Three times in my life I’ve managed to lose a significant amount of weight through dieting - each time it’s been a different diet but the rate of loss with all three has been about 1 lb a week.
Unfortunately once I’ve lost the weight I’ve always been faced with the same two problems:
- I haven’t been able to stop myself putting the weight on again.
- I haven’t been able to keep to the same diet a second time.
I’ve been reading quite a lot recently about the benefits of fasting, which are far from just confined to weight loss apparently. I won’t go into what they are as, if you are interested, you can easily research them on the internet.
I decided to embark on a fairly intensive diet in which I ate normally on alternate days followed by a day in which I ate no more than 600 calories.
This worked very well to start off with. I didn’t find it difficult to keep to and I lost about 6 lbs fairly quickly. Then I found that I was no longer losing weight. I seemed to put on as much weight on the non-fasting days as I lost on the fasting days. This wasn’t due to bingeing on the non-fast days. I wasn’t tempted to binge in the slightest.
So I decided to up the stakes and go for a full 24 hours on and 24 hours off alternate day fast. This is supposed to be very beneficial but is also supposed to be very difficult to keep to. But it struck me that there was a very simple way of making this much easier. All one had to do was to make the change-over between the days at 12 noon instead of 12 midnight. This would mean that I would be getting the benefits of a full 24-hours without food, but still getting at least one meal every day.
So the days look like this:
Day 1 Breakfast
Day 2 Lunch and Supper
Day 3 Breakfast
Day 4 Lunch and Supper
Day 5 Breakfast
and so on.
The result of doing this has been fantastic. I’ve continued to lose weight (at about 2 lbs per week). I’ve only felt pleasantly hungry - otherwise I’ve felt great, with a lot more energy. I’ve not been tempted to binge, and I actually prefer being on the diet to not being on it.
One problem with diets like this is social events. I don’t live in isolation. There are plenty of occasions when I want to celebrate or I’ve been invited out, or there’s a celebration on a special day. How do I handle these?
- I never deviate from the basic 24-on/24-off rhythm. That means that I know in advance which days are going to be “on” and which “off”. So as far as possible I plan my social calendar so that eating out takes place on “off diet” days. However that’s not going to work for everthing, so:
- I have perfected the art of sitting at a dining table and watching other people eat. I think about it in the same light as watching a cooking programme on TV. In other words I think of it as an enjoyable experience, and not as a battle against temptation. And it really works! This is OK for family members and others who are used to my strange ways, but like 1. above is not going to work for every situation - so:
- If all else fails, the diet is sufficiently robust to survive occasionally adding an extra meal in. You would still ony be eating 2 meals that day. But it’s really important to make these exceptions as rare as possible.
I’ll report on further progress (or lack of it!) in due course. I’m hoping that this is going to be something that solves the two problems I had with my three earlier diets.