Swan Dive

Despite not making any New Year’s Resolutions this year and especially not setting any too specific goals as far as weight loss is concerned, I, of course, thought about how to get back on track. Like five million other people, I suppose.

I need to get back to a gym routine but decided to postpone that for another month. Right now, the gyms are packed with a lot of New Year’s Resolutions and while I know that the crowd at the gym shouldn’t be a reason for me not to go, I just know that having to wait for ages and being squeezed in between a lot of strangers will make it such an unpleasant experience that I’ll only start coming up with excuses again before I can even find so much as a routine. So that will have to wait until February. I did, however, purchase one of those hyped 7 Minute Workout apps for me to get started again.

I also meant to be stricter with myself as far as food choices go.

For all this, I need to know where I’m at exactly right now, so I stepped onto the scale this morning. Now, checking my weight had become an irregular and one-a-month kinda thing since I found out that my doctor wasn’t lying when she said I mustn’t expect any miracles. The usual loss for me is about 100g-200g per week. I’m okay with that but it’s still not very motivating, so I check less often and see bigger results.

The last time I checked was mid-December and to be honest, with the holidays and me just not being very strict with myself, I fully prepared myself for a disappointment when I dug the scale out and put it in its usual spot this morning. And then nearly fell over when I saw the numbers. I lost a total of 1.6kg! Hooray! That’s huge for me. Also, I must be the only person who actually lost weight over the holidays.

I thought about why that happened because I didn’t really pay that much attention to what I ate. I am tracking calories on MFP again but I wasn’t exactly strict with myself. Now, some people would say it’s the usual case of things falling into place once you loosen up a little, but I don’t think it’s that easy. When I look back at the past month, what strikes me is that I had a lot of ups and downs as far as calorie intake goes. I had days in which I ate a lot and still felt hungry. But I also had days on which I could barely stomach food or when it was easy to only have three regular meals and nothing on the side.

This makes me think that I should give 5:2 a try. Originally I think it’s referred to as a ‘5:2 Diet’ but I feel like it isn’t an actually diet along with all the fasts or ‘Only eat insects that were born and raised in Uruguay twenty-three times a day for six and a half weeks’ diets. It’s something I could stick with infinitely because it isn’t so far from what people usually do anyway.

The basic idea is that you eat ‘normal’ five days a week, then eat very little on the remaining two. The general misconception seems to be that on the five ‘normal’ days, you can eat like a pig. Of course, it isn’t that simple. It doesn’t really matter what you eat, though it’ll still be better if you don’t eat trash, I suppose. And it definitely does matter how much you eat. A lot of websites say you should eat no more than 2,000 calories, though I would personally say that you should stick to whatever goal you already have when you’re trying to lose weight, set by i.e. MFP. A lot of people have a calorie goal of much less than 2,000 and personally, I’d stick to that. Mine is around that already, 2,040 to be precise, so for now I won’t change anything about that.

On the two fasting days, you shouldn’t eat more than 500 calories. They can but needn’t be consecutive days. I think it’s probably easier if you don’t do it two days in a row but hey, I’m only just starting out. Again, technically it doesn’t really matter what you eat but you’d probably want to be healthy, too. Plus, sure, you can eat a Mars bar and have some whole fat milk coffee-based drink, but see where that gets you when it needs to last you through 24 hours. The general consensus is that you should focus on protein and avoid carbs on those days, which makes sense. Veggies are very good, of course. As is fish, if you like that. Fruit is good for getting some calories, though you should be vary here as a lot of fruit are high in calorie.

Today is my first fasting day and I’m finding it surprisingly easy. I’m on the late shift this week, working till 10. I popped into the supermarket before work and hooked myself up with a fresh bell pepper, a can of mushroom heads, cherry tomatoes and a salad + low calorie French dressing from Weight Watchers. With hindsight, I should have planned the day more thoroughly because when I entered all of that (and it’s a lot, about a whole kilo of food, actually), I barely reached 250 calories, even if I have the entire pot of dressing which, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t even like. I’ll probably have to eat a banana to get anywhere remotely near the 500. But that is today. I’m feeling kinda meh and have an upset stomach anyway, so who knows what the next one will be like. I figured in the beginning I should only have them when I’m working because I find it easier to stick with then. I’m busy for the majority of the day and just taking a quick trip to the fridge or the store isn’t really possible.

I’ll definitely report how it’s going, how I’m doing, if it’s worth the effort (for me), etc. I’ll also look into making better food choices and finding recipes. I suppose for now, there’ll be a lot of salads and veggie snacks on the menu for me to stay under the 500 calories but that may get very boring very soon, so it’ll be good to have some more choice.

In the long run, I hope to not just use this as a ‘quick’ diet but incorporate it into my daily life. It seems easy enough, considering as I don’t always have the same appetite and cravings anyway. Also, I’m completely free about deciding which days to fast and which to indulge, so I hope it’ll show some good results.

If anyone has tried this before and has made any good or bad experiences, feel free to share the wisdom with me.

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