Just lately - because Doctor Mosley's book was recently released - there has been a flurry of interest in what we Brits are doing - diet-wise - from across the pond in lard country aka the U S of A. Mostly their reaction is that we're totally barking:
'During those 500-calorie days, you probably won’t be doing much of anything except sleeping. You'll be light-headed, anxious, shaky, dizzy and super tired -- Imagine what you are like when you eat lunch late and multiply that by 100. You definitely shouldn't drive, operate machinery, take care of young children, perform surgery or basically anything else that might put yourself and others at risk. You might pass out! And even if you don't, your body doesn’t have enough energy (calories) to let your body function properly.'
Yeah, right ... this was obviously written by someone who lives with a burger in one hand and a super-sized coke in the other lest they miss out on a few calories ... I can say this with impunity, they rubbished us, I'm getting my own back ;)
What is it with Americans and their desire to be fat ... And no-one must dare to suggest they miss a meal. American news sites and their associated diet advisers are dire! They MUST be on the take somehow.They've been telling us how to eat for decades and when we did as we were told, we got fatter ... how does this STILL make them right and give them the right to tell anyone how they should eat?
Well, it's like this ... dieting is big business. Anyone who comes along and rocks the dieting boat by declaring that - 'You don't need to go and be weighed weekly and be told that you're fat ... and you're not going to get thin by paying us lots of dosh and eating our dreadful processed meals' - is going to be regarded as either a total barmpot or a charlatan. Fasting can't possibly work ... they can't make any money out of us, they'd rather we went away and kept quiet.
We've even been told by nutritionists and diet gurus that we must eat little and often (six meals a day) to keep our metabolism going. Yes it keeps it going all right, it also keeps insulin production up. Once we've done growing our bodies need a rest from constantly digesting food. We're not really built for grazing because we're not ruminants!
Anyhoooo, despite all the warnings that we're obviously completely off our collective rockers, Americans have joined our ADF Facebook group at a very fast rate since the publication of the book. Not only that, I get far more 'hits' on my blog on this subject from America than anywhere else in the world. Australia creeps in second place. It must also be noted that the basis of this 'diet' has been adapted from experiments done in the USA, but apparently we in Britain are far more gullible and ready to jump in and have a go ... we're also considerably lighter now :D
We've now been told - by them that know - that fasting isn't safe for women. Now, to me this is a grey area. I will NOT pooh pooh any proper medical advice given on this, because they may have a point, especially with women who want to have children sometime soon. Hormone fluctuations seem to be a real side effect of fasting and I think we should take this into consideration if we're going to fast more than two days a week. However, have they actually proven this to be the case or is it yet another way of making us conform to the established way of dieting that makes someone else rich?
And now we come to me: It's no secret that I've been perimenopausal for a few years now. Things came to an abrupt stop on my last birthday (6th November). I had hot flushes through December to late February when they too stopped - just like that.
Well, methinks, if this is menopause; it's a doddle. Hmmm, yes, but not the doddle I thought. Over the last few weeks I'd tried experimenting with two sets of double down days every other week (yeah, yeah, broken promises blah, blah blah), making me seven up and seven down a fortnight, so true ADF with a twist.
By the Thursday night of my second set of DDD's I had a visitation, and I don't mean in any biblical sense. Chuffin Nora, but it was unpleasant, five months totally without and this happens. Worse still, I never can eat much during this time or I'm in agony with windy bloat as well as the cramps.
This was not the best way to end my week of extra 'fasting'. I decided that any signs - as these news sites reported - of being weak and faint then the only sensible option I had was to take a week off and eat sensibly and healthily every day. Someone as tough as old boots like me going all delicate - pathetic isn't it? ... Or would have been. As it happened I was fine, I just lost no weight.
Anyway it set me to thinking 'why did this happen? Why now? I know the road to menopause is rocky but I had to wonder at all these warnings about our hormones and the consequences of fasting.
So I contemplated my - recent - past diet, what had changed? Well, Asda stopped doing the warm salad I had three days a week, these consisted of chicken, leaves, butternut squash, peppers, potatoes, courgettes, endemame beans, broccoli (depending on which flavour I chose; there were three) plus a dressing which came out at approx 200 cals.
I decided to do my own version with the leaves, low calorie dressing, chicken and prawns. I was angelic as ever and weighed and counted calories in everything. But because I was DIYing and didn't bulk out the salad with many calories, I had more chicken - thus my protein intake almost trebled on my 3 or 4 down days.
Checking back through my food diary and my hot sweaty lady calendar, there does seem to be some correlation in losing the hot moments shortly after upping the protein. Now I know almost absolutely nothing about how our bodies work, I'm just going on my own observations and notes, which is what I promised to do when I started this experiment.
I will cut down on the protein and try to get a happy balance or I know I will be drifting into Atkins country without meaning to - been there, done that, had the smelly breath. It was an awful diet and totally unsustainable for a - then - vegetarian. I didn't lose a lot of weight but I did start eating meat again, so both me and the animals have got a lot to thank Dr Atkins for.
I've got lots of milestones coming up over the next nine pounds:
- Three and half stone lost.
- 50lb lost.
- My weight in stones starting with a fresh - smaller - number.
- 25% of my bodyweight gone.
- 4 stones lost.
- Target weight.
- The lightest I've been since my school days.
Best of all though is the knowledge that I'll never be fat again by continuing to follow ADF maintenance ...
- Me and Alternate Day Fasting
- Me and Alternate Day Fasting ... Three Weeks On
- Five Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
- Eight Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
- Ten Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
- Alternate Day Fasting Three Months On
- Alternate Day Fasting in Winter
- Alternate Day Fasting Over Christmas
- Me and Zumba
- Saying Goodbye To My Curves
- Eight Months Of Alternate Day Fasting And Me
- Growing Up
- A Year Of Alternate Day Fasting
- 60 Pounds Of Blubber - Vanished
- The Perils of Alternate Day Fasting
- Mr Grumpy Is Losing It
- Mr Grumpy Has Lost It
- Fasting For Maintenance
- Tweaking Maintenance
- Weight Gain
- Still Maintaining
- Four Years Of Intermittent Fasting