One day last week, I saw a commercial for a news article on a medically recognized and even approved method of actually losing weight and becoming a healthier person. I was bored enough to ask my TiVo to record the news that night so I could see the details. The details were that a dieting method called Alternate-Day Fasting (ADF) has been shown, at least since 2006, to be effective for decreasing body fat and sometimes losing weight.
I immediately dove into Google to find supporting or contradictory evidence. ADF, QOD (Every Other Day), and JUDD (Johnson’s Upday Downday Diet), are all variations on the same idea: Eat what you want on one day, Severely restrict your calories on the next day, repeat forever. I looked over this blog in particular for evidence that someone could actually do this, for almost a year!
Some variations say you should only have water and ingest and do nothing else. Others say that you should only restrict your caloric intake by 25 % on the off days. The study I found by NIH Modified alternate-day fasting… seems to indicate to me that reduced caloric intakes from 25%-100% all resulted in decreased subcutaneous fat deposits (fat all over the body, just under the skin), but only the 25% caloric reduction diet resulted in weight loss. However, I take into consideration the fact that the activity levels of the test subjects was NOT controlled. Another site, ScienceDaily reports that the total fast group of a test regimen lost weight while the other groups did not. Further explorations led me to find that any severe restriction on caloric intake on “fast days” or “off days” in all the quoted studies result in improved overall health and lower inclination toward disease with some possible weight-loss and body-toning implications. NONE of the quoted results indicated decreased health or increased weight. Some anecdotal references indicated increased crankiness.
As far as I’m concerned, increasing my crankiness would just make me “more” Paul-like, so that doesn’t bother me. And I do plan to get in some weekly exercise, so that may further stimulate weight-loss and muscle-toning. My planned exercises: weekly dancing, a new chin-up/pull-up plan, and I’d really like to run around with my dog on weekends.
I really approach this idea somewhat spontaneously and with no significant commitment. It’s mostly curiousity. Let’s see how long I can go and how I do. I plan to only ingest liquids on my Fasting days and eat whatever but not go crazy on my regular days.
Yesterday was Day 1 (193lbs when I woke up around 11am – shut up):
1 dose of InflamActin = 50 calories
1 can of Coconut Water = 160 cal
1 cup of Airborne + water = 5 cal
1 cup of homebrewed ginger+peach+matcha green tea = ~5 cal?
1 can of Coconut Water = 160 cal
1 cup of ginger tea = ~5 cal
1 cup of chamomile tea = ~5 cal
1 cup of crystal light on-the-go = 5 cal
Lotsa water (16oz bottle-size x 5)
Total = 390 cal. I estimated 5 calories for the teas because one box of tea said that a cup contained that much, and so did the Crystal Light box.
I started this blog entry yesterday morning but I purposely didn’t total the calories until today so that I wouldn’t “cheat” by having something after my last entry. I purposely drove to a grocery store to buy cans of coconut water because they are supposed to be nature’s electolyte source and electrolyte depletion is one alleged danger of the Alternate-Day Fasting lifestyle. Pretty cheap and low in calories, too. One of the various sites I found had recommended that beginners to this lifestyle should commit to having 500 calories or less on their fast days to see any benefits. That’s easier than trying to (ashamedly) figure out how many calories I have on a normal day to estimate a percentage reduction, and it was also easier than just surviving on water, tea, and sugar-free gum all day.
Another interesting thing to consider is that the workout specialists I’ve seen interviewed on TV all think that SUGAR is evil, more than fat or calories. I’m going to try to keep that in mind.
Today, I finish this blog entry on Day 2 (192lbs when I woke up). I already had breakfast at 11am – shut up – and I was a little surprised and a little unsurprised by what happened. I went to a restaurant to get a breakfast burrito meal (basically two egg+cheese+bean burritos) and found that I only felt like eating one of them. Surprising. And then I had digestive problems. Not too surprising. Still, I’m not terribly hungry yet so I may just forego another meal until the 4-5pm range and then that might be it for me for the day.
My next planned entry is for Day 3, the next Fasting day.