March 1, 2012

Monthly Update: March

The March mug shot appears at the right of the strip and my waist was a little less than an inch down from last month. One difference I've noted is that I lost relatively more fat from my limbs this past month. I don't know if that would've happened anyhow or whether fasting somehow caused that but it's very nice because I happen to be someone who carries more fat on my arms and legs than many women in proportion to my torso/butt fat. I don't think my new mug shot looks much different than the last 2, but in real life my cheek pads and throat do look a little leaner to me. Also, as mentioned before, my clothes are noticeably looser lately in the arms and legs.

When I first read about ADF (alternate day fasting) they said most people wind up eating about 120% of their normal 1-day intake prior to ADF on their feed days--and 20-25% on their fast days--and they lose weight. I quickly found I eat 100% of my pre-ADF intake on my feed days and, of course, 0% on my fast days. The latter is because I've always hated "diet" meals and if I ate a meal of 300-500 calories on a fast day that would actually be harder for me than not eating at all. As it is, about once an hour on a fast day I get an instant impulse to eat and I give the impulse a condescending mental smile and it goes away. My particular body is REALLY good at fasting and I feel as good as I can imagine feeling.

Until yesterday, I fasted when scheduled and ate sensibly (translation: whole foods) when scheduled. Yesterday I wound up eating in the evening so I will have only 2 fast days on record this week. I'm mulling whether to go for 2 or 3 fasting days next week; yesterday it started to feel like there was too much deprivation too fast and I may just shift to 2 days based on how I feel. Or, I may fast 3 times but try the 300-calorie meal recommended in the write-ups for fast days. Or, a 3rd option, I may do 3 zero-calorie days one week and then eat for a week straight. You see what I'm doing here? I'm reserving the right to experiment and find what suits me best before settling into anything long term.

I've now had 2 ADF weekends. On the first, I fasted on Saturday and ate on Sunday because I started ADF on a Thursday. During that weekend, through routine reading I discovered many people fast 3 days per week and I immediately realized I'd like that better than having my fast days vary every week. I could just hear myself asking, "Was yesterday a fast day or a feed day?" When I used to take medicine for GERD, I had to buy one of those day-of-week dispensers because I was never sure if I'd taken it that morning or not.

I designated my fast days as Monday, Wednesday and Friday so this past weekend I ate both days. Going into the second weekend, I wondered how I would react to eating both days. Would I be hungrier and eat more the second day? Would it be harder to resume fasting on Monday? Would I lose the deep feeling of physical calm that appeared during the first week of 2-day cycles?

No, no and no. I enjoyed being able to eat again and that was it. All day Sunday I was aware of Monday as an upcoming fast day but there was no urge to binge in preparation and when Monday came it was just another fast day meaning black coffee still doesn't do it for me but it's not quite as bad as it was the first time.

The  really interesting measurements will be next month--will I continue to lose fat at the current rate or will adaptive responses cause weight loss to slow/stop? What will my blood glucose/pressure do as I continue ADF?

There are no negatives here, only the thrill of self-discovery (and the joy of more time to read/knit/walk.)

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