Intermittent fasting: beginning, and initial progress

Last month, I noticed the BBC article The power of intermittent fasting, and decided to try it, initially two days per week (one of the standard patterns). I’ve long been overweight, and have never been good about avoiding overeating (mostly comfort eating when stuck or bored). This system looked more promising than most, partly because of the good results claimed (both in weight loss and in general health), and partly because much of the time you can eat normally, so on days when you might get rather hungry, at least you can look forward to a day of not being hungry.

It’s not necessarily absolute fasting: 600 calories per day (for men) or 500 calories (for women) is allowed. I’ve found various combinations of foods that fit within this, and am gradually adding more choices.

I found the first two fasting days so easy that I immediately went on three days per week; almost Alternate Day Fasting, but on fixed days of the week. I started to lose weight very quickly, and then (as one might expect) seemed to slow down a bit; in fact, the progress may just be steppy rather than smooth. I’ve started to push myself nearer to actual fasting, and to lengthen the fasting period: I’ve gone from just scraping through 600 calories in 24 hours, to a best so far of 240 calories in 36 hours. And now I’ve lost 1st 3 lbs (17 lbs; 7.7 Kg; 8.5 litres of body fat), and am the lightest I’ve been for at least 15 years!

I don’t really have a target weight; Intermittent Fasting is meant to be a lifelong practice, for health and longevity. I expect my lean weight will be in the region of 14st. I feel quite a bit livelier (at least some of the time) and will step up my exercise pattern soon.

Here are some of the low-calorie foods I’ve found handy:
Small tins of spaghetti (about 140 calories), macaroni (about 190 calories), or low-sugar baked beans.
Normal-sized tins of tomatos in tomato juice (90 calories).
Tinned mackerel in tomato sauce and a bag of ready-made salad.

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