Intermittent fasting – end of six weeks

I had intended to post each week with my progress, but life got in the way. Best laid plans huh. Anyway I’m at the end of the six week “fast diet” and here’s what i discovered:

  1. when the rules are black and white it’s so much easier. The difference between fasting days and non-fasting days were stark. Fasting days I was extremely disciplined but on non fasting days i found it harder to keep to the 1600-2000 cal limit. So my lesson from that was that I need more black and white rules to take away the judgement (and inevitable internal dialogue and justifications).
  2. you gotta measure to manage. I got bored with weighing my food and scanning bar codes to see what calorie count was. On the upside though I have a better feel for the calorie content of different foods and can estimate what more accurately what I should be eating.
  3. I had to be flexible with my fasting and non-fasting days. There were several occasions my fasting days coincided with dinner invitations with old friends or family that I refused to miss. At first i got a bit stress about it and thought I could still fast, but this proved too hard. So I just switched fasting days. no big deal.
  4. Finally, I think my weight is about the same as when I started. BUT I haven’t put in the effort with HIT exercise so I can’t really draw any firm conclusions on that front. I intend to continue with intermittent fasting and introduce more exercise. I think it is a sustainable way for me to control my weight, especially if I can work in the exercise and drop a few kilos.

Update from week two

The second week of intermittent fasting was mixed. Fasting days are easy because the the “rules” are black and white. I’ve worked out what I can have for breakfast and dinner to stay within the 600 cal limit and I’m really not tempted by anything else. Non-fasting days are a different story. I start off with the best intentions, but it all goes out the window if there are temptations at work – which is more often than not. For example – last fFriday there was a morning tea for someone that was leaving. Almost the entire morning tea was made up of sugary cakes, biscuits and slices. Once i started it was all over! I also find that I snack when i get home from work and again once I start there is no pause button!

So – lesson from week two – just don’t start eating anything that is going to blow my daily calorie intake.

I’m also having trouble resting the app. I had some data in there from trying it out a few months back and it just won’t reset. There has been some discussion on the Fast Beach forum, but no resolution as far as I can tell. This is al little annoying, but I’m tracking my food and exercise in myfitnesspal instead.

Fast Beach recently released a new exercise app. This has an interval timer and video demos of the exercises. This is great news because I’ve been having to switch between an interval timer app and the Fast Beach Diet app for my workouts. I’m going to start using this week and will let you know how it goes.

Intermittent Fasting

A while back I posted about staying on track with healthy eating. I’ve been trying and failing at that for the past couple of years. So when a friend suggested Intermittent Fasting I thought this was something I could manage. 

Intermittent fasting has been popularised by Dr Michael Mosely who came up with the approach after experimenting on himself with several dieting approaches. In a nutshell Intermittent Fasting involves restricting calorie intake (for me that’s around 600 calories) on two non consecutive days out of seven. Mosley stresses that this isn’t a licence to binge eat on the other five days. There is a handy app to help you work out your ideal calorie intake on your non fasting days and to track your progress. The Fast Beach app only tracks total calories per day and doesn’t help you to work those out from individual foods or recipes. You’ll need to use something like myfitnesspal to help with calculating the calories then enter them into the Fast Beach app.

So my plan is to fast Mondays and Thursdays and try and stick to around 2000 calories in the non fasting days. I’ll keep you posted!

Update after week one
Day one wasn’t so bad. I found having a hard and fast rule about food really helped – there are no grey areas to trip you up so decision making is easy. Especially with all the sugary goodies on offer around the office!

I had Bircher muesli for breakfast then nothing until dinner – which was brown rice and ratatouille. The rest of the family were eating vegetarian lasagne (one of my faves) and that was a little rough. I think I might have caved if my wife hadn’t reminded me what I was trying to achieve. I had periods of hunger but they always passed. Drinking lots of water which helped with the hunger pains

I knew what to expect on my second feting day – Thursday – which made it a little easier. Thursday is also a busy day for me so it was easy to distract myself whenever I felt hungry.

Overall I didn’t feel too bad and strangely I’m looking forward to my fasting days next week. My energy levels have been fine and I don’t think I’ve been particularly cranky – at least no more than usual.

One of the lessons I learned was not to drink too much coffee. I found this quite hard on my (empty) stomach. So Thursday I’ll be sticking to green tea and water!

Something I’d like to do better next week is to track calories on the non fasting days.