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.


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.


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


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

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

Alternate Day Fasting Benefits

The benefits I have experienced from fasting are numerous:

  • The most obvious benefit is weight loss. For the first 5 months of fasting, I experienced a steady 2kg per month loss in excess weight. This is the same amount of weight that I usually lose from performing a lot of exercise, but by fasting I experienced the same weight loss with no extra time commitment.
  • Saving money! I estimate that by not eating half the days in a month, I am saving somewhere between $150-300 a month. And I don’t drink anything except water, so for someone who consumes coffee, alcohol, or soft drinks, the savings would probably be even greater.
  • More appreciation for food. I truly enjoy eating now. Every day that I eat, I am thankful for the food I eat. And it tastes delicious! I regularly say out loud, “This is delicious!” while eating a meal. Often times two or three times during one meal.
  • A lot of people eat because they’re bored. As I work from home and have ready access to food all day long, I think I’ve been guilty of this at times. But now this is no longer the case.
  • In terms of a diet, it’s extremely convenient because you don’t have to count calories or watch what you eat. On days that I eat, I eat whatever I like, within reason. I don’t read labels or avoid fat. I eat dessert every feeding day, most often twice a day; both after lunch and dinner.
  • The occasional binge eating day doesn’t derail your progress because the next day is always a fasting day.
  • Save time. I actually don’t save much time myself as my wife usually prepares food for our family, and even though I don’t eat, I still sit with the family during meals. But if you do prepare food, eat and clean up, then you could potentially save a lot of time on your fasting days.
  • For the first time in my life, this feels like a sustainable diet plan. I can’t foresee anything throwing me off this path. I guess time will be the ultimate test, though.
  • Better physique. With weight loss and body weight exercises comes a better physique. Whilst I have already lost 10kg and gone down two belt sizes, this is still a work in progress. I will update periodically.
  • Not a slave to sugar. As I can go an entire day without consuming any food, that obviously includes sugar, and means that I have some semblance of control over my sweet tooth. Although I must admit that on my feeding days, I still consume a fair amount of sugar in both the form of fruit and desserts. By no means am I living a sugar-free lifestyle.
  • People think you are superhuman because you only eat every other day! Well, at least the ones who are impressed.
  • Less body odor. I need to verify this as I am still using deodorant, but I sense that I am producing less underarm body odor.
  • Fixed numerous health issues.




Exercise and Alternate Day Fasting

Many people wonder if it is okay to exercise while alternate day fasting. I personally have had no issues whatsoever. I regularly bike 50km or walk 10km on a fasting day. I don’t feel any difference in strength or speed.

More importantly, I have a set routine of bodyweight exercises that I cycle through on a weekly basis in order to ensure that I don’t lose muscle mass as I lose weight. I perform my bodyweight exercises regardless of whether or not it is a fasting day. Basically, I focus on one exercise every other day. So I do one day of pushups, one day of pull-ups, one day of dips,  and one day of abs. Within each exercise group, I try and do different types of variations to work out as many muscles as possible. So for example, for pushups, I do standard, wide, military, elevated, and staggered. During the day, whenever I feel like it, I will whip out a set of one type or another until exhaustion. Over the course of the day, I end up completing at least one set of each variation and sometimes two, depending on whether or not I am home all day or out most of the day.

Using this routine for the past four months, I have seen consistent gains in every exercise group. Even though my numbers are going up, though, it’s hard to actually say that I am getting stronger as the exercises are getting easier as my weight steadily goes down each month. At the minimum, though, I believe that I am not getting weaker. And the fact that I can now perform 70 consecutive pushups and 15 chin-ups at age 46 is by anybody’s book an indication of an above average fitness level. Furthermore, as these numbers are the best that I have achieved in my entire life, I think it fair to say that alternate day fasting is proving to be beneficial from a fitness standpoint.

Diet is an important factor in maintaining muscle mass. On my feeding days, I make it a point to consume a fair amount of protein. My breakfast is a huge salad, usually with fish, or sometimes chicken. Then over the course of the day, I try and eat chicken and beef or pork, in addition to other less protein dense foods such as bread or nuts or tofu.  I’m not fanatical about it. I don’t count calories or grams of protein. I just make a conscious effort to eat nutritionally well on my feeding days because my body only has half the opportunity to get the proper nutrients. Right now my focus is seeing how far I can progress in terms of muscle development using purely natural protein sources so I don’t take any protein supplements. I want to try and keep my eating habits as normal as possible so that I can live anywhere, shop locally, and live healthily.

Hopefully, this should help allay any fears that anyone has that alternate day fasting will be detrimental to their fitness level unless of course you are an elite athlete, in which case your experience may be different. Having said that, I do feel that it is important to stress that regular muscle training in some shape or form should be performed in order to maintain muscle mass. Otherwise, you will not only lose weight, but you will also lose muscle mass, and losing too much muscle mass will prove detrimental to your health.

Maintaining your muscle mass as you age should be one of your key fitness goals. The exercise routine I have described above takes very little time; at most 30 minutes a day, spread out into five-minute blocks at any time of the day. By splitting it up into small chunks over the course of the day, it doesn’t even feel like exercise. The amount of time you will save every other day by not eating should be more than enough to fit in some good solid exercise. No matter how you cut it, there really is no good excuse not to exercise your muscles if you do alternate day fasting.


Why I started alternate day fasting

All my life, my weight has cycled up and down by 10kg, usually in a single year. Whenever I get above a certain threshold weight, unlike it appears most people, I start feeling quite serious negative side effects to my health that spurs me to start exercising more to lose the weight. I really do find it quite astonishing that people can be 20, 30, 40kg overweight, and not die. Once in my life when I was 30 years old, I was 15kg overweight, the most overweight that I’ve ever been. One day I was lying down on the sofa, and I suddenly started feeling chest pains radiating throughout my upper torso. It felt like electricity was flowing through my body and lasted for seemingly forever, but in reality probably only 30 seconds. While it was happening, though, it didn’t feel like it was going to stop, and the experience scared me to death. In retrospect, it was a blessing because it made me realize instantly that I needed to get back into better shape or I was likely to fall seriously ill.

This incident was what spurred me for the first time in my life to seriously make an effort to lose weight, and on my first attempt, over the course of many months, I actually managed to lose 15kg. Unfortunately, this was also the beginning of my seemingly neverending cycle of gaining and losing weight. Now, though, I always started the process of losing weight when I got 10kg overweight.

My main method of losing weight has always been bicycling; many, many hours and kilometers of cycling. If I cycle about 300km a week and watch what I eat, I can consistently lose 2kg a month. However, if I only cycle 200km a week and eat normally, I won’t lose any weight. And if I cycle 200km a week and eat more than I should, which would happen fairly regularly as I love food, I would gain weight. It takes me at least 15 hours of cycling a week to get up to 300km. Obviously, this is a huge investment in time and energy that I’ve come to realize as I’ve gotten older is not practical for me to continue into retirement.

Given that I genuinely feel unhealthy when I’m overweight, I started investigating other options to maintain my weight, and one idea proffered by a friend was the 5:2 fast diet, which he had been following for the past three years with apparently good results. I had seen the BBC video by Michael Mosley regarding this method a few years back. Basically, you eat five days a week and fast for two. It had piqued my interest, not just the weight management aspect of it, but also its claims to improve health, but I had never seriously entertained trying it myself. Given my present interest in finding an alternative way to maintain my weight, though, and my friend’s recommendation, I rewatched the video and started researching in earnest the various ways of fasting to lose weight.

During this research phase, I discovered from reading various forums that although many people were having great success, many people were also having problems losing weight using the 5:2 fast diet. Some other methods mentioned were 4:3 (4 days feeding and 3 days fasting) and alternate day fasting. Several people had commented that they had had good results with these alternate methods. After about a month of reading everything I could find on the Internet regarding fasting, I finally decided to try alternate day fasting. I figured that if I found it too hard, I could always switch to one of the easier methods, but logically it seemed that it would be the fastest results producer.

So basically, I started alternate day fasting with the intention of losing weight. Having spent a month researching fasting, though, I suppose I was hoping that it would also improve my overall health, but I didn’t go in with any concrete expectations. The results, however, have been unexpected and amazing.




Four Months of Alternate Day Fasting

It’s now been four months since I started alternate day fasting. The results have been nothing short of amazing:

  • Issue with frequent urination resolved after only 3 weeks.
  • Greasy food no longer makes my stomach feel like I ate greasy food an hour later.
  • No matter how spicy the food I eat is, my butthole never burns when the food exits my system.
  • What I believe was a food-related allergy that was causing a red rash around my nose no longer occurs.
  • Increased energy levels. I no longer get sleepy during the day. I no longer need to take naps.
  • 8 kg of fat loss, averaging a steady 2kg per month. Body fat down to 17% from 23%. Good muscle tone retention with continued training. All body weight exercise reps up substantially.

I believe that my entire digestive tract has been rejuvenated during the past four months. I imagine that over the course of the accumulative 60 days of fasting, all the lesions, tears, cuts and abrasions that were present in my digestive tract have been healed naturally. Put another way, any particles that were leaking into my bloodstream, no longer do so. My digestive tract is now as good as it was when I was twenty years old. Furthermore, any inflammation in my body has been reduced.

Total cost of treatment: $0.

The ramifications are immense. A quick search on the Internet will show that these symptoms, or variations of them, are very common amidst the general population. Sensitivity to greasy food and spicy food are often simply attributed to aging. When Western medicine doesn’t have a cure or explanation for a digestive tract issue, it is often explained away as IBS. After my own experience, I now strongly believe that anyone experiencing any of these symptoms or other digestive issues could greatly benefit from trying alternate day fasting.