The longer I do this, the harder it is to find any type of eating or non-eating low-calorie concept that I feel motivated to experiment with.
However, somehow, I always seem to find some type of diet or non-diet that gets my interest long enough for me to try it out.
Of course, I continue to consistently record all of my food intake every day in a computer food journal. I have now done this every day for 11 years, and this is my most valuable dieting tool.
This past couple of months I've been experimenting with intermittent fasting again.
I started by personalizing a 24 hr alternate day fast, similar to Eat Stop Eat, but designed for my own personal preferences. I followed that for about 3 weeks, then I did one 36 hr fast, from dinner one day, skipped all food one day, ate breakfast the following day. That seemed to work well for me, and the following week I did a 72 hr fast, where for 3 days I had water only with up to one cup of bouillon per day. I had hoped to have a 5 to 7 day fast, but my body decided otherwise. Day 1 was as I expected, Day 2 was far easier than I expected and on Day 3 I felt quite weak and nauseated. I woke up on Day 4 feeling ill, and ended the fast.
Although, I do like the concept of Fasting and want to run some more experiments, for a few weeks after the 72 hr fast, I was simply unwilling to fast any more, and followed my "normal" eating plan of trying to eat an average of under 1000 calories per day - eating whatever, whenever.
On Monday, Sept 14, I began another water fast, aiming for the goal of 7 days, with the understanding that I would stop when, and if, my body gave me the symptoms it did during the 3 day fast. My fast went as expected, and this time the symptoms didn't show up until the evening of the 6th day. My night was uncomfortable and I ended my fast at breakfast time the following day. Sunday, Sept 20.
Today is the morning of the 3rd post-fast day. The 1st day I broke my fast with a 6 oz can of tomato juice, then an hour or so later, 1/4 of an avocado. Several hours later my lunch was a saucer plate containing 1 1/2 oz roasted chicken, 1/2 cup green beans, and 1/4 of an avocado. Several hours later I ate 1/2 raw apple with 1 oz cheddar cheese. I finished up the day with another 6 oz tomato juice. About a 1/2 hr after first taking food, my nausea receded and stomach cramps lessened, but all day I felt weak, tired, and crampy. I felt better the 2nd day, yesterday, but still very weak. This morning, the 3rd day, I feel normal.
Weight results of all this fasting? My total net weight results of the month-and-a-half-before my recent 6 day fast ... which includes the return of water-weight-loss after my 3 day fast. My best efforts resulted in about a 1 pound net weight loss. Knowledgeable medical experts are agreed that a "normal" person can only expect to lose about 1/2 pound of body fat during each day of a total water fast. All the rest is water that will be regained after resuming food intake. My 6 day fast resulted in a 10 pound loss which I know is primarily water, and if I had the body of a "normal" person, I could expect a net loss of about 3 fat pounds. However, probably for me the maximum fat loss will probably be more like 1/4 pound daily, which would mean I could reasonably expect about a net 1 1/2 pound loss. This, of course, will depend on whether or not I can keep my calories consistently low during the next 3 weeks or so. It's always emotionally hard to watch those pounds come back on daily when I am consistently and successfully eating very low-calorie, even when intellectually I know exactly why this is happening and even expect it.
Since I am feeling "normal" today, my plan for the next several weeks is to eat according to my personalized plan for Alternate Day 24 hr Fasting. I am a retired person at home all the time, and as a lifestyle I can't tolerate consistently missing breakfast or lunch or dinner. Lunch is my favorite meal, but I also love breakfast, and I love dinner. I also find it difficult on one day to eat all 3 meals, but then on the following day, to eat only one meal. Here's a graph I made that explains my personalized concept, the one I find to be the easiest and most functional for me.
This plan allows me to eat lunch every day, along with breakfast on one day, and dinner on the following day. Repeat.
This article is mainly about WHEN I'm eating. I'm experimenting with whether, or not, lowering insulin through fasting will halt the creeping weight gain that I've been having - even with a very consistent, very low-calorie, food intake. I've never had type 2 diabetes. I've had my blood glucose tested, but never a direct test of my insulin alone, since this isn't a test doctors do for normally healthy people. I'm interested in Dr. Jason Fung's theories about Insulin Resistance, and about Insulin being lowered by fasting. Sometime I'll write a detailed article, but anyone interested can check out the series of fasting articles at his blog, Intensive Dietary Management.
As for WHAT I'm eating, I am working to eat an average of under 1000 calories per day; the ideal would be somewhere between 600 & 800 calories per day. I have no forbidden foods. I eat only foods that I like. At this point, the only macronutrient I pay attention to is Protein. (There are some some detailed articles in the DietHobby Archives explaining why.) My computer records tell me that, normally, my total day's food choices inadvertently wind up being close to the same percentage amounts of Protein, Carbs, and Fat - all 3 macronutrients equally. With my calorie limits always in mind, I eat at mealtimes when I'm hungry (I'm always hungry at mealtimes), and stop when what I've served myself is gone OR when my body feels satisfied (even if I have not eaten all the food portion that I've pre-measured and allowed for myself). I take a daily multivitamin pill and no other medication or supplements.
If anyone thinks I'm eating too few calories, before telling me that, read the more than 1,000 articles that are posted here in the DietHobby ARCHIVES. While its okay to sympathize, I get annoyed by advice given by anyone who doesn't know ALL the details of MY personal weight struggles, AND who doesn't know at least as much as I do about the many different "medical expert" takes on diet and weight and health.
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