So after last Monday’s experiment with calorie restriction, I have some thoughts.
First- it was far easier than I thought it would be.
Second- I felt great. I felt great the next day too. In fact, I had a visible change in my body after one day of fasting. My flesh was less puffy looking. I really do believe that the body kicked into survival mode and chewed on pockets of stuff I’d been storing and that I shed some excess unpleasantness from my body. I weighed the same as before I started, and that is fine; I’m not doing this for weight loss. I repeat:
I am not doing this for weight loss.
By the end of last Monday I had consumed 454 calories. To put that into perspective, according to trusted online health sources, I should – at my height, frame, and age – be consuming 1300 calories per day to maintain my weight. That’s right – 1300. I am petite, 40, and only 5’3″ in height. I do not require a large amount of fuel for my lifestyle or body type. That I consumed 454 calories last Monday is not starving, I was satisfied, and not hungry. What it did do is throw the switch on my IGF-1 growth hormones and I began rebuilding cells, not producing more. This is a good thing. If you haven’t seen the Michael Mosley programme, then this IGF-1 mention won’t mean anything to you, and you may not understand why I’m doing this. Suffice it to say, I have my reasons, and it has to do with my brain and body, not weight and vanity.
Fast-forward to this week. Neil, Pete and I all undertook a two day calorie restriction fast as part of a 5:2 week. That’s five days of normal eating, two days of restricted intake. We all managed it, though Pete didn’t take as much care as he probably should’ve and perhaps fasted a little unevenly.
I weighed myself before and after the two days. Same weight. That’s fine. How did I feel after Monday’s 479 calories and Tuesday’s 534? Not bad. Monday was a little rough as I had done a bit of indulgent drinking of alcohol the night before (not to grand excess or drunkenness, but I shouldn’t have had so many servings). Tuesday was fine. I did go over 500 calories on Tuesday and probably shouldn’t have, but I’m not punishing myself over it.
Wednesday, I returned to normal eating. In fact, I kinda ate more than I should’ve, especially after being so keenly aware of what I was putting into my body for two days. I didn’t pig out, but I certainly didn’t pay attention to calories. This morning I woke to a surprise: My body looks slimmer in the same less-puffy way I was experiencing last week after a day of fasting, and after weighing myself, I went down from 125 to 123.8 pounds. My metabolism is more efficient. My body is processing things better. I am not storing rubbish in my skin. If these are the effects I can see and report on, I am very interested in what is happening with my IGF-1 hormones.
I’m going to continue this for awhile. The next fast is Monday and Tuesday again and I’m looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to doing what I can to keep alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer away. I’m looking forward to my body working more efficiently. I can do this. I will do what I can to help avoid taking pills as I get older. This is within my control and it feels pretty good to take charge.
If you’d like to know more about this calories restriction thing, I’m not your expert. Watch the Horizon programme and do some research. I’m on a journey, and if you want to try it, that’s up to you.
I’ll probably post about my experience with this again.