Monday, October 27, 2008

Two month update

I do my "official" weigh-in on Saturday mornings right after I get up. This way, the conditions are close to the same every week and I don't get distracted by the daily ups and downs that everyone has. This last Saturday (the 25th), I weighed 188.4. This is down 3.4 lbs from last month, for a total of 15.4 lbs. It is nice to see the 180's again.

After the loss during the first month, the weight loss slowed to almost nothing for a couple of weeks, less than a pound during that time frame. I was still waiting for hunger but still eating too much at a time. Throw in a couple of slips and it was a recipe for very slow losses.

Around that time, I became aware of a blog by the author of the book Eat Stop Eat. The book is his take on intermittent fasting (IF). There is a little more to it but, essentially, you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week, depending on if you are trying to lose weight or just maintain. The 24 period is a period starting from right after one meal to right before the same meal the next day. So, for example, if you finish dinner at 7 PM on Sunday night, you wouldn't eat again until after 7 PM on Monday night. The fast period is absolutely zero calories - no juice, no cream in coffee, no broth, etc.

I have tried IF in the past, using the "window method", where you would fast for 18 hours and then eat during a window of time for the next 6 hours. I liked a lot of things about it but I didn't like eating so much during the window, though I was trying to get a certain level of macronutrients in during that time which was leading to overeating.

The nice thing about Brad Pilon's (the author of Eat Stop Eat) blog is it is backed up completely scientifically and really does a nice job destroying the nutrition myths. He has convinced me that my muscles aren't going to fall off if I don't eat 150 grams of protein every single day, that it is possible to maintain or even gain a little muscle while in calorie restriction, there is no "starvation mode" (or at least what most dieters believe is starvation mode), etc. It has also lead me to realize that I don't have to eat the second my stomach growls. I think waiting a little leads to a healthier attitude towards food (I'm not bowling over small children and old ladies on my way to the food the second my stomach growls) and also leads me to better choices as I have time to think about what I am really hungry for.

The last few weeks I have added two fast days - Monday and Friday. Monday is to "recover" from the weekend, which tends to be higher carb, and Friday is because that is a day I tended to go off of the rails with my eating. Simply not eating is easier for me than to not overeat, even with the constraints of hunger.

This has ramped up the weight loss. The fast days are easy, though I have to watch that I don't over do it when I break the fast. I still eat within the constraints of hunger and fullness the rest of the time, so "suffering from hunger" doesn't happen. I enjoy it.

Eat Stop Eat blog

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