As a drinking man, this post is my approach to drinking while fasting. Yesterday’s Retrospective #439, describes the original 1964, “The Drinking Man's Diet.” The premise of both links is that, as Robert Cameron wrote in 1964, “Most everyone has a drink now and then.” My contention is that it is not necessary, when either dieting or fasting, to give up alcohol altogether. I hope this allays the fear, or excuse of some, for not trying full-day “fasting.”
In this 2004 Forbes Magazine piece, commemorating the 40th anniversary of its original publication, Cameron was described as a bon vivant. It’s hard to know at this point whether he was or not, but his little pamphlet is replete with humorous references to various spirits in conjunction with the “high-life.” Reading it today it sounds more like a parody of the ‘50s, but in context, it could very well have been the way some people lived.
In any case, while few of today’s business man or woman indulge in a 2-martini lunch, it is fair to say that “most everyone has a drink now and then,” many of us at home, before or with dinner. It has been justified or rationalized as a way to relax and relieve stress. And there’s the social aspect to it: a chance to sit down with one’s spouse and “communicate” (LOL). As a result, perhaps based on today’s mores, medical advice websites tout the “health benefits” of “light drinking,” usually defined as 1 alcoholic drink per day for women and 2 for men.
Okay, so that’s my set-up. I like a drink. I consider myself a light drinker, fitting squarely in the guideline above. I drink spirits (scotch, bourbon, vodka, etc) on special occasions. We go out for dinner on average once a week. In a restaurant I will often have one or sometimes two cocktails, depending on the generosity of the bartender’s “pour.” We entertain at home much less often these days, but if we have people over for dinner, I will make a drink for me and for any guests who will join me. When I make the drink, one is always enough. LOL
On a daily basis at home, I drink wine. When I am NOT fasting, my Way of Eating is generally to eat Very Low Carb: to have just coffee with cream for “breakfast”; then, if I have lunch – a very light lunch, usually a can of kippered herring with iced tea sweetened with pure liquid stevia. And then, a small supper. Supper is one small portion of protein with a low-glycemic vegetable, the vegetable either roasted in olive oil or tossed in butter
My non-fasting daily eating routine is thus Very Low Carb. Daily food intake is about 1,200 kcal: 100g fat, 60g protein, and 15g carbs. In addition, I have two 5-ounce pours of red wine, the glass then filled with seltzer, aka a “spritzer.”
When I am “fasting,” I have the same “breakfast,” I skip lunch, and for “supper” I have just one red-wine spritzer.
If I am working at “hard labor” (in the garden), I will drink more diet ice tea sweetened with liquid stevia. For electrolyte balance, I will supplement it with pickle juice, or a large cup of bouillon. For any oral fixation impulses, especially after supper, I will make a “cocktail” of 1 Tbs of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), a few dashes of bitters, and 5 drops of liquid stevia, stirred (not shaken), the glass filled with ice and then seltzer.
The ACV cocktail is satisfying and is said to be good for blood glucose control too. Who knows? I’ve been a Type 2 for 34 years and, when I wrote this in 2018, my A1c was 5.0%, so I would say that I have my “progressive” disease under control. I do it with just a Very Low CARB diet, 3 42-hour fasts a week, red wine and Metformin (750mg twice a day).
My “Drinking Man’s Fasting Diet” is about 300 kcal/day, equally divided between “breakfast” and “supper.” Macronutrient Distribution is detailed in Retrospective #410, My 300kcal Fasting Diet. It is Protein: 1.2g; Fat: 16g; Carbs: 5.7g and ethyl alcohol: 18g. Last year, I lost about 60 pounds following this “Drinking Man’s Fasting Diet.”I have been losing weight eating Very Low Carb since 2002. At the start, I weighed 375 pounds. I twice got down to 205, then stalled and regained some. In early 2017 I started my “Drinking Man’s Fasting Diet” to break the log jam. It worked. I got my weight down to 188 pounds, half the man I once was. It was not a “water-only” fast, though. It was this “Drinking Man’s Fasting Diet,” as described. I generally ate 4 days (Tues-Thurs-Sat-Sun) and fasted for 42-hours 3 days a week (Mon-Wed-Fri). So, it turns out you can eat VLC, drink moderately, fast and still lose weight. Cheers!