Thursday, March 12, 2020

Retrospective #390: My Last 30-pound Challenge: 3rd Qtr. Report; More Misadventures

My recent half-time report (Retrospective #385) on my 2nd and last 30-pound weight-loss challenge in 2017 was a roller coaster of misadventures; the trend line, however, was down, but only slightly. So, “the challenge continues.”
But first, a short review: In the beginning I didn’t know how my body would react to full-day fasting. I feared that 1) I would be hungry and 2) my energy level would plummet. I learned that my full-day “fasting” (300kcal/d) was easy because I start already fat-adapted (from eating Very Low Carb on “feasting” days) and therefore am never hungry. And as my energy level has never wavered. In fact, when fasting, I feel “pumped”!
I began with an alternate day routine (Tuesdays and Thursdays, every week) and had good results: weight loss with no hunger and high energy levels. The reason, again, is that on non-fasting days, for the most part, I ate Very Low Carb (VLC). I have been doing this since 2002, so I was already adapted to the VLC concept and my food choices. As a result of this ease with full-day fasting, the frequency with which I did my 300kcal/day fasting also increased.
Although I lost weight easily on alternate day full-day fasting, when once I fell behind my weekly weight-loss goal, in order to catch up I decided to kick it up a notch. I went to 3-consecutive-day fasting (Tue-Wed-Thu) and it worked! Still, NO HUNGER AND HIGH ENERGY LEVELS! At the end of the 10-week challenge, I had lost 31 pounds. To stave off regain, and lose more weight (which I needed to do) I decided to do another full-day, 300kcal/d fasting routine, this time to lose another (final) 30 pounds and reach my mid-teen weight. Was this dream possible?
We’ll see. Here’s the 3rd quarter report. Was it another set of misadventures or more success, or both? You decide.
Week 9: As reported in #385, the first half of this 2nd and last 30-pound challenge was far from a resounding success. I lost only 2 pounds of the planned 15, but the 8-pound regain in the final 3 days was fleeting. So, thinking optimistically, I was starting the last 8 weeks only 5 pounds in the hole.  And I was now committed to 3 days of fasting every week, however my schedule permitted. This week it was Mon-Tue and then Thursday. By Wednesday morning I had lost 7 of the 8 pounds gained in Week 8. But…our social calendar included potluck buffets at gatherings with friends on both Wednesday and Friday, and I ate a small supper Thursday instead of fasting, so I gained 5 back and for the week only lost 2. FBG was also bad (by my new standard): 97mg/dl.
Week 10: Fasting this week Mon-Tue-Wed. Dropped 6 pounds, in spite of a little cheating every day! Had a small lunch Thursday (kippered herring from a can) and a big supper (beef short ribs and a very large salad); gained back 1 pound. Friday had the same kippered herring lunch and a similar supper (lamb chops and a large salad); remained at 5 pounds down for the week. On Saturday we had dinner out with friends before a concert. I had two low carb appetizers and one cocktail. At Sunday weigh-in I was still down 6 pounds for the week. FBG average: 95mg/dl.
Week 11: I’m starting the week at 206 and will do another 3-day fast (300kcal/day), Mon-Tues-Thurs. (Lunch at the Culinary Institute of America on Wednesday) The goal this week is to blast through 205 pounds, the lowest weight I ever achieved on VLC (in 2008 while doing Bernstein). It was also my weight at the end of basic training in the army in 1960. On Friday I left for a weekend family reunion in Rochester, NY. That was a challenge. I brought 100 clams and a case of Michelob Ultras. Before leaving, I weighed in at 202 (FGB: 82mg/dl), down 4 pounds. Upon my return I weighed in at 213 (FBG: 119mg/dl). I gained 11 pounds in 3 days. That’s more than the weight of all the food I ate!
Week 12: Another challenging week: My wife’s surgery, hotel and hospital meals, and cooking for my invalid. Gained 2 more pounds to 215, 13 pounds above the 202 low just 9 days earlier! And my FBG average jumped to 107mg/dl, with more challenges to come in the next week with 5 days/nights away from home. Time for a pause.
Discussion: A plan revision is in order. My new goal is to eat VLC for Week 13, then resume 3-consecutive-day fasting for the succeeding 3 weeks. Starting at 215, my goal is to get to 205 by end of Week 16, then to 203 by the next Tuesday (Dr’s appt.). That’s just half the 30-pound loss I targeted, but life happens. You have to be flexible.

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