Diet, next step

The next ‘phase’ of the diet (actually just another diet, but much less intense than the last one) will probably be an amalgamation of the Eat Stop Eat diet, but with cheat days, similar to the program I just finished.

The Eat Stop Eat ‘plan’ is basically eating what normal healthy food you eat, but you  fast for 1 or 2 24-hr periods during the week – there’s an e-book you can buy that explains the science behind it, but that is literally the whole plan. It’s called ‘Intermittent Fasting’, or ‘IF’ to abbreviate.

Each week I’ll weigh myself, figure out my calorie needs to maintain my weight, then eat what I need on non-fasting days, and on the days I fast I just won’t have anything but non-calorie drinks, so I’ll be operating at a slight calorie deficit over the course of the week.

I’ve read through some other diet programs, ideas and sites (the ones without loads of salesy marketing garbage), and many of these advocate intermittent fasting (shortened to IF) as well as occasional cheat days – usually once a week. The cheat days, as I think I’ve explained before, boost various hormone levels and ‘trick’ your body into raising the levels of these hormones (insulin and leptin), which make your body burn off calories (if I’m remembering the literature right, I’m no expert).

In addition, now that I’m used to fasting for a day or two at a time on this ‘xtreme’ diet I can do it once or twice a week easily, and the IF folks say there’s a definite advantage to working out while fasted. I think I could do it from Sunday 8 PM to Monday 8 PM easily, since that is when I usually say bye to my GF, and then from Thursday 8 PM to Friday 8 PM, since Friday is usually when I next see my GF, so it works out socially and all, as well. The cheat day could be Sundays (Sunday roast and junk food during the Grand Prix) or Wednesdays when I do my D&D gaming and there’s usually lots of crisps and wine gums.

(By the way, another intermittent fasting plan is the Warrior Diet, which consists of snacking on fruit and veg during the day but having nothing else but water, then at night, have a massive meal of anything healthy that you want until you’re comfortably full. Combine this with heavy workouts and you’re doing the Warrior Diet. But some people have trouble with the Warrior Diet and think it can lead to eating junk to fill you up, when you’re supposed to eat healthy stuff, but still carbs. The same problem can happen with Eat Stop Eat, where you might trick yourself into eating a big meal at the end of your 24-hr fast – you’re just supposed to eat a normal-size dinner of 600-1000 calories.)

So the idea is that if you follow up a high-carb cheat day with a hard workout and a short fasting period you burn off lots of calories – and hopefully fat as well.

Hopefully I’ll lose half a kilo to a kilo per week by simply eating normal healthy food, fasting once or twice a week, and working out 3 times a week.

Finally, now that I ‘know’ I can wake up early and work out, then shower and go to work (just like how I’ve cycle commuted 16mi to work twice in a row so I ‘know’ it can be done – basically just confidence I can do it), I should be able to do this once or twice a week as needed, when I don’t have time in the evenings. That was I can get in 3 workouts a weeks and have proper rest days between them and everything.

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