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Posts Tagged ‘Alternate Day Fasting’

This is a long post!  (You’ve been warned…)
The end of day seventeen and the morning of day eighteen…  Elvis has left the building, folks…
Morning weight: 348lbs.  (on Day 18)
I am down / down “5/25”.  As in, 5lbs down from yesterday and 25lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday morning (the early morning hours of Day 17), I didn’t sleep well.  I got out of bed a little before 3am and by dawn I’d “cheated” on my blend fast by having a two handfuls of nuts.  The rest of the day I was able to stick with my juice blend and felt pretty good in saying the cheats were aberrations and I was continuing my fast count.  Well, today the desire to chew (and taste something different) got the better of me and I had two slices of toast and two slices of pizza.  I said (in yesterday’s post) if I cheated again, I’d have to call the blend fast done, so that’s what I’m doing in this post.
The “interesting” thing is I’ve now had two five(5) pound changes in the last week.  I gained five pounds overnight a few days ago, and between yesterday and today, I’ve now lost five pounds.  It is routine to lose 5 to 7 pounds in the first day or two of a fast.  This is due to loss of stomach contact and some initial water weight loss (due to decrease of sugar and salt in the diet).  It is not common (in my experience) for this to happen after the first week without some significant change.  I have not restricted water or exercised excessively, so I have to assume there is “something” else going on in my body which is beyond my experience.  As such, and because of my prior comments about “cheating again and ending the fast”, I’m going to modify my behavior to more moderate eating habits (i.e. I’m going to start consuming / chewing food).
Below are the images from my scale to mark the end of the fast:
Image of scale at High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Image of scale at Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
As per normal, there is a five(5) pounds variance between my “high” and “low” weights.  As explained in previous posts, the high is from me pressing my toes and the low is from pressing my heels.  When I last took my weight on a digital scale at my doctor’s office, their scale showed two(2) pounds less than my low for that day.  I wasn’t pressing forward or backwards.  And, again, I don’t know if their scale is programmed to subtract estimated clothing weight (or how much they might have subtracted).  As I’ve been using the “high” weigh-in, I feel I’m being conservative (and fair).
To summarize:  I started my “blending” fast with the parallel goals of completing one week without chewing while sticking to a plant (vegetable, fruit and legume) based liquefied diet; and, to jump-start myself on my Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) diet which I had started way back in February, but had not stuck to fairly.  I’ve ended up completing the first of the original goals and, in fact, doubling the time to two full weeks.  I said at the end of the second week, I’d like to push through for a third full week, but I was considering the process as “day-to-day” from there on.  I ended up making it through two days (Days 15 and 16), and now have cheated on two consecutive days (Days 17 and 18).  At this point, I’m calling the fast done and moving on to the second goal: switching to the Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) or a “Modified” ADF or to a Intermittent Time Fasting lifestyle – maybe trying “One-Meal-A-Day” (OMAD).
So, which will I choose?  I don’t know…  I’m not sure I have to choose one over the others.  With the exception of having a defined protocol, I’m not sure there is any advantage to picking one of them over the others, so for the time being, I’m leaning to trying a bit of a mix and match to see which “works” for me.
Having said that, what will be my criteria:
1)  Although only specifically stated for the ADF protocol, I believe it is necessary for me to establish a longer and more consistent sleep period and schedule.  I’m therefor committing to trying to get a minimum of seven(7) hours each night.  I will set my start time for 11pm and end to 7am.
2)  A “strict” ADF or MADF has a low-calorie day and a normal-calorie day, with both tending to use windows to extend the daily fast time period.  The preference is to wait until 10am or 11am to break the fast each day and to close the window for eating (and drinking) at least three hours prior to going to bed.  For me, this would mean, no more eating or drinking (the exception being the water required to swallow my heart pills and vitamins before bed), after 8pm.  This will give me a fasting period of 15 to 16 hours each day, with eating windows of 9 to 8 hours on both the “fasting” and “normal” days.
3)  No matter which day or time period, water, black coffee, black tea and green tea are allowed —  EXCEPT during the three hours before bed, when I am only allowed enough water to take my heart medications.
4)  On “fasting” days I will try to limit myself to between 700 and 1,100 calories per day.  These numbers are fairly arbitrary:  the low end is the “recommended” fasting number for adult males doing an ADF.  The upper number is from my prior experience using the “Fat Smash Diet“.  This “high” number is not a caloric limit that many people could live with for very long.  I no longer believe dieting is simply “calories in < calories out = weight loss”.  I now believe limiting “calories in” too severely, over too long a period of time (one or two weeks), simply tells the body to lower your normal basal metabolic rate (BMR – how many calories you need to sustain life in a state of coma).  This makes it difficult to continue to lose weight and even more difficult to continue to keep the lost weight off.  It has also been shown that it is much more difficult to restore or raise the BMR to a previous level once you have lowered it than it was to lower it to start off with.  Basically, we must somehow lose weight while not lowering the BMR.  This means your body must not sense it is ever in a prolonged period of caloric deficit.  The “trick” is to lower the average caloric input over time while convincing the body you are never “really” dieting.  This is the goal of the ADF and the ITF methods.  On ADF, you eat as “normally” as you wish during your eating window.  On the ITF, you not only can eat as much as you wish, you can eat anything you wish – as long as you stay within your eating window.
5)  I must also maintain a reasonable protocol for increasing and maintaining my “calories-out” portion of the formula.  I currently walk my dog each day for 30 minutes (about 1 mile).  I also swim a couple of times a week for 60 minutes per session.  Our local pool will be closing for the winter soon, so I will need to commit to using a “gym” more frequently.  Swimming has a natural advantage over typical gym workouts.  I believe the three main ones to be: swimming tends to be a continuous whole body workout; swimming tends to be less damaging to the support joints (feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine; and, finally, water transfers heat energy significantly faster than air, which means you will burn more calories to maintain your own body temperature in water than you will do in air of equal temperature.  The combination of these advantages means I will need to go to the gym more frequently and stay (exercise) longer than I would have to by swimming.  The only advantages of the gym (that I know of) are: you can increase your muscle mass to body weight ratio and you can increase your flexibility.  Swimming tends to make bodies long and lean, but not strong and flexible.  Weights and calisthenics will tend to increase muscle density, muscle size and flexibility (if done in conjunction with proper stretching), but not provide a long and lean appearance.  Bottom line:  go to the gym 4-5 times a week and stay for 90 minutes, including weights, stretching and cardio work in each session.
6)  My new protocol will be a rotation of fast day, eat day, OMAD day.  All three will be time restricted, but the window will vary between days: fasting(8 hrs), eating(6 hrs) and OMAD(5 hrs).  Most fasting days will be two eggs, beans(1 can / 1.5 cups) and rice(1/2 cup), and fruits and veggies(no limit).  Most eating days will be two eggs or oatmeal, salad or fruit(no limit) for lunch, normal dinner.  Most OMAD days will be egg(1) and fruit, large dinner (all I can eat / anything I want); if I want a “snack / desert” on my OMAD, it must be eaten 75 minutes to 1 hour before the daily eating window closes.  Water, black coffee, and black tea are any day / any time.  Fruit juice or veggie-fruit blends are only allowed on eating or OMAD days and only during the windows.
I will begin the protocol tomorrow.  I will continue to post images on my MADF page each day and my weight on my “Sweat Equity” pages, but I will not be creating a daily post specifically about this protocol.  I will try to update (via posting) a couple of times a month if I have anything interesting to say.  If I have any significant health changes as a result of the protocol, I will post about those.  And, so it goes, a “lifestyle” with the simple acknowledgement that vacations, holidays, birthdays, and exceptions will happen…  And, you just deal with them.
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On This Day In:
2018 I’ll Trade You…
2017 Luv Me Some Meat Loaf
2016 Unless Your Name Is #AmnestyDon
2015 A Tentative First Step
2014 Making People
2013 On Reading Books
2012 On America
2011 Shiver, Me Timbers!
2010 Fiduciary Breakdown

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Delay, Don’t Deny”  (2017©)  —  book review
Today’s book is “Delay, Don’t Deny“, written by Gin Stephens.  The book was loaned to me by my sister while we were visiting for the Labor Day BBQ at her house.  The book is sub-titled: “Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle“.   Basically, the book is a cheer-leading exercise for the “One-Meal-A-Day” (OMAD) intermittent fasting protocol which the author feels should be adopted not as a “diet”, but as a “lifestyle”.  In other words, once you start, you can’t go back.  The author’s claim goes beyond that.  She believes the benefits will be so obvious to you that you will choose to never go back (to your old eating habits / lifestyle).
The book is very short – only 155 pages.  It is written in a very friendly and easy to read style with short chapters and a few photos thrown in.  I would estimate a reader could speed through this book in a day (evening) if you were motivated to just sit still.  It took me a couple of days to get to it and then I read a couple of chapters a night before turning off the light.
In full disclosure:  I turned my sister on to Alternate Day Fasting, which is one form of intermittent fasting, so I am already a “true believer”.  I believe in fasting as a jump start to a healthier lifestyle and have done strict veggie broth fasts and veggie / fruit juice fasts of various duration’s over the last thirty-five years.  I have tried (and consider myself still on) an alternate day fasting protocol and it was working for a couple of weeks before “life” got in the way.  Besides my excuses, I feel the ADF or “modified ADF”  (MODF)- which is what I am / was trying – is a workable lifestyle for me.  Prior to reading this book, this (a MODF) is what I was planning to return to when I finish my current (12 completed days) veggie-juice / blended fast.  After reading this book, I think I will substitute the OMAD for the MADF.
So, what is a one-meal-a-day fasting lifestyle?  According to the author, you can eat anything you want and as much as you want, but only for / at one meal a day.  You have a window for eating each day.  The window may be as long as eight hours or as short as one hour.  The remaining hours in the day, you are fasting.  “Fasting” means water, black coffee or unflavored green or black tea.  No sweeteners.  No creamers.  The more common windows are: “8/16”, “6/18” and “4/20”.  This varies from the traditional alternate day fasting in that with OMAD, you do eat EVERY day.  In the ADF, you eat no more than 500 calories (female) or 700 calories (male) on your “fasting” days and you eat whatever you want (whatever you normally eat) on the alternate eating day.  An eating window is also recommended for both the ADF and the MADF.  In fact, many proponents suggest you water fast on occasion just to super-charge the process.  The water fast is also frequently added to the “5:2” version of the ADF.  In the 5:2, you eat within an eight hour window five days a week and then water fast for two days.  You can pick the two days and they don’t have to be consecutive days – just any two out of the seven day week.  The 5:2 is briefly mentioned in the book, but the author does not favor it.
The author does not discuss sleeping, but this is a critical part of the ADF protocol.  You are expected to get 7 to 8 hours of continuous sleep each day for the ADF protocol.  This is where I definitely have a problem with ADF.  I typically can only manage six hours and almost never get over seven.  This is mostly a bad “lifetime” habit of mine.  As it’s not mentioned in the book, I guess the author doesn’t feel it’s that critical for OMAD.
The strength of this book is its approachability, both in ease of reading and in terms of the protocol.  She says:  “Try it.  You’ll like it!”  In fact, she believes you’ll like it so much, you’ll feel comfortable dropping it for special occasions (vacations, holiday weekends, Christmas, etc.) and then you’ll recognize you are out of sync with your body and want to drop back into the protocol.
The book has a particularly useful section listing the author’s favorite books (15) about alternate day fasting and intermittent fasting.  The author says these books contain all the science which she has chosen not to include in her own book.  She writes a paragraph or so on why each book is recommended.  Many of the authors of these books I was already familiar with from watching their videos on YouTube.
Final recommendation:  Very highly recommended!!  I fully intend to give this protocol a go whenever I finally come off of my current blend fast.  I will be sure to include updates in future posts.
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On This Day In:
2018 Here And Hope
2017 Choose
2016 All I Ever Wanted
2015 Compassionate Toward Yourself
2014 All And None
2013 Voices In The Dark
2012 Does Uncommonly Flexible = Flip-Flopping?
2011 A Modest Review Of A Modern Day Classic
Encouragement Is The Path To Immortality

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The end of day four and the start of day five…  Over the Hump for the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 365lbs.  (on Day 5)
I am down / down “2/8”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 8lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
Yesterday was a much easier day than expected.  And, yes, I am pleasantly surprised.  As mentioned (in yesterday’s post), I was expecting a difficult day because we were going to my sister’s house for a Labor Day BBQ.  We did and it smelled delicious (and everyone said it was).  Despite the obvious temptation, I was able to tough it out.  It really only takes me about 10 minutes to settle in.  My sister has fasted and her husband has lived with her while fasting, so once I “announced” I was fasting, they were very polite in not “pushing” the food at me.  It was difficult looking at the veggies, dip, BBQ (and desserts), and mainly smelling the BBQ, but I just walked away from the counter with my bottle of juice and settled in front of the TV while everyone ate.  After everyone else ate, I felt less tired than Day 3 – physically and sleep wise, but I still managed a short (20-30 minute) nap on the couch while the ladies went shopping and Art (my brother-in-law) walked their dogs.  They left and let the TV watch me for a while.
Prior to departure, I added pink grapefruit juice and watermelon juice to my veggie-blend (“swamp-juice”) to make it a little more acidic and to have a few more calories.  I find the acidity reduces hunger and the calories keep me from getting the low blood-glucose hunger pangs / shakes.  I brought along my 1 gallon (128fl.oz.) bottle of blend for the trip and I got through most of it.  We stayed almost five hours.  The key, of course, is to drink a bunch at first, so you are both full and can “go” early and often (i.e. don’t have to “go” too badly when you’re on the road driving home).  Anyway, I had the timing almost perfect – at least there were no problems on the road in either direction.
As expected after yesterday’s rebound, I shed most of the water weight I picked up (2lbs) after my initial big loss.  Between days two, three, and four, I lost 6lbs and then regained 2lbs.  A loss of 6lbs overnight is not only unhealthy, it is almost certainly an indication of excessive water loss (with or without stomach content).  Gaining some of it (the 2lbs) back should be no big deal as long as the overall trend of several days is downwards (negative / actual weight loss).  While this is completely subjective, the question is:  “How do you feel?”  Both at the start of the day and throughout…  If you feel thinner, it’s okay.  If you don’t, is it because you feel heavier or “just” bloated.  This is not always easy for someone to judge.  It takes experience because feeling bloated can also make you (me anyway) feel heavier.  The key is that it doesn’t always do so and you have to learn to feel the difference.  Again, down to experience…
While at my sister’s, she asked me: “How long this time?”  My response:  “The plan is at least a week and then back to a ‘real’ intermittent fasting schedule.  But, I’m flexible and I’ll see how I feel.”
For my new(er) followers, last year I fasted for 41 solid days and didn’t quite finish the 42nd day.
My sister has been experimenting with Alternate Day and Intermittent Time Fasting since early April when I talked with her about it over our multi-birthday family BBQ.  She’s lost just over ten pounds and says it’s been really interesting and relatively easy.  The hard parts were playing with both types and figuring out what actually fit with her lifestyle and daily schedule.  She figured out the strict alternate daily fasting didn’t work at all.  The modified (5 / 2 method) was better, but still too difficult.  She then tried Intermittent Time, and it “clicked for me”  (her words).  Now she uses a window each day, which slides depending on her daily schedule and hunger.  She tends to stick to 10am to 6pm, but says if she’s not hungry, she simply pushes the window back  (11am to 7pm), or sometimes even leaves it at 6pm.
My sister was a pretty strict vegetarian, but says she now has chicken and / or fish several times a month.  She still doesn’t eat beef or pork.  She is letting her body tell her what it needs.  She is visibly thinner and (to me) looks younger and happier (more contented) than when I last saw her (even a few weeks ago).  Of course, there is no reason to believe all of this is down to her changed diet – I’m just sayin’.  Oh, yeah.  And she still enjoys her wine!  She believes she’s reached a point where her body is naturally telling her to eat better food choices and she’s enjoying that feeling.  This was her “click”.
Other thoughts:
Last week I got word they were closing our neighborhood pool on the weekdays through the end of September.  It would remain open on the weekends, but with reduced hours.  There was a stink amongst the homeowners association and the Board has decided to keep the pool open on weekdays, but with limited (no) lifeguards / staffing.  Yea!   I have really been enjoying my use of the pool and try to go when there are few families / children so I have a clear path (lane) for swimming laps.  So, I’m very happy about the Board’s decision!
So, I am mid-way through day five and finishing one week is starting to look like a piece of cake…  (Yes, a bad dieting / fasting simile.)
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On This Day In:
2018 We Are Approaching Default
Running On History
Day 37: Blended Not Juiced
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
   —  Erma Bombeck
Okay, the above quote is not strictly true for my family, but it seems pretty close…  All of my immediate family have struggled with weight and the impact of that weight on our health.
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know this (dieting and health) is recurring topic for my posts as I continue to struggle with my morbid obesity.  Last year, I went on a 42 day vegetable juicing / fruit juice & vegetable blending diet.  I dropped from my all time high of 380lbs down to 311lbs.  However, like almost all of my other attempts to lose weight, the real effort is spent in keeping the weight off (not just losing it).  I had hoped to gain around a pound a month for the next five years before having to worry about losing weight again.  Unfortunately, things have not gone to plan and I have gained most of the weight back in less than one year.
In the spirit of “never say die(t)”, I am now trying again.  This time I will be trying the Alternate Day Fast (ADF) technique.  More precisely, I will trying the “modified” ADF.  In a “standard” ADF, you alternate between days you eat and days you fast.  The “fast” day is not a “true” fast day as I’ve always understood it.  Basically, females are allowed 500 calories and males are allowed 700 calories on your Fast days.  On the “Feast” Days, you can eat anything you want and as much as you want.  Obviously, you should approach this with some reason, but as near as I can tell, “common sense” is not a requirement.  If you lack it (common sense), you will simply slow the process of weight loss, but you still will not stop / end it.
In the modified ADF (MADF), I will be trying to stick to either a single large salad in the evening (between 4pm and 6pm), or a series of three smaller “meals” during a 8 hour window (typically between 10am and 6pm).  Inside and outside of the window, I can have as much water, coffee and tea as I want.  I will NOT, however, be counting calories on either day.  The coffee and tea are black (with no cream), but that is not a requirement.  If, some day, I want cream, I will have it.  Basically, I am severely reducing calories on alternating days and eating normally on alternating days.
On a typical juicing fast I would normally lose about 18 to 20 pounds in my first ten days of the fast.  Most of this would be water weight and stomach content.  I estimate between seven and ten pounds minimum (and probably closer to 15lbs).  In this case my “real” loss would be the difference – between five and ten pounds.  To date (today is ADF:9-5), I have lost about eight(8) pounds.  This is actual “loss”, because I am not emptying my stomach and I am, in fact, maintaining my stomach contents (by eating normally every other day).  It is possible the loss could still be mostly water, but I will not be able to determine that for at least a few more days (if not weeks).  I do note that my hands and feet no longer feel swollen in the mornings when I get out of bed.
My goal for this “exercise” (lifestyle change) is to consistently lose 1.5 to 2 pounds per week for at least the next five months.  5months X 4weeks X 2pounds = 40 pounds of weight loss by the middle of June.  After that, I will evaluate whether I need to be stricter / looser or whatever…  This is a completely arbitrary “deadline” and I anticipate I’ll know if the MADF is working or not within the next 30 days.  You may have noticed in the last paragraph I said I’ve lost 8lbs in this first week.  I am expecting this will have been mostly water loss weight, but in any case, I am well over my goal for the week.  This means I will need to have more than my normal amount of calories tomorrow (during my “feast” day).  Losing weight too quickly risks the body slipping into “famine” mode and lowering my Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR) which will only make future losses more difficult.
Starting information:  Age – 63; weight: 355lbs on Day 1; 366lbs on Day 2; waist size: 55.5″ at my belly-button.  My “ideal” maximum weight for my height: 181lbs.  My healthy waist size s/b: 35-36″ at my belly-button.
Based on my height and weight, my “Inactive BMR” is: 2,434 calories per day;  my “Lite Activity BMR” is: 3,347 calories per day.  Generally, we all need to reduce calories 3,500 to lose 1 pound per week.  So, if I have less than 1,000 calories on my fast days and 3,347 on my feast days, I should lose between 1 and 3 pounds each week.  Easy, peasy…
Additional info:  During my last juice fast I struggled to get a consistent reading on my scale.  It was during the summer, so I would be in t-shirt, shorts and barefoot for my morning weigh-in.  I tried to stand a specific way to get a consistent reading, but it was difficult because I had to balance on the scale to do so.  It is now winter and my house is too cold to wander around in shorts and barefoot, so I get up and get dressed now.  This introduces another set of uncontrolled / un-recorded variables: different tops (sweat shirts), different shoes, and different pants.  Since I am too lazy to get dressed just to weigh myself in the morning and then change to what I will really wear that day, I will be letting it all sort itself out in the wash.  More precisely, I’m going to let it even itself out over time.  Although I am weighing myself every day, the main factor I will use for judging success is the weight every eighth day.  Up, down or no change.
I will be recording my weight two ways: 1) HIGH – standing with my knees slightly bent, feet flat but with my weight on my toes; and, 2) LOW – standing with knees straight (but not locked), feet flat but with my weight on my heels.  I have noted my scale can show a variance of 12lbs between these two methods.  In future posts, I will be stating my “HIGH” weight.  On my daily account of “Sweat Equity” (see tab at top of the page), I will list both and also other specific data I track (walks, sleep, feelings, etc.)
So, I will not be counting calories and I will not be on any strict exercise regimen.  I do walk my dog each morning for 30-60 minutes, but it is at a leisurely pace so she can smell the outside world.  We are not walking for a land speed record.  I will be going to the gym because I like to.  This means a couple of times per week with no set day or duration.  I will (generally) not post every day about this (MADF) process.  I will try to post often, though.  I am learning a lot about eating, fasting, exercise and a host of other topics which I am finding interesting and I plan to use this forum to record my observations (LOL – what else is new?).  This is for my benefit more than for any of my readers.  A personal journal, as it were…
Just a last comment on “title of post” nomenclature:  “ADF: Day 9:5” will tell you (me) this post is about the diet (“ADF”).  It will normally be my second post of the day.  If you are not interested, have a nice day and come back soon.  If you are interested in my notes / thoughts, “Day #:#” indicates the total number of days and (at least for now) the second number indicates a “fast” day (odd number) or a “feast” day (even number).  That will let you know if I’m writing while hungry or full (LOL).
Please feel free to leave any questions below in the comments.  I will try to respond to all comments, and who knows, your question may end up the basis for a future post.
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On This Day In:
2018 #DumbDonald: Start With Hearing What You Don’t Want Said
2017 The Press Is NOT The Enemy
2016 It Ain’t Easy
(Leap Year 29th) Or Try To, Anyway…
(Leap Year 29th) Circles Within Circles
2015 A Series Of Funerals
2014 And Your Point Is?
2013 Infinitely Care
2012 In My Room
(Leap Year 29th) Stingray – TV Series Review (This is my most popular post since starting my blog – hands down! It still draws hits almost every week. The hits seem to come mostly from Central Europe. I guess the show must be in syndication there.)
(Leap Year 29th) A Single Thread
2011 Lyrical Mixture
Teaching = Translating

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