Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Post-fast weight remains steady

It is 12 days since I last fasted for 5 days, consuming only small meals supplied by USC's School of Gerontology.  I have returned to 'normal' food - although my new norm is an almost entirely vegan diet, with fish - usually salmon - twice a week. Persuaded by the argument that a low protein (about 60g/day for me) plant protein diet is far better for my long-term health, I have abandoned my beloved dairy products and chicken meals.  I will continue for at least a year to make a realistic assessment of its impact on my overall health.  I will continue to fast, periodically. A key factor will be what it does to my cholesterol levels (currently slightly high) and systolic blood pressure over the long term. 

Crucially, I have maintained the weight loss achieved during the last 5-day fast. I am still at about 172 lbs with a BMI of 24.0.  Unlike during the clinical trial - when volunteers were not given specific instructions on what to eat between fasting cycles - I have made a concerted effort to eat clean and intelligently to try to maintain a steady weight.  This is been achieved largely through skipping lunch - or at least consuming only a small snack between breakfast and dinner.  My default snack is about 200 calories of almonds and raisins. 

It has been easy, so far - especially now that I have adopted a routine. Planning my day is much easier, knowing that 'lunch' is contained in a tiny box in my backpack.  During the afternoon I experience hunger pangs but also the increased mental alertness that I have become so familiar with. Most days I consume fewer calories than I burn. This allows me occasionally to share lunch with a friend or go out to dinner, without counting calories.  It all balances out during the week.