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Sooo sleepy... - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Sooo sleepy...
I can't stop myself yawning. I was wondering why I was feeling so tired, then I looked at the list of things I've done today. Still only done half of the To Do list, but I think it's time to stop and make dinner and perhaps do another couple of things afterwards.

None of the Stuff Done was earth shattering, but it was all useful. The car had a soft tyre and also needed a new rear wiper blade, so I popped it along to the garage. I also scrubbed half the kitchen floor and crocheted a couple more hearts for another garland. Then I devised a "tailor's dummy" so I could photograph the scarf and shawl and now I have enough photos to put my first items up for sale on Folksy. Setting up the photo shoot took a bit of fiddling, but now I've worked out the best way to do it, the job will only take half the time in future.

So, a much more productive day than I've had for ages. Interestingly, I think the renewed energy is partly to do with the new diet I'm trying.

I first heard about The Fast Diet from an article in the Radio Times (it's "fast" as in "not eating", it's not intended to be speedy). I didn't watch the Horizon programme, but I did find more information on the web page and decided to give it a try. Basically you reduce food intake quite drastically on two non-consecutive days a week and eat normally the rest of the time. One of the ideas behind the diet is that humans didn't evolve eating the same amount of food every day. A mixture of eating well and eating frugally ought to suit us better. You might think that fasting on just two days wouldn't work because you'd just gorge on the next eating day, but apparently people don't actually make up the calories. So, by basically crash dieting on just two days per week, you reduce your weekly calorie intake and if you maintain the same level of activity, you ought to lose weight.

I had already cut down considerably on carbohydrates and I've now been trying the 5:2 diet for a couple of weeks. Sadly, my bathroom scales tell me I haven't lost any more weight. The needle is stuck resolutely at 10 st 10 lbs (150 lbs or 71 kilos, for those of you who don't think in old fashioned stones). However, very puzzlingly, the tape measure says I've lost an inch off the bust and I can occasionally tighten my belt another hole. I definitely feel thinner and when I look at myself side on, there is less tummy, yet somehow I remain the same weight. It is a mystery!

Anyway, though I am hoping that I'll get off this weight plateau and lose another 5-10 lbs, the Fast Diet isn't necessarily about weight loss, it's supposed to provide health benefits like improved insulin sensitivity. It does seem to make me more awake and mentally sharper. I actually feel like getting out of the chair and doing physical stuff these days, which is a huge improvement. As the weather is as gloomy as ever, I can only attribute my improved energy level to the change in the way I'm eating.

With regard to fitness, I am so much fitter than at this time last year. I still walk Brith twice a week. I do give it a miss if it's tipping down with rain, but even though I've missed the odd session, I've never missed a week entirely. I've also reclaimed my hooping space in the conservatory and have nearly mastered a couple of new moves. I do wish I could find somewhere more spacious to practice. Perhaps if the weather ever improves, I might venture out into the garden? It might amuse the neighbours. :)

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/84701.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

Current Mood: productive productive

6 comments or Leave a comment
readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: February 12th, 2013 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm doing it too & my experience is identical. Although I haven't weighed myself. (I tend not to anyway - it's more about how I feel & appear rather than how much I weigh.) I feel a lot 'lighter' overall, in both body & mind. That's what matters to me & why I sense it's working.

I'd say the degree of 'difficulty' is a lot lower than I imagined. There are odd 'fast' days when it gets to around nine o'clock in the evening & I think, 'I could kill for a biscuit' but it passes. (Or I go to bed!)

The exercise factor is essential I feel. Mine is somewhat different from yours (Misty doesn't do 'walks') but I've worked out a programme that seems to be supporting the fast.

Onward & sideways? Here's to health & renewing a few brain cells! :)

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 12th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've done a bit better at the fasting today once I remembered to keep sipping water. If I'm not careful, I end up with low blood sugar and then my brain stops working and I go vague and incapable of making any decisions. Quick burst of hooping to get the pulse rate up and keeping a glass of water by me meant that I didn't feel particularly hungry this afternoon. And now it's time to eat and I can be virtuous knowing that I can have some little treats, like a Club biscuit with our morning paned at the Welsh group. I'm guessing you are familiar with "paned"? :)
readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: February 12th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, indeed. :)

I'm also doing 3 x 20 second power bursts of running on the spot three times a week. (Michael Mosley also recommends this High Intensity Training activity - if you do it hard enough your hooping might well come under this heading.)

It's mad! And works - my cardiovascular goes nuts for several minutes.

Haven't had a Club biscuit since the old King died. ;)
carl_allery From: carl_allery Date: February 12th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well done on getting stuff done. I do find if I've achieved a number of things, even if they're small things, I do feel much better for it. I have a lot of organising stuff that needs doing, which really comes down to filing paperwork and clearing the stacks that have built up over christmas.

I suspect that the idea of reducing the calories so drastically one day is that it tips you over into fat-burning mode. If you've already reduced carbs, you should have lower base levels of insulin which will make it easier to start shifting fat. If you're losing 'volume' but not weight and you're also feeling more like doing stuff, you may have built a little more muscle simply by being more active. I know muscle stores glycogen which also holds onto 4 times the water, so just a little muscle mass may account for balancing the fat loss.

I've become very interested in the paleo concept, which looks to align modern nutrition with what our digestive systems evolved to handle. And yes, it's not that food was always short, but that it wasn't always plentiful and so some days your body has to rely on the storage. If the insulin levels in your body are locking that fat into storage, the insulin prompts you to eat. If you can get the fat out of storage to run your body on, there's no need to eat. The next day, it will still be about the insulin levels and after fasting for a day (especially without too much carb) they'll be low, so you shouldn't feel the need to gorge. That's how I've understood it anyway.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 12th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Today was another "fast" day and I did much better once I remembered to keep sipping water. If I'm not careful, I end up with low blood sugar and then my brain stops working and I go vague and incapable of making any decisions. Quick burst of hooping to get the pulse rate up and keeping a glass of water by me meant that I didn't feel particularly hungry this afternoon. And now it's time to eat and I can be virtuous knowing that I can eat more tomorrow and have a glass of wine with dinner. :)
carl_allery From: carl_allery Date: February 15th, 2013 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well done. I don't seem to get low blood sugar. I'm either hungry or not, but if I'm not hungry I can go without food and not notice any effect. One of my friends literally has to eat every hour or two just to keep her blood sugar up.
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