April was the first month since I started alternate day fasting four months ago that I did not experience any weight loss, but there could be several factors involved.
Firstly, one week of the month, while visiting relatives, I ate every day. Presented with the opportunity to eat some amazing food that I wouldn’t be able to get back home and because food is so central to social interactions when traveling and visiting friends, I thought it appropriate to stray from my strict routine and fully enjoy myself. This was my first week off from alternate day fasting in four months. Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that it was a feeding frenzy, where I consumed massive amounts of food with complete abandon.
Upon returning home, I managed to transition back into my usual routine without too much difficulty. I wasn’t able to just jump from completely gorging myself for a week to no food at all. I had to throw in a few incremental days where I reduced my food intake gradually to more normal levels before I made the full transition back to complete fasting. More importantly, my weight did not noticeably increase from my one week of splurging. I did burn quite a few calories during my trip through some substantial walking and biking, but I’m fairly certain that even with those calories accounted for, I ate way more than I burned off.
What I actually think has been more problematic to my lack of weight loss in April was the fact that on my feeding days, I found myself eating much more than usual. This can be attributed to the following reasons:
- An increase in social engagements on my feeding days, several being all-you-can-eat.
- After four months of steady weight loss, an unfounded feeling of invincibility that I could consume as much as I wanted on feeding days with no negative consequences.
Obviously, the scale has proven that I haven’t mysteriously developed any magical powers and the laws of physics still apply.
However, there is one last factor that needs to be considered. I do believe that I have seen some strength gains during the past month, so perhaps some of my weight is due to an increase in muscle mass. Despite the scale not showing any weight loss, I do believe that my waist has shrunk, and overall, I’m looking a bit more defined. I can now fit comfortably into waist 28″ pants, which is something that I was last able to do 22 years ago when I graduated from university! This in itself, in my mind, is enough of an accomplishment to justify alternate day fasting.
In May, I will attempt to eat more normally on my feeding days, although so far this month, I’ve failed. It’s plausible that since I’ve reached what my body considers its ideal weight, I’m now feeling more of an urge to eat than I did the first four months of alternate day fasting. Since entering university, I have never actually ever weighed less than I way now, so perhaps I have reached my steady state and continued alternate day fasting may no longer lead to weight loss. If that’s the case, though, it’s most disappointing because I still have a substantial amount of body fat that I would like to lose. I still have love handles and there is a layer of fat that jiggles when I jump up and down, far from what I would consider to be my ideal physique.
I’m looking forward to reporting back in another month when hopefully some of this ambiguity regarding the lack of weight loss can be better explained.