Mar 10, 2013 Weight Loss
So, I’m always reluctant to report on 1st week weight loss w/a new plan. I know it’s not indicative of what’s to come. But…5lbs. #FastDay
— SelfishMom (@SelfishMom) March 10, 2013
I tweeted that this morning. I’d weighed myself first thing, but wasn’t going to make it public, because I think it gives people a false sense of what realistic weight loss is. The first week I start a new eating plan I always lose a bunch of weight. I eat less salt, I drink more water, and all of the fluid my body has been holding on to floods out. So, of the five pounds I lost over the last six days (OK, technically 4.8), how much of it was water? I have no idea. I’d be happy to be able to sustain a loss of one pound per week. I’d be ecstatic at two pounds. But at the very least, seeing the scale move that much in one week is motivating. So I decided to make it public. I’m sure that next week’s results will be a much better gauge of what will happen long-term.
Eating only 500 calories two days a week, based on this book, was responsible for most of the actual weight loss. The first fast day was tough. While I felt very good physically, I spent all day thinking about the food I wasn’t eating. Oddly enough, the second fast day was the opposite: for most of the day I wasn’t hungry and didn’t really think about food much, but I had a headache and a weird feeling in my stomach. I ended the day with a giant plate of sautéed veggies with Parmesan and a small Kit Kat though, and all was right with the world. (I came down with a really bad cold the next day and, in retrospect, that was probably responsible for my weird feeling and headache.) Curious how my third fast day will go tomorrow. According to the book, they get easier and easier the longer you do them.
So what else am I doing? Last week I went into the main part of my new plan a little bit, but I also mentioned that I was doing other things. Here’s my entire plan. And as usual, this is working for me, I’m not a doctor, I’m not saying any of this is safe, do at your own risk, consult your own doctor, yada yada yada.
Two Days a Week:
I eat 500 calories a day, between noon and 8pm. I find that once I start eating I want to eat more, so waiting to eat until noon is actually a bit easier for me. The book also indicates that the longer you wait to eat on fast days, the more benefit you get. The benefits of fasting don’t really kick in until you’ve gone without food for at least ten hours, so the longer you can wait to eat on that fast day, the better.
Five Days a Week:
I don’t start eating until twelve hours after I finished eating the night before. I’ve basically restricted eating to between 8am and 8pm. Since I get up at six on weekdays, this has been a little annoying, but has basically eliminated one meal a day – I used to sometimes eat breakfast with my son and then again a couple hours later with my daughter. Additionally it encourages me to stop eating at a reasonable time at night, since I know I don’t want to delay breakfast the next day.
Finish breakfast with a chocolate-based dessert. This one has some good science behind it. I’d tried it before, but combined with calorie counting it caused me to use up too many calories early in the day. Now I’m no longer making it part of a 600 calorie breakfast, just adding it my normal breakfast – say, an English muffin with butter and half a cupcake, or half of an egg-and-cheese bagel and a Kit Kat. This one is hard to quantify, but I think I’ve been finding it easier not to overeat at dinner. And I love having dessert so early. It’s also worth noting that not once was I tempted to have a second dessert later.
I eat an apple and a salad. Why? Because even though I really enjoy apples and salads, I would never ever choose them over, say, a bag of potato chips, unless of course I had some kind of external rule telling me I have to. This is just how my brain works. So, by requiring myself to eat an apple and a salad each day, I’m probably giving up something that would be much worse for me. Banning foods would just make me want them more, so this is a sneakier way of eating healthy. By the way, for the salad, I’ve put no restrictions on it. It can be big, small, full of blue cheese dressing, in place of a meal, or as a snack. So far they’ve all been Greek salads, because that’s what I like.
Get at least eight hours of sleep. Many studies have shown that people who get enough sleep tend to weigh less. Whether that’s because thin people make better choices, or sleep actually aids in weight loss, or not being exhausted helps you make better eating choices, I have no idea. But there’s really no downside to getting enough sleep.
Drink 40 ounces of water. For most people this would just be automatic, but I really really hate water. I hate it with lemon in it, I hate it all the other ways people tell me I’ll like it. And while 40 ounces isn’t a huge amount, it’s enough to make me feel like I’m not dehydrated.
Take Fucothin three times a day. Fucothin is a seaweed supplement recommended by Dr. Oz. Trials of the active ingredient – fucoxanthin – found up to a 23% increase in metabolism, despite the fact that fucoxanthin is not a stimulant and caused no adverse side effects in test subjects. The downside is that it takes anywhere from five to sixteen weeks to build up in your system before you’ll see any benefit, so this one is definitely not contributing to my weight loss yet. However, now that I’m forty, my metabolism needs all the boosting it can get. I’m taking one Fucothin three times a day, and am going to work up to taking three of them three times a day. Considering also taking the other two supplements recommended by Dr. Oz. I trust him.
Get hungry, and stop eating when full!!! Doing the opposite of this is how I got this way in the first place. I like to eat as soon as I feel even a tiny bit hungry, and I don’t stop until I’m past full, all the way to stuffed. I’m happy to say that thanks to the combination of things I did this week, I didn’t overeat at all. Not once. That’s a big deal for me.
I definitely ate less this week on the non-fast days. I wasn’t keeping track (which is the whole point), but I could just tell. Was it because of the dessert-for-breakfast thing? Was I filling myself up with water and apples and salads? Was I just so happy to be able to eat more than 500 calories that I didn’t need as much as usual? Did my stomach actually shrink on the fast days? No idea. But whatever it was, so far so good.
I’ve lost weight before. The key is to see how long I can keep this up. Week two, here I come!
Some additional articles on intermittent fasting you might find helpful:
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Tags: Weight Loss