Monday, November 2, 2015

SFS Fall 2015: Intermittent Fasting (IF)

I'm doing a six-week holistic diet with Liz Vequist in an effort to start feeling fit, active, and inspired. The diet started on Monday, October 26, 2015. 


Today is my first intermittent fasting, or IF day. As I understand it, and IF day is one in which calorie intake is limited to 500-600 (I normally eat 1,750-2,000 calories per day), and one waits to have one's first meal until one is ready to chew one's hand off. The goals are multiple

  • To make up for "binge days"
  • To make it possible to eat whatever one wants on the other five days of the week
  • To prevent cancer and other health issues like diabetes and Alzheimer's
  • To remind one's body one doesn't actually need to eat as many calories a day as we do in the Western world
  • To force the body to consume one's own fat when exercising

There is also a paleo aspect, reminding the body that our hunter-gather ancestors ate intermittently and they did OK. 

On the diet, I'm supposed to have as many as two IF days each week. To get started, we are doing a 6:1 schedule - eat "normal" for six days, and IF for one. 

After four weeks of participation in Liz Vequist's SFS program, which started with a vegan food cleanse in early October, I'm down 11 pounds. I don't feel deprived, I'm not counting calories, and I'm not perseverating on food. 

I'm also not sure I need to IF. 

But, I'll play along. I also didn't think I needed to eat breakfast at work, but when I tried that, it actually had positive benefits. 

So, what does one eat when one is on an IF day? This is what I'm eating

Breakfast: 1/2 cup of aromatic brown rice and two hard-boiled eggs - 249 calories

Lunch: 1/2 cup of aromatic brown rice and 1 cup of sweet and sour red lentil dal - 233 calories

Dinner - 3 oz. steamed cod fillet, 1 cup roasted squash and broccoli, 1 cup steamed kale - 146 calories

Snack - 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers - 8 calories

Total planned calorie count for the day is 636.

My predictions? I'll eat breakfast by 10:00 AM, instead of 8:15 and then I'll perseverate on food for the rest of the day.

What would you do to make an IF day work for your body?


Clownface said...

I work in a cube farm from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM five days a week. When my stomach started audibly growling at 9:15 AM, I knew I needed to do something. The six glasses of water I'd already consumed weren't sufficient to meet my belly's needs.

So, I ate one of my breakfast hardboiled eggs.

At 10:15 AM, I dug into my 1/2 cup of aromatic brown rice.

I'm saving the second egg until I feel hungry again.

I know I'm "breaking the rules." And I'm doing what works for me.

Clownface said...

So I ate the second egg at 11:15 AM, taking two full hours to eat breakfast. I had a snack of cucumbers at 12:30 and finally lunch at 2:00 PM. I DID eat a bonus bag of mixed nuts (1 oz.) after lunch. And by dinner, which I ate at 5:45 PM, I was so hungry, I increased both my portion of fish and kale.

If I were queen of the universe, which I'm not, I'd suggest a different way of easing into the IF routine for newbies. It is HARD to both delay the breaking of the fast (and time between meals) AND restrict calories at the same time. I think the first fast would have been eaiser if I had delayed my first meal and then eaten the same number of calories or vice-versa (restricted calories and eaten at my normal meal time.) For me, I'll plan to be into the rhythm of the weekly fasts by the 4th week of the diet.

And it is with humility that I note that (a) I went to bed at 9:00 PM last night, at least an hour earlier than usual, (b) was wide awake at 5:00 AM this morning, so I went to the gym for the first time in months, and (c) weighed in at 1.5 pounds lighter today than I was yesterday. (We aren't supposed to weigh ourselves daily, but I was curious about the impact of the fast on my weight.)