Monday, June 17, 2019

Slimming Sunday - OMAD

Yes, a stroopwafel on my coffee is allowed.
I waited a day before writing this post (you may have noticed that it's Monday) because I wanted to see the effect of eating an enormous falafel in laffa (a large chewy flat bread) with all the trimmings (8 falafel balls, humus, salad, fried aubergine, pickles, and chips) for my one meal a day.

Here's the story so far. I did intermittent fasting for the five weeks between April 28th and June 2nd. I aimed for 20 hours of fasting a day and, with the help of a motivating phone app (Fasti), I managed it on most days. There were at least five days when I went over 24 hours without food but it averaged out to about 20 hours a day throughout the month. Even with a couple of days not doing it at all and about 6 days of only managing between 14 and 19 hours of fasting, I lost 12 lbs (5.5 kg).

Then came summer. The first week of June I was doing great until Wednesday. On Thursday I went to a wedding and the following weekend was the festival of Shavuot which, being a Jewish Holiday, involved a number of festive meals. I dreaded standing on the scales after all that, but in fact I only put back on 2 lbs.

If you read/watch all the all the information on IT (Intermittent Fasting) it seems that doing intermittent fasting just intermittently can be beneficial. Reducing your insulin levels drastically a few times a week has a good effect. Hence the success of the 15:2 diet. However, I read that even fasting for a day once a month is good for you. I'm purposely staying clear of any scientific explanations here as I'm bound to get it wrong, I'm not a doctor or a scientist, and you can find out everything you need to know online.

Anyway, back to my experience. It was June 9th and I'd put back 2 lbs of the 12 I'd lost. I'd lost the momentum of fasting for most of the day because the wedding and some festival meals are served late at night and then there were the festival lunches...

There was also a slight problem with the 20 hour goal with no time constraints. If you eat after 20 hours every day, your eating window gets earlier and earlier. I managed to adjust it by going for a full 24 hours every few days but that was when I was in school till 3 pm four days a week. Now I'm mostly working from home so it's a lot harder to hold out. (I can see the fridge from where I'm sitting now.)

Thus, I decided to fine tune the IT and say no eating until 4 pm. And then I have OMAD (one meal a day.) I don't have to eat that meal at 4 pm and I usually don't eat until 5.30 or 6. If I'm going out on a Friday night the meal is usually a bit later. If I get an invitation to a Shabbat lunch I'll make an exception. Luckily there are no festivals coming up.

So far, only a week following this new (new for me) patent, I've been eating mostly a big salad for my one meal. However, I have been known to finish off the pasta I made for DD or eat the leftover slice(s) of pizza. I had some hesitation about a spot of dessert after the salad but I often went for it. It was usually a Danish pastry or a Stroopwafel with my coffee. The point is to make the one meal big and filling enough (without stuffing yourself to the gills) to get you through the evening without craving more food. However, if I do need to finish off some pasta or pizza (because it would be rude not to) I make sure I do it before 8 pm.

The scales have been going down slowly but steadily all week.

Yesterday evening I had a school event so I told DD I'd bring falafel home for supper. Mine was the enormous laffa described above. It must be 1,500 calories. I didn't have any dessert. And this morning the scales were down again.

It takes a leap of faith to allow yourself all the foods that have been forbidden on traditional weight-loss diets for the past 40 years. But it seems that it works. I won't be eating laffas every day. I shall return to my salads for the most part and only have dessert when it's there, which is occasionally.

Two weeks into June I'm still on track.


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