Monday, 22 April 2013

Eight Months Of Alternate Day Fasting ... And Me :)

I think it's fair to say that I've been successful following the ADF lifestyle. Up to now I've lost 48lb and my target is well within sight.

Just lately - because Doctor Mosley's book was recently released - there has been a flurry of interest in what we Brits are doing - diet-wise - from across the pond in lard country aka the U S of A. Mostly their reaction is that we're totally barking:

'During those 500-calorie days, you probably won’t be doing much of anything except sleeping. You'll be light-headed, anxious, shaky, dizzy and super tired -- Imagine what you are like when you eat lunch late and multiply that by 100. You definitely shouldn't drive, operate machinery, take care of young children, perform surgery or basically anything else that might put yourself and others at risk. You might pass out! And even if you don't, your body doesn’t have enough energy (calories) to let your body function properly.'

Yeah, right ... this was obviously written by someone who lives with a burger in one hand and a super-sized coke in the other lest they miss out on a few calories ... I can say this with impunity, they rubbished us, I'm getting my own back ;)

What is it with Americans and their desire to be fat ... And no-one must dare to suggest they miss a meal. American news sites and their associated diet advisers are dire! They MUST be on the take somehow.They've been telling us how to eat for decades and when we did as we were told, we got fatter ... how does this STILL make them right and give them the right to tell anyone how they should eat?

Well, it's like this ... dieting is big business. Anyone who comes along and rocks the dieting boat by declaring that - 'You don't need to go and be weighed weekly and be told that you're fat ... and you're not going to get thin by paying us lots of dosh and eating our dreadful processed meals' - is going to be regarded as either a total barmpot or a charlatan. Fasting can't possibly work ... they can't make any money out of us, they'd rather we went away and kept quiet.

We've even been told by nutritionists and diet gurus that we must eat little and often (six meals a day) to keep our metabolism going. Yes it keeps it going all right, it also keeps insulin production up. Once we've done growing our bodies need a rest from constantly digesting food. We're not really built for grazing because we're not ruminants!

Anyhoooo, despite all the warnings that we're obviously completely off our collective rockers, Americans have joined our ADF Facebook group at a very fast rate since the publication of the book. Not only that, I get far more 'hits' on my blog on this subject from America than anywhere else in the world. Australia creeps in second place. It must also be noted that the basis of this 'diet' has been adapted from experiments done in the USA, but apparently we in Britain are far more gullible and ready to jump in and have a go ... we're also considerably lighter now :D

We've now been told - by them that know - that fasting isn't safe for women. Now, to me this is a grey area. I will NOT pooh pooh any proper medical advice given on this, because they may have a point, especially with women who want to have children sometime soon. Hormone fluctuations seem to be a real side effect of fasting and I think we should take this into consideration if we're going to fast more than two days a week. However, have they actually proven this to be the case or is it yet another way of making us conform to the established way of dieting that makes someone else rich?

And now we come to me: It's no secret that I've been perimenopausal for a few years now. Things came to an abrupt stop on my last birthday (6th November). I had hot flushes through December to late February when they too stopped - just like that.

Well, methinks, if this is menopause; it's a doddle. Hmmm, yes, but not the doddle I thought. Over the last few weeks I'd tried experimenting with two sets of double down days every other week (yeah, yeah, broken promises blah, blah blah), making me seven up and seven down a fortnight, so true ADF with a twist.

By the Thursday night of my second set of DDD's I had a visitation, and I don't mean in any biblical sense. Chuffin Nora, but it was unpleasant, five months totally without and this happens. Worse still, I never can eat much during this time or I'm in agony with windy bloat as well as the cramps.

This was not the best way to end my week of extra 'fasting'. I decided that any signs - as these news sites reported - of being weak and faint  then the only sensible option I had was to take a week off and eat sensibly and healthily every day. Someone as tough as old boots like me going all delicate - pathetic isn't it? ... Or would have been. As it happened I was fine, I just lost no weight.

Anyway it set me to thinking 'why did this happen? Why now? I know the road to menopause is rocky but I had to wonder at all these warnings about our hormones and the consequences of fasting.

So I contemplated my - recent - past diet, what had changed? Well, Asda stopped doing the warm salad I had three days a week, these consisted of chicken, leaves, butternut squash, peppers, potatoes, courgettes, endemame beans, broccoli (depending on which flavour I chose; there were three) plus a dressing which came out at approx 200 cals.

I decided to do my own version with the leaves, low calorie dressing, chicken and prawns. I was angelic as ever and weighed and counted calories in everything. But because I was DIYing and didn't bulk out the salad with many calories, I had more chicken - thus my protein intake almost trebled on my 3 or 4 down days.

Checking back through my food diary and my hot sweaty lady calendar, there does seem to be some correlation in losing the hot moments shortly after upping the protein. Now I know almost absolutely nothing about how our bodies work, I'm just going on my own observations and notes, which is what I promised to do when I started this experiment.

I will cut down on the protein and try to get a happy balance or I know I will be drifting into Atkins country without meaning to - been there, done that, had the smelly breath. It was an awful diet and totally unsustainable for a - then - vegetarian. I didn't lose a lot of weight but I did start eating meat again, so both me and the animals have got a lot to thank Dr Atkins for.

I've got lots of milestones coming up over the next nine pounds:
  1. Three and half stone lost.
  2. 50lb lost.
  3. My weight in stones starting with a fresh - smaller - number.
  4.  25% of my bodyweight gone.
  5. 4 stones lost.
  6. Target weight.
  7. The lightest I've been since my school days.

Best of all though is the knowledge that I'll never be fat again by continuing to follow ADF maintenance ...

  1. Me and Alternate Day Fasting
  2. Me and Alternate Day Fasting ... Three Weeks On
  3. Five Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
  4. Eight Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
  5. Ten Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
  6. Alternate Day Fasting Three Months On
  7. Alternate Day Fasting in Winter
  8. Alternate Day Fasting Over Christmas
  9. Me and Zumba
  10. Saying Goodbye To My Curves 
  11. Eight Months Of Alternate Day Fasting And Me
  12. Growing Up 
  13. A Year Of Alternate Day Fasting 
  14. 60 Pounds Of Blubber - Vanished
  15. The Perils of Alternate Day Fasting 
  16. Mr Grumpy Is Losing It
  17. Mr Grumpy Has Lost It
  18. Fasting For Maintenance
  19. Tweaking Maintenance
  20. Weight Gain 
  21. Still Maintaining
  22. Four Years Of Intermittent Fasting


  1. " sweaty lady..."?
    Horses sweat, men perspire and ladies merely glow!
    Well, that's what I was told as a lad. :)
    You have done exceedingly well with this 'ere diet. I'm dam sure I couldn't go a day with nowt to eat. I'm trying to loose weight as well and I have just got over my biggest hurdle by giving up 'drink'. I found it too hard to 'just have one' so it's been no alcohol at all. Next, I halved every (fattening food) portion, so it should be a bit like your ADF diet in food quantity at least?
    After all - four bags of crisps on one day + none the next - is the same as two bags of crisps on two days, is it not? :)
    ps You had me lost with 'DDD'?

    1. Oh heck Bernard, I'm so used to being in the ADF group that I assume everyone knows the jargon, DDD - double down day = two fast days together (naughty). I don't go without on 'fast' days, I have 500 calories, gentlemen have 600 (wow).

      Hmm, four bags of crisps, interesting diet. I've cut down on drink, I now only imbibe one night a week instead of about four nights.

      Julie xx

  2. Hi Julie

    Loving your blog♥ Very witty indeed:) Cannot believe I'm only just hearing about 5:2 programme, obviously it's working as you have lost an amazing 48lbs, you must feel so proud:) My blood pressure has risen reading about Heanor Haulage and various other problems associated with where you live. Forgive this question but have you ever thought about moving? I know it's easier said than done but I'm amazed you are still sane (ha ha). Please be kind if you answer this Julie♥ Linda Gold Coast Australia whose family live in Glossop Derbyshire not far from your neck of the woods

    1. Oooo, Linda 'Gold Coast', I missed your comment. That's the problem with having it set to all posts 14 days and older to buzz me - or it gets very spammy, but I tend to miss comments on recent posts (I don't get many).

      Ahh, yes, Heanor Haulage, Asda and all the other things that annoy me, well I need something to moan about or this blog would never have been born - or would be very, very short. I'm always thinking about moving but there's the problem of selling, no-one wants to buy our houses :(

      Been to Glossop a few times on days out in them thar Derbyshire hills and beyond, nice place.

      Thanks for your kind words about my ahem, writing, I'm very nearly blushing lol

      Ahh, yes, the 5:2 diet or 4:3 that I follow, unbelievable results and such a feeling of well being, it's truly amazing.

      Julie xx

  3. Ha ha Julie I did think perhaps it would be a hard sell. Have you ever thought about "exposing" Heanor Haulage on TV:) We have several TV shows like that here. I bet the bast**d lives somewhere totally quiet, no noise whatsoever, excuse my french:( I hear you have had a few sunny days, hope it stays that way for the long weekend. Have fun and I look forward to your grumpy posts. I'm a GOW also♥ Linda xx

  4. I have to say your blog inspired me to do the alternate day diet and it's working and I'm feeling incredibly happy and my self-esteem has risen.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Eolo,

      Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. I'm happy that I've inspired you, and so pleased that it's working for you too :D


Be nice, I'm very sensitive.