Back in my post 12 months, 12 diets – AWOL I realised that the only diets that have really worked for me were those I found in Self Help books (in particular Karina Melvin’s Artful Eating) and Intermittent Fasting (in particular 5:2 fasting). I tried these diets in December and January and I very much credit them for the fact that I didn’t gain weight over the Christmas period and in fact I lost 5lbs on both of these diets.
Therefore, today I have started to follow the principles of 5:2 fasting again, I chose this over the Self Help books solely because I could just wake up and start (or stop, as it involves not eating!), whereas with Self Help I do need to do a bit of reading to refresh myself on the principles and techniques. However, I do intend to re-read some of the Self Help books to help with both the fasting and with the non-fasting days.
What I love about fasting is that is does only last for 2 days a week. For 2 days you have to follow the rules but the rest of the time you just do your own thing, dieting isn’t constantly hanging over me for me to ignore and feel guilty about or follow and feel miserable. Another great result from fasting last time was that my visceral fat came down, this didn’t happen on any of the other diets that I have followed, which might suggest that fasting has benefits above and beyond weight loss.
So what does it feel like to fast?
So far today (it is 15:00) I have eaten nothing. I have had a cup of tea, a litre of water and a diet coke but nothing to eat.
I won’t lie ….. I feel weird! My concentration is awol, my mind is wandering all over the place and a simple task such as writing this blog or checking my credit card statement is hard. I would not like to be at work at the moment and I would not even think about driving my car. However, I was able to walk the dogs earlier with no incident.
When my husband came home for lunch I was irritable with him (poor guy) and I found it hard to find the words or phrases I was looking for at times.
My head feels like it is in a pressure chamber, I have a very dry mouth and a strange taste but interestingly I do not feel hungry (I do get waves of hunger at times, especially when I think of food).
However, last time I followed 5:2 the fasting days got easier and easier. To the extent that I was even able to run on fasting days and not feel any adverse effects.
I will eat today, I have 600 calories (based on my age/weight and activity levels) which I can eat whenever I like. I think I might have a snack soon and then a larger meal later, perhaps leaving 60 calories for an apple or similar snack in front of the TV before bed.
As an aside, I do still have my Slimming World membership (6 more weeks on a 12 week pre-paid plan) and so I will still be ‘weighing in’ for the next couple of months. I will not tell them I am following 5:2 though as it’s not really ‘on‘ and whether I carry on after my countdown runs out is still to be decided. It will depend on whether I find the weigh-ins useful, to keep me on the straight and narrow, or whether I feel like too much of a fraud to stay. Of course there is a (big) chance that I won’t stick to 5:2 anyway and so it won’t be an issue in 6 weeks!!
Wish me luck!