and the results have been nothing short of astounding.
Can you believe I shed an incredible 15 kg (33 lbs) in just four months? Yes, you heard that right!
The Why Behind My Transformation
I have been food-conscious since my youngest child began having severe food allergies when he was just a baby. He was regularly hospitalised for it. Some major life events and a lot of stress pushed me to gain excess weight over the years and develop several chronic diseases; severe endometriosis, IBS, Asthma, RLS resulting in a sleep disorder, CFS, and Fibromyalgia. Finally, in 2017 I was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury and a brain disease and lost my job of 20 years. On top of that came a metabolic dysfunction.
A couple of months before I started my first DDF, I tore my meniscus, and just before Christmas, I was in a car accident. Both took away my mobility for several months resulting in even more weight gain.
I became fed up with being out of shape, overweight, gaining so much body fat, and feeling unhappy with my body. My blood tests indicated I was approaching prediabetes. My doctor discussed putting me on medications to manage my blood glucose, which I detest.
I felt hopeless.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve tried many different diets, but nothing was sustainable; something was always lacking.
I knew something had to happen if I wanted to reverse this trend before becoming entirely dependent on medication.
Unfortunately, it seemed like no one could help me.
What Approaches Have You Tried in the Past?
In my late twenties, I started my health journey with Weight Watchers. It did not go well at all! Weight Watchers’ fixed schedules, finite meal plans, embarrassing weekly weigh-ins, and lack of personalisation were not for me!
Over the years, I’ve tried:
- low fat,
- low carb,
- low-carb/high-fat (LCHF),
- clean eating,
- Tim Noakes’s Banting,
- Raymund Edwards’s Optimal Ketogenic Living, and
- intermittent fasting (IF).
But none of them did it for me.
I even tried several programs run by professional nutritionists. I worked with a clinical nutritionist from our local hospital, a local professional nutritionist, an orthomolecular therapist, and an osteopath.
Every single time, I relied on my determination to overcome my ravenous hunger and unstoppable cravings. Unfortunately, the cravings always won in the end over my willpower.
Discovering Optimising Nutrition: A Turning Point
Eventually, I ended up in a special hospital program for people with metabolic disorders. It was my specialist who directed me to Optimising Nutrition.
In time, I learned about Data-Driven Fasting. I still was not convinced. So, I started with the free DDF course. I won’t lie; I initially felt overwhelmed and found it a bit complicated, especially as English is not my first language! I had a million questions.
What Did You Learn That Surprised You?
Before finding Optimising Nutrition, I already ate whole foods and made every meal myself from scratch. But after starting DDF, I was dismayed to learn what some of these ‘healthy, whole’ foods did to my blood glucose and how long the higher fat meals kept it elevated!
Despite my healthy meals, I discovered I was not getting enough protein. Later, in my first Micros Masterclass, I learned I was short on many essential vitamins and minerals.
While whole foods are always preferred to processed ones, I also learned that even healthy whole foods could contain a lot of carbs or fat. The combination of both—from processed OR whole foods— is the equation for hyper-palatable, fat-gaining, metabolism-clogging junk food.
Share Your Results!
My first Data-Driven Challenge went surprisingly well!
As a menopausal woman, I thought it would be extremely difficult to lose any weight. However, I found it easy to get into the program because it’s so gamified, and it takes you by the hand and leads you through step by step.
My results were stunning! In just four weeks, I lost almost 5.5 kilos and several centimetres off my measurements. More importantly, my blood glucose stabilised and decreased!
But after three rounds of the DDF Challenge, I’d lost 15kg (33 lbs), 15 cm (5.9 inches) from my waist, and my waking glucose dropped from 5.8 mmol/L (105) to 4.5 mmol/L (81 mg/dL)!
What Were Some Non-Scale Victories?
Except for one incident where I overindulged in stroopwafels (like a flatbread cookie), I haven’t encountered ‘Lizzy’ or my lizard instinctual brain that wakes up when I don’t feed it enough. In all those years, I have never been able to achieve this. I’ve been lucky enough to lose weight without cravings. As you can imagine, this has made it so much easier to relax and enjoy good food again!
Another non-scale victory is that I’ve felt the effect on my body and overall health. I have always exercised and find preserving my muscle and lean body mass extremely important. Strong muscles have turned out to be vital on several occasions.
During my 2nd DDF, I was able to restart strength training again, and as my body composition changed, I felt so much happier and alive. I learned about protein-packed meals, and it helped me a lot.
My doctor is also extremely happy with the results of the program he suggested!
What Advice Would You Give to Someone Just Starting?
If you’re just getting started and are looking for some titbits to get going, my main advice would be to do it! What have you got to lose? You will be amazed if you follow the daily steps and do what you can!
If you’re ready to take back your health and make progress on your goals, sign up today! Our Welcome checklist will help you navigate the free resources and courses.
Join Monica and our community of Optimisers who are changing their health one day at a time. See you on the other side!