7 pound loss in 5 days. Keep reading….
Anyone who has read my posts recently know I did One Meal A Day (OMAD) for about 4 months during the weekdays. A few times, I had black coffee to make it a “23:1” intermittent fast. 99% of the time, I couldn’t deal with the black coffee and OMAD mostly served to restrict my calories by keeping my eating window to one hour to eat 2200 calories. Most of the time I tapped out at 1600-1800 calories. This is extremely hard to do when you aren’t eating shit foods.
My progress with weight loss started slowing down in April. I had hit 268 in April, then May 20th or so I hit 264. For a small cup of coffee, I hit 263. But I then went off of OMAD and was hitting my 2200 calories religiously, and as of this past week, my weight had crept back up to 267.
I had been hearing more and more about fasting. Having done OMAD for 4 months, I knew I could easily skip breakfast and lunch. So, I had been thisclose to doing it for a longer duration, or some variation of it, and I stumbled across something that seemed very suitable to me….
Alternate day fasting…
Big picture concept:
Day 1: Eat normal. For me, it’s 2200 calories
Day 2: Eat 500 calories at dinner. Or fast. Have black coffee or plain hot tea but nothing else.
Rinse and repeat.
I’m not a fasting guru. I’m an apprentice who was intrigued by some youtube videos and I put it away in the back of my mind. With a trip to Atlantic City this past weekend, I decided I wanted to kick off something new on the Monday after. This is what I did.
Monday (fast day) – 23:1 fast. Ate 502 calories for dinner, black coffee for breakfast. Now, if you eat garbage, 500 calories is 1 slice of pizza. And that’s just not enough. Instead, I made up chicken breasts and ate them with a massive romaine lettuce salad. I made up a few pounds and split them into 13 oz portions. Actually, they were 10 oz portions. Many people don’t realize that the weight of the meat for calories is prior to cooking. So, My 10 oz I weighed on the scale was 13 oz before cooking. Simply take the pre-cook weight and times by .75 and that’s a ballpark of what it weighs after cooking. I used lite zesty Italian dressing, one sweet tomato, and some shaved salad cheese. I cooked the chicken with paprika, chili powder, and some garlic.
Does this look like I’m starving? Hell no. I went to bed Monday night going, “I got this”. I wanted to try this for a month. One guy I watched lost 27 pounds in one month doing this. Now, I’m not looking for that, I’m just looking to get back to my 6-8 pound weight loss every month.
To add – I had a tough time doing my black coffee when I did OMAD, so I did the keto coffee. My wife got this gourmet chocolate coffee which works VERY well for black coffee. Additionally, on my regular days, I am only adding sweetener and heavy whipping cream and ditched the butter/coconut oil. This reduced my calories at breakfast by 200 calories per day.
Tuesday (feast day) – Had my chocolate coffee with sweetener and cream. Good times. I also made a green smoothie with spinach, vanilla whey protein isolate, and strawberries. Makes like 90 oz. I drank the shit out of this for breakfast. Almost 3 32 oz cups. Had to take one to drive on the way in. Recipe:
2 cups spinach
1 cup strawberries
1 scoop vanilla whey isolate protein powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
16 oz water
1 cup of ice
Lunch – Many of you might be grossed out by this, but I can’t get enough of cabbage and chicken thighs (boneless/skinless). I didn’t eat cabbage before 6 months ago, and it does smell when cooking, but what I make up tastes like the best chicken noodle soup you’ve ever had, but the cabbage replaces the noodles. I make up a big vat of it in the instant pot in 45 minutes and it makes 3 servings.
3-4 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken thighs
16 oz chicken broth
1 big head of cabbage, roughly chopped
4-5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder
On keto, you NEED lots of salt. Dr. Phinney recommends 5-7g of sodium per day. When you eat salt, it’s usually 40% sodium. Because when you are on keto, your body flushes a lot of salts, you need to ensure you are getting what you need. So, don’t go for “low sodium” chicken broth, and feel free to salt even more to taste, as the chicken/cabbage do need some healthy doses of salt for flavor. This is a LOT of food, and comes out to be about 600-700 calories and fills you for quite some time.
This is about 16 oz of chicken thighs and 1/3 head of cabbage. Put everything in the instant pot for 14 minutes. From the time you hit the button, it has to pressurize, so the total time is about 45 minutes. This makes 3 BIG portions, so if you don’t eat as much as me, this could make lunches for you for 5 days. For me, it’s 3.
Dinner on Tuesday – Taco salad! This is a big ass salad. Added avocado and sour cream. This dinner is close to 1,000 calories. I have 8 oz of grass fed ground beef with the taco mix. The taco mix is a little high on carbs, so I would prefer to make my own mix with chili powder, cumin, and salt.
Keto warning – My carbs were pretty high for this day. I’ve been on keto now for 5.5 months and my tolerance for carbs is decent, to the point if I go up to 50-70 carbs, I’m still in ketosis the next day. If you are just starting keto, or care about ketosis, scrub the breakfast smoothie. Additionally, if you took notice, I had a LOT of greens on this day. The spinach in the morning, cabbage for lunch, and iceberg lettuce for dinner have significant carbs, but have good fiber with them. I just don’t care about these carbs (for me). They don’t seem to have much of an impact with me on ketosis, but this might be a different story for you.
Weds – repeat of Monday
Thursday – repeat of Tuesday, except dinner was half of a 22oz bone-in ribeye, cauliflower mash, and green beans. The cauliflower is a cruciferous veggie, and this is good for men to drive down estrogen levels and help with the whole growth hormone thing for fast days.
Friday – black coffee for breakfast, hot tea for lunch around 2PM. No dinner. Honestly, this was the first time I ever recall not eating for a whole day. I think when I had food poisoning in my 20’s for 3 days I even ate crackers or something, but this was no food.
I have to admit, dinner time was a little challenging. I went and walked the dog for 40 minutes, then picked up my son. I went to bed at 7:45, as my energy at the end of the week was a little low. I ended up falling asleep around 8:30 and sleeping until 5:30AM. So – 9 hours of sleep.
This morning, 260.2, a net loss of 7 pounds this week and breaking my stall. I then broke my 36 hour fast with my coffee with cream. About to make up some bacon and eggs prior to my gym workout at 9:30.
Today and tomorrow my plan is to eat normal, hit my 2200 calories, then do this all over again on Monday.
Am I going to do this forever? No. But did it do what I had hoped? Yes, for now.
I’m not just “starving myself”. There’s a lot of science going on here. So much so, a Nobel prize was granted for the work on autophagy in 2016. Autophagy is the concept where the body recycles parts of weak/dead cells. Apparently, every religion has some aspect of fasting built into it. It’s the oldest form of “purifying the soul”. Well, apparently the studies found that autophagy helps stave off disease, helps resets the gut biome, and does a million other things. I’d direct you to Dr. Jason Fung on this.
But you’re going to lose all of your muscle!
In the United States, it’s been told to us for a generation you must eat every 3-4 hours or 5-6 times a day to keep your metabolism going and to keep you from losing muscle. The guy below is Thomas Delauer, one of the key voices in the keto movement who also does a lot of intermittent fasting and fasting in general. I want to ask you, do you think he’s losing muscle? By the way, he has lost 100 pounds and in some of his videos, he will show you his stretch marks. Point is – this is someone that you can point to and go – “you won’t lose muscle if you fast right”.
What a lot of the studies show is this:
- 0 muscle loss between 24-36 hours
- After 36 hours, some muscle loss
- Growth hormone kicks in and preserves protein loss, utilizes fat for energy
- When you do eat again, growth hormone helps accelerate muscle re-gain
Generally speaking, for those doing a 24-36 hour fast, there’s very small risk of losing your gains. Look at the picture above.
The “medical benefits” of autophagy start with the 1 day fasts, but they talk about perhaps doing one 72 hour fast a year to get the full benefits of anti-cancer.
Also, apparently there’s a lot of anti-aging benefits. For men, particularly, this in conjunction with reducing your estrogen levels can increase your growth hormone and testosterone. Look at the 64 year old below. Does he look malnourished? He does a “primal/paleo/keto” lifestyle. This is what happens when you put the right fuels in your body.
Lastly – another guy I follow on keto, Jason Wittrock. Rather than these bodybuilders that go through cuts and bulks, he keeps himself at 6% bodyfat all year long with keto. His story is pretty interesting, and he talks about having to go on a shoot with 72-hour notice, and the only way he could keep his physique 24×7 is by eating keto. Get this, he did a 21-day challenge of eating 4,000 calories per day and LOST 2 pounds.
So – I will do an update next week and the week after on my progress. I’m planning on doing this until 6/30.
Vacation – this year, I will do a trip to NY for vacation to see the in-laws and have some amazing food on Long Island. So, my guess is I’m going to be off of keto for a lot of that time and will be getting back to it when I return. 6 months on keto, 1 week break, 6 months on keto, 1 week break – that is sustainable for me, as the discipline needed to stay in ketosis works for someone like me. If I’m left to my own devices, bad things happen!
Off to try and make some keto bread and see how that works out.