I’m a great believer in avoiding fad diets, mostly because I’m extremely skeptical of anything recommended by someone who gets paid to do it – magazine editors, celebrities and self-help gurus. Except a doctor, but not some doctor cited on the dieting product.
So I’m fully aware that I’m breaking all my own rules about diets at the moment. Well, sort of. Paul and I saw a doco by Dr. Michael Mosley about longevity and how people who eat a low calorie diet tend to live longer. One of the methods of achieving this that he investigated was intermittent fasting, where you reduce your calorie intake to a quarter on some days and eat as you please on others. On ‘feed’ days people don’t tend to make up for all the calories they reduced on the ‘fast’ days, and the fasting triggers some interesting beneficial changes in the body. Dr. Mosley settled on a 2:5 day ratio and called it the Fast Diet.
It sounded doable to both of us. I could do with losing a few kilos and I like the idea of not having to give up foods I love – instead rewarding myself with them after getting through a fast day. Paul looked into it further, bought the book and we both read it and decided to try the diet.
We’ve been doing it for five weeks or so. At first the fast to feed days were more of a 1:4 ratio as we worked out which days of the week better suited to fasting and there was one fast day I skipped because I was ill, but we’ve got into the swing of it now. We’ve had fun searching for and trying different low-cal recipes. Our bodies are adapting to the fasting so that we’re not so hungry (and cranky, in my case) on fast days. I’ve also noticed that on feed days I’ve gone back to preferring smaller meal sizes, as I did before I moved in with Paul.
Paul has lost a few kilos. Until last week I’d lost nothing. Nadda. Zilch.
I find this hilarious, considering how skeptical I’ve always been about fad diets.
To be honest, we were eating a fairly healthy base diet already with occasional treats that were often low-fat anyway. The diet recommends 500 cals for women and 600 for men, but a different cal count is impractical when you’re making meals for two so we’re both aiming for 600. My ‘cycle’, such as it is since menopause started, often gives me water-retention which will add to how much I weigh.
Even so, I’m eating less than I used to overall so I’d have expected some reduction. This last week I finally started to see something other than ’74′ on the scales. It could just be that I’ve managed to get a few walks in on the treadmill.
So it’s slow going. I’m not going to give it up, though. Partly because I want to support Paul, partly because it does have some unexpected benefits. For one thing, I sleep better at the end of a fast day. For another, my digestive system feels a lot happier. It’s easier to avoid alcohol when Paul does too. I like soup but Paul isn’t keen on it, yet will eat it on fast days. When I do eat something hi-cal, I want it to be something nice so I’m not as tempted by crappy food.
Now that we’re in the habit and have worked out which days of the week are best for fasting, it’s surprisingly easy to stick to. And if I do eventually lose some weight I’ll regard it as a bonus.