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  • Mom With PCOS Lost 24 Pounds By Changing Her Diet: 'It's Time To Focus On My Body'

    What she has lost in pounds she has gained in overall health.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Mom With PCOS Lost 24 Pounds By Changing Her Diet: 'It's Time To Focus On My Body'
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Zhe Lua
  • Editor's Note: It is important to consult with your doctor for medical advice suited to your needs. Always ask for advice from a doctor or nutritionist before starting any diet or exercise program especially if you are pregnant, have just given birth, or breastfeeding.

    Despite the adversity and uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many have come out a better person in the middle of it. Zhe Lua, a Fil-Chinese and mom of two, is one fine example.

    She has managed to turn the anxiety she felt throughout the first year of the pandemic into something literally healthy and positive when she decided to go on a diet guided by intermittent fasting (IF). What she has lost in pounds she has gained in overall health.

    Intermittent fasting

    Zhe with husband James, son Zach, and daughter Zia.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Zhe Lua

    “Back in 2020 when the pandemic started, I was struck with anxiety. A lot of fear came to mind particularly with regards to health and the safety of my family,” she shares.

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    Before the pandemic Zhe says she was never “conscious about living a healthy lifestyle.” But now that she has two kids, she felt it was time to get her health in check so that she can also take better care of them.

    "I breastfed my kids and after three years of breastfeeding, I decided it's about time to focus on my body," she shares.

    “I started making changes with the food I eat. Then I added some light exercises and slowly I felt my body improving,” adds the 33 year-old working mom who sells maternity, nursing, and mom-and-baby needs online.

    Zhe, who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) says that she has insulin resistance, which is why she needed to stick to a good diet and exercise to avoid complications like diabetes and hypertension.

    She started by cutting back on her intake of sweet drinks such as sodas and milk teas. She then began to observe significant changes in her health, among them faster wound healing, less hair fall, and a general sense that she feels lighter.

    These changes prompted her to get into fitness more seriously. After searching for possible diets on YouTube she stumbled across the now popular intermittent fasting, particularly those promoted by author Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Eric Berg.

    Dr. Fung, a nephrologist, is known for his book, The Complete Guide to Fasting which has challenged the ‘conventional wisdom that diabetics should be treated with insulin.’ Dr. Berg, on the other hand, is both a fasting and keto diet consultant with 5.8M followers on YouTube.

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    The diet that worked

    On top of her diet, Zhe works out a sweat on the treadmill regularly. Starting on the diet only in February 2021, she has, to date, gone from 140 lbs to 116 lbs, losing a total of 24 lbs.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Zhe Lua

    “Intermittent fasting is actually an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating,” Zhe explains. If for example a person is on intermittent fasting for 16:8, this means that her/she must have no food intake for 16 hours and eat only in the 8-hour open window.

    “Of course, during that window you cannot eat all the food that you want,” she warns, “You have to stick to eating whole foods which will help you fast longer."

    Zhe tried to get into ketogenic diet following Dr. Berg’s YouTube channel but she says it’s not for her. Just at the right time, she came across a Taiwanese doctor named Song Yang Ren whose diet advice is similar to Dr. Berg’s but uses the 2:1:1 eating ratio.

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    This means Zhe can consume two portions of veggies, 1 portion of grains and 1 portion of protein. She then combines this with 18:6 and 20:4 IF schedules. The Taiwanese doctor’s video, however, is in Mandarin which Zhe speaks and understands.

     

    Here's the 211 plate portion that Zhe follows. She says, “(With this diet) you are not hungry all the time. I find my metabolism better now than before.”
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Zhe Lua via YouTube/????Good Food

     

    “For this kind of diet, you don't need to worry if there would be a nutrient deficiency since you eat all kinds of food,” she says. She also adds that this is the diet that best fits her lifestyle because she finds it easier to maintain.

    Taking control

    What a difference five months makes! Today, Zhe is enjoying a fitter body and the result is the only evidence she needs to influence her friends and her supportive husband to try the diet she’s on as well.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Zhe Lua
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    Once Zhe took control of her physical health it spilled over positively into the different aspects of her life including her mental health.

    This for her is the most important lesson her diet journey has taught her. “Our health is something we can have total control of, it's just a matter of choice and discipline,” she says. “Our conditions cannot be an excuse for us for not to do something about it. Health is a long-term investment that we have to maintain to yield the best result.”

    Inspired by Zhe’s diet? Here are 9 specific changes she’s made in increments that resulted in a significant weight loss over time.

    1. Swap soda with soda water.
    2. Switch from creamed coffee to black.
    3. Eat whole foods.
    4. Cut out processed foods.
    5. Substitute white rice with red and even black rice.
    6. Exercise.
    7. Invest in diet tools such as Fasting Apps, health watches, and a weighing scale.
    8. Learn to build good habits. The book Atomic Habit by James Clear helped her a lot.
    9. Surround yourself with people who will support and help you with your beliefs and journey.
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