Note: This “Retrospective” was originally written in early 2017 and reports of an alternate-day fasting experiment I undertook with the goal of losing 20 pounds in 2 months. The early results are quite remarkable. Read on to see how.
When you read this post, I will be 5 weeks into my “2-month, 20-pound challenge,” but I write it after 2 weeks “in.” The first week I lost 11 pounds and lowered my FBG average by 19 points to 100mg/dl (5.6mmol/L). I did this by strictly following a program of eating 5 Low Carb meals prepared at home by me (2 or more at a time) and then fasting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Note that in the first week I did not dine out once, as planned.
This week I report on week 2 of the challenge. Based on my FBGs this week, I have also revised the terms, to extend the duration from 8 weeks to 10½ weeks, to coincide with my next doctor’s appointment (4/18). My goal is to get the best A1c possible, lowering it from 5.8% to 5.5%, hopefully lower. Note, however, that after 8½ weeks I will no longer be preparing my own meals, and my eating pattern will include more “dining out.”
Week 2 began uneventfully, with weight stable and FBGs in the mid-nineties. As the week progressed, my weight and fasting blood glucose (FBG) both dropped until I was down 3 pounds by Friday. I gained one back Saturday and 3 more by Sunday. So, my net for the week was up 1 pound; net for 2 weeks: down 10 pounds.
Saturday was the first day that I ate “out” in almost 2 weeks, and I ate too much (2 meals – albeit “low-carb”), and I drank too much. I don’t regard the 1 lb. gain as much of a setback, though. The progress I made during the week was not really lost. I am confident that it will show up on the scale this coming week.
The big news, and the main reason I am reporting this week, is what happened to my FBG (and presumably my serum insulin). MY FBGS THIS WEEK WERE: 94, 92, 95, 89, 81, 80 & 83. AVERAGE: 88MG/DL (4.9MMOL/L). Recall that in the 1st week my average was 100mg/dl (5.6mmol/L) and in the week before I began the challenge it was 119mg/dl (6.6mmol/L). With FBGs like this week’s, and a stable blood sugar during the day, I think my A1c goal is reachable – if I continue to follow this Very Low Carb Way of Eating…and with a little help from 500mg of Metformin. We’ll see.
Other observations, comments and changes from the original “2-month, 20-pound” challenge:
● Cooking for myself has not been as onerous as I thought it would be. In fact, I’m enjoying it. In the weeks ahead I envision preparing all my meals at home. Since I always make enough for 2 days minimum, that means only cooking 2 or 3 meals a week, since I will be fasting 2 days (at least) every week.
● All day fasting is easy. The first week on the day after a full-day fast I had a “snack” (1H-B egg) or a “light lunch” (2 H-B eggs). This week I did not. And I was not hungry on the fasting day or the day after.
● The quart of heavy cream lasted only 16-17 days. I use it only in coffee, so, alas, I put 2oz/day in my cup.
● I have a new Snack: a few “whole artichoke hearts in water,” and a Light Lunch: ½ can (60g) of “Sell’s Liver Pate.” Also, Bumble Bee is now packing the same wild caught Brisling Sardines as the King Oscar brand, in the same Baltic Sea factory, in EVOO (and Hot Jalapeno Peppers), and at a lower price point.
● Virtually all my cooked suppers are stove top. I love fish, especially cod and similar species. It’s usually the least costly “wild caught” fish in the case, although it may have been flash-frozen at sea, then thawed by the fishmonger at point of sale. I’m going to check out frozen cod next time I see it. I’m fussy about country of origin.
● My veal supplier has given up, so I need to find a new source for my veal stew and veal kidney recipes.
● I loved the tripe dish I made last weekend. The smallest frozen honeycomb tripe package in the butcher’s case was 2 pounds, so I made it and had it 4 days in a row. I don’t mind eating the same thing multiple days in a row; in fact, if I like a dish I made, I look forward to having it again. (I can’t believe Jason Fung in his “Fructose 3” blog post this week said he couldn’t imagine someone eating tripe 2 days in a row. Jeez!)
The next report will catch up with the lag in reporting; it will be at mid-point (5 weeks into) my new, extended 10½-week challenge. Then, the last report (at 10½ weeks) will have a final weigh-in, and hopefully an A1c and lipid panel. My doctor is very good at reviewing the lab report and mailing it to me the same day his office receives them.