Saturday, February 29, 2020

Retrospective #378: My New 30-lb Challenge: Project Design

This and every other post in the Retrospective Series was originally published weekly at They are now being republished here, and on Face Book and Twitter, daily, edited mostly for length and format.
As everyone who has ever lost a lot of weight knows, the worst thing you can do is waste the effort by gaining it back. And gaining it back it so much easier than losing it. So, the best defense to avoid gaining it back is a strong offense, i. e., to immediately launch another campaign to lose weight. And that’s just what I’ve done.
I made this decision exactly one week after the conclusion of my recent 10-week, 30-pound challenge, reported on here ad nauseum, in which I lost 31 pounds. Then, in the week after that 10-week challenge, I regained 4 pounds and my FBG average climbed from 80 to 93mg/dl. Ugh! So, my new challenge is to lose the 4 I regained plus 30 more (34 pounds). The length of the new challenge will be 16 weeks, to coincide with my next doctor’s appointment.
For reference, I had previously lost 170 pounds after starting in 2002 to eat Very Low Carb, first on Atkins Induction (20g/day), then later on Bernstein (30g/d). That was also my weight at the conclusion of my Basic Training in the U. S. Army in 1960, 57 years ago. By the end of this Challenge, I should have reached 187 lbs, exactly half the man I was (hehe) when I started Very Low Carb at 375 lbs.  Note: 187 lbs is still in the middle of the “Overweight” range in the BMI chart. I am starting this challenge at 217lbs, my teenage weight (in the 1960s), which is still considered “Obese.”
CHALLENGE DESIGN: To fast 42 hours 2 or 3 alternate days a week, depending on my social calenday. Fasting days could be Tuesday and Thursday or Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fast from supper one day to lunch 2 days later.
FEASTING DAYS” I will strive to eat about 1,200kcal: 100g of fat, 60g of protein and 15g of carbohydrate. The carbs will actually range up to 30g to accommodate my daily 1 or 2 red wine spritzers, never more.
Breakfast on these days will consist of a 12oz coffee with 1½ oz heavy cream and pure stevia powder. Heavy cream is fat, so any overnight ketosis (if achieved) should continue into the day uninterrupted.
Lunch, if any, or any other food before supper, will be just protein and fat. Examples include a can of Brisling sardines in EVOO, a can of kippered herring in brine, or a hard-boiled egg (or 2). Iced tea sweetened with pure liquid stevia. A mid-afternoon break from gardening: an iced tea and a few spears of dill pickles to restore lost salt and replenish fluids. Before supper, I might snack on celery with anchovy paste or sliced radishes with butter and salt.
Supper on feast days will include a small to medium (not large!) serving of protein, with inherent and added saturated fat, and one serving of a low-carb vegetable, prepared with added fat (butter or olive oil), or a salad. My vegetables include green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli. My salads include romaine, mushrooms, hazelnut pieces and grated or shaved cheese tossed in my homemade vinaigrette. My beverage: two red wine spritzers,
This regimen works because, even though this is a low-calorie meal plan for a “feast” day, at no point in the day will I be hungry. That’s because my metabolism is humming along in high gear, burning body fat for energy so long as both my blood sugar and blood insulin levels remain low and stable. I eat this food because I like it. I am not hungry before “breakfast,” but I enjoy my morning coffee. I am also not hungry during the day. I do look forward to a half-hour break from working in the garden – to rest and refresh myself, have a beverage and maybe a bite, and then go back to work.
“FASTING DAYS”: On these days (2 or 3 every week), I will consume about 300kcal/d. I will take my morning pills with the usual 12oz coffee, 1½ oz heavy cream and stevia powder. If I feel dehydrated during the day, I will have just iced tea and a slice (or 3) of pickle; and in the evening, just one red wine spritzer with my pills.
Macronutrients: Coffee w/cream: Fat: 16g (144kcal), Protein: 1.2g (5kcal), Carbs: 1.2g (5kcal); Total: 154kcal. Spritzer (6oz): Carbs: 4.5g (18kcal), Ethyl alcohol: 18g (126kcal); Total: 144kcal. Fasting day total: 298kcal. Say 300kcal/day.
The secret, I think, for the success of this “feast/fast” regimen, is that since I eat VLC, I am already “fat adapted.”

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