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Los Angeles, California, United States
Hello and welcome to my website. I am a British-born, naturalized American, living in California. Based in Los Angeles, I work as a correspondent for BBC television, radio and digital outlets, covering everything from US politics and world affairs to technology, natural disasters and Hollywood. I also host the Live Long and Master Aging (LLAMA) podcast. My special interest is the science of human longevity - food, fasting, exercise and long-term health. All views expressed reflect my personal experiences. I advise anyone considering adopting a new diet or fitness regime to first consult with their doctor. Links on this site are to my personal portfolio of audio, video and text. Copyright of broadcast works remain with the BBC and LLAMA podcast content with Healthspan Media LLC. Thanks for the visit!

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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. 

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