I’ve had some questions about my intermittent fasting program. The bottom line is I am sticking with it but there are some things I should say.
If you are interested in trying intermittent fasting, first you should shift your diet to food. Food before fasting!
What do I mean by that?
Pastor Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life and has done very well with that and subsequent books. What he has not done well is lived a health-driven life. He was too round. Go to image.google.com and check him out. Laaarge guy, wouldn’t you say? He has started a program called “The Daniel Plan,” named after the Old Testament prophet, Daniel, who abstained from the rich (non-Kosher!) foods the king of Babylon offered. Instead he ate mostly vegetables and legumes. This is sometimes called “The Daniel Fast” in that you abandon all your rich, tasty foods and eat very simply. If you are curious, check out Warren’s website, http://danielplan.com. He says he has lost 35 pounds so far. You may think that is like throwing a deck chair off the Queen Mary, but I think at least he is headed in the right direction.
Weight Watchers has shifted to a more Mediterranean style of eating, and the DASH diet also emphasizes lots of veggies. What you notice in all these diets is an absence of sugar. We eat LOTS of sugar in our processed-foods diet, and lots of salt. Not good.
The Paleo diet is another example of a healthier eating plan. It emphasizes NO GRAINS or legumes, but rather meat and vegetables. The idea is to eat the way cave men ate. So you are giving up bread and other easy carb sources. I haven’t tried it. Not low fat, the idea being that sugar and simple carbs are the enemy of health, not fats. That seems to have solid research backing it up.
The South Beach Diet is a Mediterranean style diet that also cuts back on grains, and emphasizes lots of vegetables. Somewhat low carb, not low fat. That is what I lean to most.
What Warren now preaches is to avoid all processed, ready-made foods. “If it grows on a plant, eat it. If it is made in a plant, avoid it,” he says. Obviously that eliminates drinks except water.
Once you have successfully rid your diet of anything “made in a plant” you will likely start to lose weight quickly. Food egghead Michael Polan calls that “real food,” as contrasted with “food like substances.” I had good success with that. Alexander Green, a financial analyst, says he has lost 10% of his weight with a whole foods diet. Here is his report:
Here is the article before:
So there is much to be gained without fasting. I did it to impact my blood sugar. If you check your fasting blood sugar and find it in the low range, there is no obvious reason to pursue fasting. But if your blood sugar is high, you may want to try the fasting approach. It has been not very helpful to me, but some people report good success. This morning, my blood glucose was 87, which is better than it has been (around 100). But I have been doing this for more than a couple of months, so I would have thought I’d see more progress by now.
I still ought to lose another 10 pounds. If I do my intermittent fasting three times a week, my weight stays below 180, but I’d like it to be around 170, a number I haven’t seen for perhaps 25 or 30 years. So I have added something new. I have been writing down a goal every day: exercise for twenty minutes, since throughout my life I have generally only exercised two or three times a week. I am following the Cross Fit plan. http://crossfit.com/ has a daily challenge. I generally have to scale it down significantly.
Another exercise program is interval training, where you work very hard for thirty seconds or a minute and then work easy for a minute to recover. Start with six cycles and work up to ten. I have been doing that two times a week, either running or biking (stationary bike). What is interesting is now I can exercise on a day when I am fasting (no food until supper) and I feel just fine. It continually amazes me how well I have accommodated to fasting. Today I did my cross fit training, and now it is close to noon, and I feel perfectly well.
I do not recommend any of this to anyone. I want to share what I am doing, and how it is working. Your mileage may vary.