For those new to my blog, I should start by saying that I have tried A LOT of diets. I think I am always looking for that magic pill that will quickly remove the weight and make me stop eating anything that will make me fat. I know, eat less and move more. It works. But for me (and others) who are emotional eaters (or overweight for that matter), it usually isn’t about knowing what to eat. I know (and have for a very long time) that I eat when I get stressed, bored or sad.
Another thing I have found, once I have done a diet (meaning I lost weight and was successful on it) I usually cannot do it again. This rule has been true but I still go back to Weight Watchers and count my points or every few years go back to Jenny Craig for pre-made food. So now several years after the HCG diet, I am back at a weight I am not comfortable with.
My father had been doing the Fast Diet for six months and lost a lot of weight. He looks great. He loves it. He started it because he was concerned about his blood sugar and now his blood work shows he is very healthy.
I want to get healthy. I have gotten to the point now in life it isn’t just about how I look but more about how I feel. Do I have the energy I need to do all the things I want to do (and have to do).
So, I decided to read the book: The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting by Michael Mosley. I bought it on Kindle. Super quick read. A large part of the book is recipes (which I don’t understand – but more on that later).
I started the next day.
What is the Fast Diet?
You do not starve yourself. You eat, but in moderation and with a few “rules”.
The basis of the diet is that two days a week (not consecutive) you “fast”. For women that means you have 500 calories and for men it is 600. According to the book you will eat breakfast and then 12 hours later have dinner, dividing your allotted calories between these two meals. This is not a drop pounds fast diet. It is a slow process.
On the non-fast days (which some call feast) you can eat normal.
I did this for about 2 weeks. I was feeling a little better but wasn’t down. So I started to do some online research. What I found was a lot of variations of the diet and suggestions. I found that I was probably eating too much on the non-fast days (I really was feasting), I was not exercising and I was obsessed with food.
So I made a few changes and feel like I have found a program I can do for life. The great thing about this “diet” or lifestyle as I like to say, is that you can always start up again or modify as you need. There are no forbid foods. Once you hit your goal you go to one fast day a week. After a lot of research I found that some women did better to lose weight with three fast days or alternate fast days and then go to two days to maintain. I think each person has to figure out what works for them.
My “Adjustments” to the Fast Diet or How I Do the Fast Diet
The program I have been following the past two months has been to fast for two days a week. I usually fast Monday and Thursday. I also found that eating one 500 calorie meal a day between 2-3 works best for me. I am not hungry in the morning and found it hard to eat early enough to have dinner 12 hours later. So I eat a low-glycemic meal and I stay full the rest of the day. I drink a lot of water, herbal tea and coffee in the morning.
I adjust my fast day based on my schedule. If I have a party or event then I will just move my fast day. I suggest having at least 2 days between the fast days unless you are doing alternative fast days. I find that I only need two days a week and then on non-fast days I use My Fitness Pal to track my calories so I stick to 2,000 on those days. I found that I was overdoing on some of the non-fast days so this helps me when I have a lot going on or might be working at home and tempted to over eat.
I also found weekends are a trap for overeating for me so some weeks I might fast on Sunday. It is a day we take it easy and for me it is easy to fast that day. You really need to figure out what works best for you.
Surprising Discoveries on the Fast Diet
I think one of the best things about this “diet” is my new recognition of hunger and the mental game I play with food.
On fast days I might start craving something or thinking about food I love. I remind myself I can have it tomorrow – and as much as I want. Then the next day I don’t want to eat the double cheese burger or mexican food I was craving & dreaming about. I tend to eat less on the non fast days if I track what I eat. I don’t crave junk food and feel better.
The second thing, and biggest thing for me, is I am learning what real hunger feels like. I am learning what bored eating and emotional eating feels/looks like.
Going up to 16 hours without eating I know that when I eat at noon and then at 1 I am “hungry” that it is not real hunger. Doing the fast diet I feel like I am in better touch with food choices, amount I eat and how often I eat. I realized I am more of a grazer. I tend to eat a little all day long. Especially on the days I am working from home or on weekends when the kids and I are just hanging around the house.
There are a few things that I do and think would be helpful for others with work and busy families that could help you lose weight and meet your weight loss goals using the fast diet.
- Do not go grocery shopping on fast days, unless it is right after you have eaten.
- Plan your fast day meals ahead. Know what 500 calorie meal or two 250 calorie meals you will eat.
- Watch out for high carb meals, you burn through the sugar fast and then you will be hungry or have cravings.
- Monitor your “feast” days that you are not over indulging. For me, happy hour or wine with some friends – well the calories can add up fast if I am not watching. I just plan to have a healthy breakfast and lunch on days I know I am going out for dinner. If it is a really busy week I will track my calories with MyFitnessPlan or count weight watcher points (since I have them memorized).
- Don’t forget to exercise. Even if it is just 20min a day. Aim for 5 days a week. Get a monitor so you can track how much you are moving.
- Weigh daily. I know, this is one that people always say is a bad idea. I have a wireless scale that tracks my weight. I just jump on in the morning. I use the app from the scale to see the overall trend for my weight and I do NOT dwell on the day to day changes. With the Fast Diet your weight will jump every day. Up – Down – Up – Down. It is crazy so I cannot spend much energy tracking. Let technology do it for you.
My Fast Diet Cheat Sheet
I found a few things that work really well for me.
- I live in Texas, so we have a chain known as My Fit Foods. These are pre-made meals based on the low-glycemic index. This means that they tend to “stick with you” a little longer than a high sugar meal.
- Instead of meeting a friend for coffee on fast days, I will go to a restaurant about 3pm. I find places online before that have the calories listed on the menu. At Brio there is a great 5oz filet with grilled veggies for just under 400 calories. It’s such an amazing treat and can still have a fun time with a friend or during a business meeting.
- Plan the family meals on your feast days. This way if you need to make dinner for everyone else and you are not eating, you will not be tempted to take a bite. Make something on the feast days or get take out. My favorite thing is to get the rotisserie chickens so that they are already done and I can have dinner ready in seconds.
I have also just finished reading the 10- Day detox and plan to try that soon, just to see how sensitive I really am to those “bad” foods. More to come on that.