Coming into the holiday period, with far more social engagements popping up than is usual, it is going to be tough over the next few weeks to fit in the requisite fast days so D and I are being relatively easygoing about it. We always knew that this initial stab was going to be experimental and, potentially, shortlived but it has also most definitely proved worthwhile.
Here is what we have learned so far:
Fasting is hard, but not impossible. Sticking to high protein foods such as eggs (D has been eating a lot of hard boiled eggs) and low calorie / high volume items such as cherry tomatoes (surprisingly low for a great, sweet, toothsome return) and keeping well hydrated are essential.
We thought that we would want to “spend” most of our calories on a substantial evening meal, however, on the days where supper happened to come in at less than 200 calories (usually when we’re sharing a tub of fresh soup) that bit of additional flexibility has been most welcome. So we’re going to try and aim for 200 calories or thereabouts in the evening. Soup is perfect for this, if you can get past craving a chunk of bread and butter on the side.
Weight loss is not a given, however much you think you deserve it after two days of feeling a bit cold, hungry and grumpy. We were both slightly up last week despite successfully completing two days of fasting. What you do on non-fast days is just as important as what you do on the fasting ones.
So this is the plan for version 2.0 commencing in January:
A food diary apiece. Keeping accountable, even if it just to a pretty notebook, of what we eat every day will hopefully stop too much extra creeping in. The odd treat is fine, but a non-fast day is not an excuse to pig out. And balance is vital – if you’re having a more indulgent meal than usual (hello, chicken tartiflette) then keep the rest of the day simple and light. It’s just common sense.
And talking of treats, it is especially noticeable this time of year how easy it is to drink your way through excess calories. We both like a tipple or five but we are cutting right back.
One thing that is vital - planning and preparation on fast days. Everything needs to be in place so that we don’t have to think and we don’t have to rely on purchasing food items on the hop.
And exercise – a dirty word as far as I’m concerned but one that I need to get to grips with (how many times have I said that on this blog over the years?) Lesley is doing amazingly well at the moment with little more than a FitBit and a pair of dogs. I don’t think Minx would appreciate being taken for a walk but I have a FitBit that I can dust off and I have a treadmill in the garage so there is no excuse for not upping my steps and getting a bit more active. D has even challenged me to run a 10k by the end of 2017!
I’m really pleased to have a clear plan of action for after the holidays, and also that these last few weeks have seen me shave off a few pounds – not much, by any means, but a start. I have a roadmap in my pocket and I’m going to enjoy Christmas with a clear view of what I need to do once it is all over.