Take it from a food addict, if we could live without food, we probably would. The addiction can be so overwhelming sometimes, we end up wishing we were addicted to more easily to give up substances. Though, also not a great alternative and using the term easily loosely as all addictions can be difficult to crack, the toll that over eating puts on our bodies and health is tremendous. It becomes a cycle of depression, comfort eating and failed diets that leave us feeling worse about ourselves. We are failures and nothing we can do will ever let us escape food. Specially in this world we live in today, where we are bombarded with food 24/7 and the insanity doesn’t seem to end. Our bellies get bigger and we become sedentary more often than not.
I’ve been reading about dieting since I was in my preteen years. I took the diet pills. I did the soup diets. I drank the disgusting concoctions my mother made for herself and I think secretly probably made for me. I have tried every diet under the sun, in every combination. One I had been avoiding but still kept hearing a lot about since last year, was intermittent fasting. I didn’t understand it and I had two parts of me divided. My food addict was telling me “you can’t possibly be thinking of being without food for even a day! you will starve! you won’t make it!” While the food addict in recovery was saying..“NO FOOD? Great! Who needs it anyway?” Well turns out, I do need food. But not as much as I think I do. Or want to think I do.
From all the books, articles, information on dieting, nutrition and the latest scientific research, we are normally left confused and hungry. But it always boils down to eating less, moving more and you should be fine. Not many of us adhere to simple moderation however – temptation is everywhere and we are overwhelmed by it all. Our whole body chemistry seems to change the more we diet and it becomes harder and harder to adhere to this golden principle. So how can we improve our health, live longer and lose the weight that is keeping us down? Intermittent fasting claims to have the answer to that.
THE FAST DIET – The secret of intermittent fasting by Michael Mosley, Mimi Spencer
This radical new approach to weight loss is the diet that everyone is talking about. It really is as simple as it sounds: you eat normally five days a week, then for just two days you cut your calories (500 for women, 600 for men). Scientific trials of Intermittent Fasting have shown that it will not only help the pounds fly off but also lower your risk of a range of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Dr Michael Mosley, the medical journalist whose BBC Horizon programme alerted the world to the Intermittent Fasting phenomenon, presents the fascinating science behind the 5:2 diet. Mimi Spencer, award-winning food and fashion writer, explains the practicalities of how to go about it. The Fast Diet also includes a calorie counter, full colour section, and a whole section of Fast 500 and Fast 600 menu plans which will enable you to incorporate this groundbreaking weight-loss system into your daily life.
I have not finished the book but I couldn’t wait to talk about it – and to try out a day fast to see if I could manage it. The premise behind fasting is simple yet much is still unknown. What is known however, is that it can have great benefits to your health and shrink your belly. One of the reasons I always end up breaking a good food day is deprivation for many days at a time. It’s a double edge sword for a food/sugar addict. We don’t want to be deprived and want to have things in moderation but when we allow ourselves some of those things we mostly end up over indulging. But I can just as easily have larger portions or second helpings of healthy foods. It isn’t about will power, it’s an addiction that leads to a downward spiral of over eating and bad choices. So, could I truly eat well for 5 days, including some of those things I know of as bad, fast for 2 days and retain my health, lose weight and live longer? Well that, my friends, is a test I am willing to undergo.
My every day diet isn’t terribly bad at the moment. I eat mostly balanced meals but I do end up indulging on sweets after many days of deprivation. Last night was the perfect example. I had avoided chocolate for a couple of weeks and eaten well all day but my husband emailed to say he had a meeting with a client and would be late. We had plans to go grocery shopping – just to replenish some things for the week. Well, I pushed my dinner back and waited and waited. He got home almost 2 hours later than usual and we barely made it to the store before they closed. What did I leave the store with? A large bar of my favorite chocolate and a frozen pizza. I gave the bell peppers a sly glance and set them down. I didn’t care two cents about vegetables or healthy eating, and I knew it! I just wanted to rip open that chocolate and dig into it. So I did. In the car. While putting away groceries and after I had eaten my giant pizza. I’m surprised there is still some left!
I kept justifying it with having worked out over 1000 calories that day and still being under my allowance by 92 calories. The truth is, I could of eaten a veggie sandwich, a salad and even a piece of fruit and been okay for the night. But as soon as something deviates from the routine my whole world comes crashing down and it is only fat and sugary treats that my brain searches for to make it all better again. Knowing this, I wonder how well I will cope with my dinner later tonight after having spent the day fasting (500 calories). So far I have drank a pot of green tea, two glasses of water and a giant mug of black tea with soy milk. I am beginning to feel those pangs of hunger and that left over chocolate bar is looking pretty good right now. Since I didn’t have breakfast, my plan is to have a low calorie chicken soup for lunch and a piece of whole wheat bread with smoked salmon for dinner (this is the heavy duty German bread, none of that fluffy wannabe whole wheat sandwich bread.) Stay tuned…
I want to be a rock star like this man. I wish I could show you the entire BBC program but all I could find were two short clips on you tube. It’s been snowing non stop since yesterday and I’m wondering if I should risk a jog outside today or not. I read for some folks it’s best to fast on a rest day that way they don’t feel the hunger pangs as much. Perhaps I can just do the strength training legs DVD today and call it done.