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?