Challenges My Life

Intermittent fasting

Faree Atif and myself are both doing intermittent fasting now.

Hi, Everyone!

Join me in my battle against the bulge. I’m fighting an old battle with weight. If you have the same problem, then join me. I’ve found something that makes a lot of sense. Yes, intermittent fasting. I mean, all Muslims know how good fasting is. Yet, we also know, that it isn’t easy to go without food and liquids for over seventeen hours, forever. So, this gentle intermittent type of fasting is definitely do-able. Today is my fifth day at it, and I’m loving it. A new friend Faree says, ‘I’ve been doing it for two weeks and am already seeing results.’

Battle of the bulge:

Wasn’t it December 2003, when my article on weight loss, was published in Women’s Own magazine?

My article printed in Women’s Own December 2003.

 It was very well received, and it showed how I lost weight then. Basically, it was a formula that I followed for weight loss;

 ‘Take half the food, and do double the exercise, that you normally do.’ Along with this you take ¼ tea spoon of kalongi in water, chew a few almonds with some honey, first thing in the morning.

 Anyhow, I did lose ten kilos in two months. It felt great.

Present situation added to past dilemmas:

Fast forward 2020. I’ve gained weight again. I confess, it is due to taking double the food, and doing half the exercise I used to do! I’m mostly snacking, and its’ lethal.

What’s more, this time, my husband isn’t there to tell me to watch out.  

Exercise issues:

Since last December, I’ve fallen four times. Lucky for me, no bones were broken, but my confidence has got hit. So, I’m more careful about my walks now, and less adventurous, (my last fall was at Trail 5.) Also, my Xrays, showed that my right knee cartilage is almost gone. (That’s why I tip over, and fall.) So, it hurts while walking. The surgeon has asked me to come, lie on the table in his operation room, and go to sleep; So he can change my knee and make me the next ‘bionic girl’.

I said, ‘I’ll be coming soon,’

Then I ran off.


Not in these Covid19 days.

So, I’m actually stalling that case.

If you too have some medical, psychological, emotional or laziness issues about not being able to exercise much, like me, then read on….!

Its’ perfect for us. ?

Best for lazy lumps:

You see, getting up with all that weight on you and making it slog day in and day out, becomes even more tedious. So, finding this weight loss method which asks you to stop worrying about exercise is perfect. Ahmed Bilal, had tried intermittent fasting, and I saw the fantastic results. He is my eldest son-in-law, and is currently working at Google, in Seattle. The best thing is that this method needs NO EXERCISE. That’s why I LOVE IT more. The best part is that it doesn’t stop you from eating; just mind your timings. That’s all. Easy peezy I say!

 If you add exercise along with it, the results will be even more amazing.

Every town now has lots of parks. Do go for a walk, or to the gym whenever you can. Otherwise a quick 7-minute work out from the YouTube or a 30-minute one would be good idea.

Simple formula of intermittent fasting:

How to do it? Just divide your day of twenty-four hours into three slots. Fast for two of them, and eat for the last part. (eight, eight and eight.) Sixteen hours fasting. Eight hours eating.

Mix the ‘fasting’ part with your sleep of eight hours, you are now left with eight hours of fasting. Now divide this eight into two batches of four hours, and you get the perfect solution. So, as I’m doing it, dinner ended at 7.00 pm. Then only liquids. Sleep at 11.00 pm. Till 7.00 am. You can exercise, or walk, or work, or watch a movie, go to office. Whatever! Have a nice heavy lunch at 11.00 am. You can even do snacking till 7.00 pm.

 I mean you are fasting and you don’t even feel it.

Angrezi fasting:

On top of it, this intermittent fasting is done with liquid intake which makes it so much easier. You can have water, tea, coffee, juices, and milk  – as and when you want- no issue. So, it is comfortable, and not at all scary.

Naturally, best fasting would be the one we do in Ramzan. Yet, that one can be done for two months at the most.

Whereas, I feel this intermittent fasting can easily become our lifestyle. I mean, I’d love to follow it for the rest of my life.

Adjust it into your lifestyle:

I don’t know your lifestyle, so you will have to find out what suits you best. It is so flexible, that anything and everything works!

My best slot: 

11.00 am: Hearty brunch.

Have fruit in between, whenever hungry.

6.45 pm: Light dinner ending at 7.00 pm.


Best features of intermittent fasting:

  1. Time: You get so much time at your hands. After your hearty breakfast, you don’t feel like taking anything else for the rest of the day.
  2. Good sleep: You sleep well, due to good break between dinner and bedtime.
  3. Split fasting time: Due to splitting the ‘fast’ into two slots of four hours, (4 hours before sleep, 4 hours after you wake up) in which you can have liquids, you don’t feel any strain.
  4. Quick results: My new friend Faree Atif, (who is a freelancing hair stylist,) said, ‘I’ve tried it for two weeks and can feel the results already!
  5. Socializing easy: You can easily socialize and attend events, this routine usually fits into most situations.
  6. Shift shifts: In case you attend some event and eat out of context, you can shift your shift for that day, then get back to your ‘normal’ next day. It works fine. The ‘fast’ can be extended from 16 to 18 hours too. The more the merrier.

Let’s update each other:

Have I convinced you? Then, do join me with your comments, and let’s start this beautiful journey together. We will bring in exercises too into our lives, but it isn’t that tough or a must. It is for keeping our muscles tuned and toned.

Now, stay tuned, and blessed! ?

Note: Photographs mostly provided by author, except for the two taken by Sadia Ejaz.

#fareeatif, #shireengheba, #intermittentfasting, #weightloss.

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  1. Erum Tanzeel says:

    Wow.. Sounds great ? I m in. Would be great if we can share what exact meals /snacks we have taken in a day.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Erum Tanzeel,

      Thank you for responding! If I tell you what I’ve been eating, (Paye, naans, parathas, anda parathas and poories, etc.) You would say, ‘how can we call it a fast?’ Well, the thrill is that it is all about timing. I’m loving it. (Naturally!)
      Yes, we need to stay connected. You see, this is why one can continue with it for life!
      Best wishes,
      Shireen Gheba

      1. Erum says:

        Sounds really satisfying if we can eat anything we want ,with in these eating slots .
        Best of Luck to all of us joining this weight loss journey 🙂

      2. Shireen Gheba Najib says:


        This is great! We can compare notes after a couple of months. Thank you for joining in.

        Stay blessed. 🙂

  2. Seemein Saquib says:

    Hi Shireen,
    Count me in!
    Here in Canada, very low temperatures and snow would not allow for a walk 🙁 until end of March, so I guess, I have to be indoors and control my kitchen trips; moreover, working from home is icing on the cake- you name it!

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Seemein Saquib,

      I’m glad I’ll have company while being on this journey.
      I’m thrilled. Yes, working from home’s greatest challenge is the proximity of the ‘fridge. Stay protected in Canada.

      Best of luck,


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