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

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.