Fasting is arguably the antithesis of what this blog’s about, but I hope you’ll bear with me as I embark on the AFD (Alternate Day Fasting Diet). I won’t bother to regale you with stories, recipes and photos of the fast days, for obvious reasons, but there’s at least some potential for interesting food ideas in the alternate feasting ones. And as we’re all interested in healthy eating (at least in theory), hopefully you’ll enjoy witnessing my journey along the road of calorie conscious consumption.
As described in my last post, my first weigh-in for several months proved a scary experience. It’s not so much that I’m grossly overweight and in fact my BMI is within the healthy weight range for my age. Call it vanity or maybe frugality, but once I get beyond a certain weight, I start feeling bad. Partly it’s because if I can’t squeeze the bod into the range of garments currently hanging in my wardrobe, I’m faced with the prospect of spending money to buy bigger ones. Also, I really hate the feeling of my flesh keeping on moving after I’ve stopped. So while I haven’t got a major problem, I’d prefer to be slimmer. It’s a feel good thing and we all need as many of those as we can get.
Of course, it’s also a health thing, which is even more important. Lack of exercise, poor nutrition and being overweight make us vulnerable to all kinds of unpleasant diseases and conditions, as well as contribute to fatigue, aches and pains, and just generally feeling life is more burdensome than enjoyable. I’ve just finished reading The Original Fasting Diet (an updated version of The Alternate-Day Diet) by James Johnson. Sub-titled “Turn on your ‘skinny gene’, shed the pounds, live a longer and healthier life” the book sets out a plan whereby you can lose fat easily “without deprivation or stress”, improve fat metabolism, avoid regaining lost fat, slow the ageing process, feel energised both mentally and physically, all while feeling good. Based on the principle of “fasting” one day and eating normally the next, the science behind it is explained in minute detail, which while reassuring, is a tad unnecessarily complex for the lay person. It’s touted as being a program that’s easy to follow and stick to because you only have to survive on starvation rations one day at a time (like the AA slogan), rather than endure the relentless deprivation of traditional diets. That idea has a lot of appeal and because it promises to yield great results it’s won me, for now. Just as soon as I find my skinny gene, I’m turning it on.
Here’s how I went the first week.
A week in I’ve lost 1kg. My jeans have relaxed their vice-like grip just a tad and I don’t think it’s wishful thinking, but I do feel healthier.
Part of this must be attributed to walking which I’ve been doing religiously for around 40 minutes every morning. As I found last time I followed this regimen, it becomes addictive. Very early in the morning when there’s hardly anyone around is a great time of day and striding along with my earphones in, listening to hits of the so long ago I can’t remember what decade , is actually exhilarating.
Upside of the ADF:
- Lost weight
- Survived 4 whole days without alcohol, peanuts, or anything sinful at all
- Feel energetic and optimistic about being able to continue
- Got to the top of a big hill without dying
- Succeeded in denying solace to a rumbling stomach
- Am drinking more water (which doesn’t sound like much but for me it is)
Downside of the ADF:
- Fitting fast days around social obligations might be tricky – not that we’re on the A list (or even the B,C, or D) but every now and again we get the odd invite which naturally leads to the odd drink or two
- Obsession over calories means I tend to feel guilty even eating on the so called feast days (plus I risk becoming a bore even to myself)
- Watching HWMBF tucking into yummy snacks while I can’t
On balance however, there are more reasons to keep going than not, so stay tuned for the next weigh-in. And if any of you have tried this fasting and feasting lark, how did it work for you?
by Anne Green