January Alternate Day Fasting Update

So I have been remiss in doing monthly updates because I took up a new hobby (which ate up a lot of my time), and to be honest, my alternate day fasting the past two months was quite haphazard for the following reasons:

  • Spent 5-days in November staying with family friends during a trip, where I ate myself silly.
  • I was by myself for 2-weeks at the end of the year when my family went abroad, and I used that time to indulge myself foodwise. Copious amounts of chocolate were consumed…
  • Year-end holiday season get-togethers.
  • Am planning to do a 2-week water fast at the beginning of the new year, so I figure it will be okay to put on a bit of weight beforehand.
  • I had already taken my annual health checkup, so I felt like my self-imposed duty to perform alternate day fasting fastidiously (for the sake of science) could be relaxed.

Furthermore, I took a break from my fitness regime the past two months, too, when I got caught up with my new hobby, so that aspect of my health took a dive, too. I have lost much of the muscle mass that I had put on. Truly a case of “use it or lose it”.

So the only good news from all of this is that after being pretty lackadaisical about things for a couple of months, my weight ended up at around 65kg, which used to be my “best” weight before I started alternate day fasting. So, in other words, what used to be my “best” weight was now my “worst” weight for the year, which, in other words, is a definite step in the right direction.

The last two months have proven that I am still only human and that there is more room for improvement with my health and diet. That’s what new years are for, right?

I should be getting my health checkup results later this month, which will help tell if anything changed measurably in my bloodwork, in addition to all the actual benefits I have witnessed. I will put up a post regarding that when I have some time. And I am still planning on doing a 2-week fast sometime relatively soon. Just trying to figure out exactly when would be best.


 

October Alternate Day Fasting Update

Sugar Addiction

As I detailed in a separate post, I had believed that my 7-day water fast had helped me beat my sugar addiction. I am ‘somewhat’ sorry to say that my affinity for sugar has returned. I say ‘somewhat’ because, in all honesty, it felt strange to not desire what I considered my one vice in life – chocolate.  I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke. I don’t even consume caffeine. But eating chocolate and sweets was something that I truly enjoyed. After 46-years on this earth, when looking at a delicious piece of chocolate cake no longer triggered any salivatory reaction whatsoever, it was surprisingly somewhat perturbing.

So it appears that my 7-day water fast helped beat back my sugar cravings for slightly more than a month. After that, I found that my body was starting to crave sugar again. I am, once again, able to consume vast amounts of sugar in one sitting, but as my weight is stable and I only eat every other day, my average daily consumption of sugar is probably not anything to be terribly concerned about. I’m guessing that over time that the sugar craving gut bacteria have gradually repopulated within my intestines and are once again driving my eating habits.

However, as I intend to perform extended fasts every 3-months, I expect that my bodies cravings for sugar will wax and wane with each cycle. This coming January I will be doing either a one or maybe even two-week fast again, which I presume will once again kill my sugar cravings. Given this routine, I will in effect only be sugar dependent for half the year as each fasting cycle entails one-week of pre-fasting and one-week of post-fasting, both of which are modified diets, predominantly plant based. I think I can happily live with this modulating routine and intend to fully enjoy my sugar cravings while I have them.

For anyone thinking of trying an extended fast to help change their eating habits, I should say that I still highly recommend it. After my 7-day water fast, I made absolutely no attempt to stay off of sugar. In fact, I planned my entire fasting schedule around being able to eat at two upcoming birthday parties. Staying off of sugar wasn’t my goal. My goal is to live as normal a lifestyle as possible, and where I live, that naturally entails eating things with sugar in them. My goal in life isn’t to live as long as possible. It’s to enjoy life while living a healthy and prescription-free existence as long as possible. For me, completely giving up sugar isn’t even remotely an option because I derive much too much pleasure from all things delicious.

Having said that, if your goal is to get completely off of sugar, then starting with an extended fast would definitely be one way to kick-start that effort, and if followed up with the required proper eating habits, I believe, an easy way to achieve that goal.

Weight

My weight didn’t really change much at all in October. After eleven months of alternate day fasting, I think it’s safe to presume at this point that this is basically my natural weight. Barring any changes to my diet or drastic changes to my fitness program, I believe that my body will continue to drift towards this balance point (62-63kg) whenever it is pushed either higher or lower from binge eating during vacations or extended multi-day fasts.

adf-weight-chart-oct2016

Fitness Level

My fitness stats improved slightly. Month-to-month, my pushups are finally back up to 100 from 80, and my chin-ups moved up from 15 to 16, which is still below my all time high of 18. Quite honestly, I haven’t been very consistent with my training. I have been doing the bare minimum to keep my muscle strength.

Health Benefits

Alternate day fasting has helped fix numerous health issues for me, but at this point in my journey, I don’t feel that it will actually improve my health any further. Everything that it could fix has by now been fixed. Now the only reason to continue with this lifestyle is to help maintain my weight. That being the case, I am open to trying other varieties of fasting to see how my body weight responds.

The end of November will mark 1-year of alternate day fasting for me. In December, I am scheduled to take an annual physical. I am keen to compare my numbers from this year with last year to see if there is any change in my blood work. After that is done, I am toying with switching to something else, perhaps a 4:3 fasting schedule with one day purely vegetarian, and seeing if I can still maintain my present weight. There is no one right way to fast, so I encourage everyone to try different methods and find what works best for you.

 

September Alternate Day Fasting Update

Weight

In September, I actually only alternate day fasted for the last two weeks of the month because the first week I did a 7-day water fast, which was followed by a week of re-feeding. Nevertheless, the two weeks were very important as the last thing I wanted to do Continue reading

Alternate Day Fasting Weight Graph

I thought it would be useful to put together a graph of my weight since I started alternate day fasting last December so I put together the chart below. I think it helps illustrate quite well how steady my weight loss was until I plateaued at what is most likely my “natural” weight. And then there was a huge spike up due to my 3-week trip to the US, where more calories were consumed than should be legally allowed, and a subsequent slight dip when I finally resumed alternate day fasting. Followed by a 5kg plunge when I completed my first 7-day water fast, which took me down to a weight (briefly) that I hadn’t seen since high school! Continue reading

August Alternate Day Fasting Update

As I reported in my last update, during July I relaxed my alternate day fasting routine in order to make the most of my 3-week trip to the US. In fact, I went way beyond “relaxing” and straight into food frenzy mode. Suffice it to say that it was a gastronomic experience of epic proportions (and calories). Continue reading

Health Benefits I’ve Experienced from Alternate Day Fasting

I’ve been providing monthly updates on how alternate day fasting has been going for me, but I thought it would be useful to put together all the health benefits I’ve experienced in one comprehensive blog post. Continue reading

July Alternate Day Fasting Update

July ended up being a throwaway month because I traveled to the US for three weeks and gorged myself endlessly on all the things that I can’t eat back home. In fact, in a matter of a mere three weeks, I managed to gain 4kg, which is a testament to my eating ability and the insanely huge size of American portions! If I had been traveling with my wife, we could have easily split one dish between the two of us, but alas, she wasn’t there, so I had to eat it all by myself! And once I realized that the month was going to be a throwaway, I ate with complete abandon. Any urge I had, I satisfied it. I did things that I would be ashamed to tell my children. Continue reading