Time certainly passes by quickly. Although, when I first began this 5:2 journey, it seemed as though the days passed ever so slowly. Now the fasting days arrive and pass with nary a thought; it has become a way of life. Granted, some fasting days are easier than others but in general, they have lost their daunting aura.
Having been alternately fasting for four and one-half months, I have taken certain liberties. These liberties include certain variations on the theme. According to Dr. Mosley’s version of the 5:2, I should consume 500-600 kcal twice a week. His recommendation is to do this on Monday and Thursday. Well, just as I rarely follow recipes, I began to play, tweak if you will, this 5:2 concept. At first I followed this prescription to the letter and strictly ate between 500 and 600 kcals, with the occasional dip below 500 and the rare occurrence of exceeding 600 (this happened twice). This pattern continued for about ten weeks and shortly after that I discovered that eating this much was slightly forced. What I mean by forced is that I consumed 1/3C of brown rice with dinner, simply to raise my caloric intake. I soon dropped the rice. It wasn’t long until eating between 300-400 kcals, on fasting days, became the norm. This continued for around eight weeks, until I read about liquid only fasts. The first two liquid only fasts began the day with a cup of black coffee, followed only by water. These fasts quickly progressed (or digressed) to include water only, which were the sum of the last five fasting days. Doing water only fasts have been easier than planning, weighing, measuring, and counting calories, for me anyway. And as I have previously written, the feelings of hunger are virtually indistinguishable from days when I was restricting calories.
What I was hoping to accomplish by water only fasting was an increased drop in weight. I have found this to not be the case. If there are any other internal results from liquid fasting, I will continue to search the web to find them. In the mean time, I’ll continue with water only fasting until I tire of it. This may be coming sooner than later, because I am already thinking of preparing fasting meals (soups and such), on feed days, so heating the fasting meal is all the preparation required. Thinking ahead, I might go through the month of September with water, then switch to the prepared meal variation. We’ll see what happens and then to which variation is ultimately adhered to. I still have the 16:8 to try.
Now it’s on to why most of us picked this up in the first place, the scale. As with any diet, this instrument can be either friend or foe, depending upon those three numbers shown to us. These numbers reflect so many things, from our commitment and self-discipline to our over-indulgence and self-destruction. Weighing in weekly has some definite psychological pros and cons. The pros, in this instant gratification life we lead, can show a drop of 1, 2 or more kilos. With these results, we are elated. Conversely, when we enter a seemingly endless plateau or God forbid gain 500g, the depression that accompanies can be simply overwhelming and quite devastating. I am thankful to have graphed my weight loss progression, because we can easily get caught up looking at the trees instead of stepping back to look at the forest. Now, as I stare blankly at a tree, the results of today’s weigh-in shows a paltry 270g loss. As I said, fasting with only water, I expected more. While an accomplishment nonetheless, it can still be frustrating at such a slow pace. It is now that I need to step back and take a holistic look at my weight loss. When I first stepped on the scale at the beginning of this 5:2 experience, I was a whopping 146.6kg. Twenty-one weeks later, I am a whopping 132.4kg. While there is still plenty to lose, there has been a 14.2kg loss in my weight. What’s better yet, I don’t feel desperate at how this weight is going to stay off. 5:2 is literally a life saver.
As always, feel free to post a comment. While I may not always respond, I read each and every one. They are a welcome and much needed encouragement. A special thanks goes to Juliana. Your encouragement here and your insightful (and often comical) posts on the 52fastdiet.co.uk site have proven to be positively refreshing.
See you next week.