Archive for Diet and Food

Am I Eating Enough to Lose Fat?

These days the constant buzz of dietary advice given is generally directly related to the amount of money the writer can make from the advice.  As a result the advice is often contradictory, even within the same field, and usually is based upon flawed science.  There’s no point in asking a celebrity chef about weight loss – firstly there’s a conflict of interest there, and secondly he/she is not an expert in diet management unless some valid peer accepted tertiary studies in the area have been undertaken.  So don’t be misled.

The science behind losing weight exists.  Weight loss programs will work and the concepts are reasonably easy to explain, but because there’s no short cut to proper healthy weight loss many people will not like to hear it.

There are two ways to lose weight – one is not sustainable, and the other is hard work.

Skinny Fat Dieting

The formula for losing ‘weight on the scale’ is actually simple.  Eat between 1200-1500 calories for women (1500-1800 for men) every day, and undertake at least one hour of exercise in the 60-70% of maximum heart rate range.  You will be guaranteed to lose weight, but most of it will be muscle tissue and you will become what we call ‘skinny fat’.  80-90% of what you lose will be muscle, and 10-20% will be fat depending upon exercise intensity within the above range, and genetics.  This is the primary method used by television weight loss shows, and most commercial weight loss programs in search of quick ‘results’.  The science behind it relates to cortisol levels in the blood.  Cortisol in your system preserves body fat, and constantly starving your body of food whilst undertaking low intensity exercise increases cortisol.  Your body goes into ‘starvation mode’ and your metabolism slows down causing a stress reaction and a cortisol increase.  In this mode it is extremely hard to build muscle tissue.  In fact, your percentage of body fat will increase under this style of weight loss and although you will be smaller, you will be flabby.

We know this because of the recent improvements in measuring body composition.  We have previously used a range of methods for measuring body fat, but increasingly the DXA scan is being used.  This method is now more inexpensive and there are an increasing number of devices available in local areas.  It is well worth investigating this as a pre-program test if you are looking to become more healthy.  DXA scans in Australia and overseas indicate without exception that a low calorie diet with exercise in the ‘fat burning zone’ will never burn significant amounts of fat from your adipose tissue.  In situations of negative caloric balance your body will use either fat or muscle as fuel.  If you don’t use the muscle tissue vigorously it will use this first and conserve your adipose tissue (fat). For example a typical DXA scan will show that a 90kg person has a body composition of 30% (30kg) fat (your average 90kg sedentary person in 2015)and 60% (60kg)lean tissue.  If that person loses 10 kg using the above formula, on average, 8.5kg will be muscle and 1.5kg will be fat loss.  The person will weigh 80 kg, with body composition of 35% (28.5kg) fat and 55% lean tissue (45kg).  So the percentage fat will increase, not decrease, and health indicators such as cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure etc. are not likely to improve.  In fact visceral fat (in and around the body’s organs) will not change at all as it is the last fat to be lost as a rule.  The processing of muscle tissue as a source of energy is also difficult for kidney function and has been known in the past to cause kidney failure.

Skinny fat – thin appearance but high percentage fat vs muscle tissue

Sustaining Muscle Tissue

So if this doesn’t work in a sustainable way, then what is the formula?  Well… balance your diet, don’t starve yourself every day and work hard and sharply.  Attempt to reduce cortisol levels in your body by using some tactics proven to work scientifically.  You probably won’t lose significant weight quickly – in fact it may be very gradual – but maintaining muscle mass is more critical to good health as we get older and more important than what the scales tell you.

Lets quickly look at the exercise element.  As with all exercise, especially when you plan to work intensely, you should get a medical go ahead first.  Exercise will, by itself, not out run a bad diet.  Neither will you lose significant body fat quickly just by exercising without dietary considerations.  The purpose of exercise whilst trying to lose body fat is to sustain muscle tissue and increase EPOC.  Muscle tissue is important because it is a precursor for health.  Muscles, when used actively, pull on bones and make them stronger maintaining bone density, especially in older people and women over 32.  Muscle tissue requires more energy to sustain and therefore when increased through exercise increases your metabolic rate, using more calories just standing still. EPOC is excess post exercise oxygen consumption and refers to what occurs after intense exercise.  EPOC is an indicator that the body is recovering from hard effort.  Typically a weight training session where you have worked to failure in four or more exercises of 3-5 sets of 12-5 reps will increase EPOC for up to 14 hours.  That is – your metabolism is increased for this period of time and you are using calories without doing anything but breathing.  Interval training also increases EPOC for 3 or 4 hours afterwards.  So you need to do either or both of these things three times a week with at least one day in between.

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Weight Sessions

During your weight sessions you need to work to failure in your last set – failure caused by a ‘lactic burn’ or hydrogen ion build up.  The best way to do this is ensure the weight you use is hard enough for the last two reps to be very difficult for the earlier sets.  Typically, if you’re doing 3 sets of 8, reps 7 and 8 should be very hard in sets one and two, and maybe not possible in the last set.  This signals to your brain that you need this muscle tissue and increases testosterone to rebuild the minor damage you’ve just caused whilst building the muscle stronger for next time.  Increased testosterone reduces cortisol levels.  This is what we want because at low cortisol levels and higher testosterone levels, fat is targeted as the preferred source of energy whilst in caloric deficit.  Don’t worry ladies, you won’t grow huge muscles – you don’t have the capability for huge testosterone increases, just little ones that are sufficient for this purpose.

Interval Training

Interval training works in a similar way provided you do it properly.  You need to do your intervals such that at the end of the interval your heart rate is at least 90% of your maximum heart rate.  Maximum heart rate is very variable, and to be honest, the measures we normally use are not scientifically validated, but as an approximation, 220 minus your age then multiplied by 0.9 will give you the target heart rate for the end of the rep.  Again, you need to ‘feel the burn’ on every rep to indicate to your system that the muscles used are required for the above process to occur.  If you want to do interval training, my advice is to ask a fitness professional in relation to reps, intervals and recovery times.

interval training heart rate melissa

Melissa’s chart for 30 second intervals

The Dietary element

Diet is the most important element in weight loss, especially for fat loss and especially if you are trying to build muscle tissue.  To be accurate you need to measure things… calories in and out and morning heart rate levels to ensure you’re not overdoing things.  Again, the measurement of calories in and calories out is not a pure scientific thing given the individual variability of how we process food and use calories in exercise, however monitoring it seems to work for most people.  Caloric surplus and caloric deficit have to both be part of your plan.  If you are constantly in caloric deficit your metabolism will slow down, and if this is for a long period, it may never speed up to pre-deficit levels again.  The general formula is to be in caloric deficit no more that two days in a row.  On the third day you should be in caloric surplus starting with eating breakfast and ensuring a reasonably constant consumption of food during the day.  Bingeing on one meal to increase caloric consumption doesn’t work – whatever you eat should be consistent throughout the day.  I encourage my clients to only have four days during the week where they are in caloric deficit.  Eat for a surplus on the weekend and on Wednesday, and a deficit (you can use the 1200-1500 (1500-1800 for men) calories as a target) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

What Should I Eat?

That’s a whole different matter and is very individual in relation to what your body needs.  Some people need grains and cereals, some don’t, others may not tolerate dairy or red meat very well, where others do.  The secret is to work out what you’re comfortable eating and what foods suit your body system.  Items which make you feel unwell or bloated should be avoided and foods which make you feel energized and well should be emphasized.  Seek the advice of a qualified health professional for specific details, but generally the trick is to eat as much unprocessed food as you can.  Stick to the outside of the supermarket and avoid buying things in packets.  Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and the like are generally best, and at all costs avoid sugary drinks.  Don’t worry about full fat milk (4-3%) it’s not the reason you would be overweight, and use olive oil or butter if you like the taste.  If you want bread as part of your diet ensure it is full grain style and not white processed.  There are plenty of reasons to minimize carbohydrate consumption but my advice is not to be over obsessed with that.  If you are exercising and counting intake vs output following the above rules moderate consumption can be a part of it.  There is some evidence around trying to build muscle whilst in caloric deficit which says that on those days a higher proportion of your food for the should be protein when compared with other days.

Meal from above

How do I Measure?

Technology has come a long was in this field, mostly for financial gain, but we can take advantage of it for ourselves.  All you need is a smart phone (which you already have I guess) and a brand name fitness tracker that will sync with your phone.  The trackers that have a an optical wrist pulse reader light will allocate calories used with your pulse rate in mind and should be more accurate at measuring output.  If you download the app MyFitnessPal you will be able to enter your current physical details and all of your food as you consume it.  It has all the Australian dietary items in the supermarket recorded, and if the item has a bar-code you can scan it in and allocate a portion of the item consumed.  Otherwise you can search manually for items and save them as favourites.  Your tracker app will be able to sync with MyFitnessPal and provided you have put all of your food in, an approximately accurate surplus / deficit figure will be automatically calculated.  Very convenient if only approximate.


About Cortisol

‘Cortisol is a steroid hormone, in the glucocorticoid class of hormones, and is produced in humans by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex within the adrenal gland.[1] It is released in response to stress and low blood glucose.’   You can read more here.  Chronic cortisol production is a modern phenomenon and will interfere with fat loss, so you need to minimise its production.  Things which will increase it apart from the above (low caloric input, high aerobic exercise) are stress, anxiety, clinical depression, injury, illness, some drugs and lack of sleep.  Given that exercise will assist with all of those things to some extent, regular exercise at the levels suggested above will keep cortisol levels down.

You can also reduce cortisol levels by having a deep tissue massage!


What Should I Eat? I’m So confused…

The Weight Loss Industry

It doesn’t take long to feel a little bewildered these days with so many differing views on what you should be eating for a healthy lifestyle, in particular for weight loss.  We see in the media, magazines and the like, a plethora of advice, all of it claiming to be expert and apparently all of it works for everyone!  Well we know that’s not true.  Most of the media stuff you see is only half right.  Just look at Jenny Craig and the Magda Zubanski fiasco!  Yes, the Jenny Craig system can work… but only if you’re still in it.  When you stop there’s no outside support, and that’s the problem with weight loss.  It’s an industry and people have to make money and they way they do that is to keep you involved and paying money to stay in the game.


Rule 1 – Don’t Focus on Weight Loss

The reason things like Jenny Craig don’t really work long term is that the system is not sustainable.  Systems that provide everything without telling you what’s going on are a recipe for failure.  It is true that sometimes to get the ball rolling you’ll have to do something temporary, but the trick is to understand what you’re doing and why, and don’t follow a weight loss regimen as your final solution.  Think healthy eating rather that weight loss and make your own individual system a sustainable change in your food consumption.  Weight loss happens with healthy sustainable eating

Rule 2 – If It’s Temporary It’s Not Sustainable

Like I said, sometimes it’s necessary to do something to get your new healthy eating plan going, mainly for motivational purposes.  It’s not necessary to lose weight quickly, in fact sometimes that’s counter-productive, but if you can start with a positive experience if might help you stay on the straight and narrow with your plan.  But this stage of things is only a temporary period and you should set some goals, which, once achieved, will move you on to the next stage.

So what am I talking about?  The best research on weight loss shows that you will always get some weight loss results with a meal replacement shake plan.  Nutritionally it’s not ideal and you have to stick to it.  But clearly you can’t live on shakes for more than a few weeks, and the trick is that once you have started to lose weight, it’s time to kick in to your real plan.

Rule 3 – Plan Ahead

We say that if you’re doing 80% of what you’re supposed to be doing with your meal plan, then you’ll be ok.  But you have to actually have a plan to know when you’re not following it.  You need to have contingencies for certain situations – out to lunch with workmates, out to dinner with family, etc.  What are your plans?  Do you just eat what you want once a week, or do you just choose items that fit into your plan? Strategies are important, and you should start with them.  My view is that it starts with your food shopping.  Don’t go to the supermarket without your list derived from your plan, and only buy from the list.  What you don’t buy you can’t eat.  Very important.  Plan every meal and snack on paper.

Rule 4 – Protein in Every Meal

Protein fills you up.  It gives you a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time.  It also helps in the building of muscle tissue, and the major value of muscle tissue is that it uses more calories without doing anything other than just being there.  So you should also be doing some weight training as part of a healthy lifestyle and the consumption of protein in every meal is consistent with a plan like this.  For breakfast, eggs are good, lunch could be fish or chicken, and dinner could be beef, lamb or the chicken or fish you didn’t have for lunch.  Try to have red meat a couple of times a week especially if your weight sessions are hard work (and they should be).  Most sources of protein have some fat content, and whilst you shouldn’t deliberately add fat to the meal plan, incidental fat is not a problem.   For snacks in between meals, Greek yoghurt with nuts or tuna from a tin are good ideas.

Rule 5 – Eat Many Times a Day

You’ve probably heard this before.  They say that eating regularly ‘keeps your metabolism going’.  The research on that is not clear, but really the purpose of eating regularly during the day has more to do with not getting so hungry you raid the local McDonald’s in desperation than anything else.  So you should have breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack, dinner and an after dinner snack.  If you have them all you won’t get over hungry.  Research indicates that those who miss a meal, in particular breakfast, will crave fatty and sugary food for their morning snack.  So follow rule 3 and plan everything.  Don’t miss a meal.  After dinner snacks are hard because the body craves sugar at night which it stores completely as body fat as part of our hunter gatherer survival instinct.  You obviously don’t need it in the modern world, and whilst I’m not in favour of artificial sweeteners as a rule, the exception here might be low calorie jelly.  Gelatine fills you up and in this form the artificial taste isn’t so bad.  A no calories late night snack.

Rule 6 – Don’t Eat Fillers

Before we were so blessed with every food in the world at our fingertips, we generally ate the nucleus of a meal and filled up on a carbohydrate of some sort so we weren’t hungry.  Rice, bread, potatoes, noodles, pasta etc, are just fillers.  Calories without real quality.  If you’ve read the old fashioned dietary pyramid and believed it is how you should eat, you’ll most likely be over weight.  If you go into how it was developed you’ll see that the grain and cereal producers in the U.S.A. are responsible for where these items are on the pyramid.  The developers of the pyramid never intended these carbs to be at the base, but financial considerations and government intervention left us with what is a disaster nutritionally.  I’m not saying never eat these things, but unless you’re training for a marathon they’re ‘sometimes only’ foods.  If you’re out to dinner and want some garlic bread, eat it.  But don’t include bread in your every day plan.  White sugar and wheat flour are always going to be ‘only as an exception’ type foods.

Rule 7 – Get Your Carbs From Vegetables and Fruit

So some carbs are definitely necessary for brain and organ function.  But get them with a hit of vitamins and minerals at the same time.  Instead of fillers, eat vegetables.  Instead of sugar, have some fruit in moderate quantities.  The truth is if your only carbs are fruit and vegetables you can have your fill if you eat variety.  Bananas, mangos, avocados and other high calorie fruits are great in moderate quantities and are as tasty as cakes and lollies you might otherwise have.  Examples: with your morning eggs cook some spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.  With your lunch protein include an old fashioned salad items… tomatoes, lettuce, grated carrot, beetroot, cucumber, even add protein with some grated cheese.  For dinner make a lamb casserole with carrots, peas, capsicum, zucchini, making your own sauce from a recipe if you can to avoid hidden ingredients in purchased sauces.  If course, if you have to buy a sauce, read the ingredients avoiding sugar where possible.  It’s not a huge sin to buy a sauce if the alternative is to buy dinner instead of making it.  For your snacks, add a piece of fruit to your protein, or nuts to your Greek yoghurt.

Rule 8 – Cut Yourself Some Slack

Whilst planning your intake is of the utmost importance, enjoying good company is social settings is an important part of your overall well being.  Eating food for pleasure should not be a sin, but you don’t need to do that every night.  Have a night per week where you go out to dinner and spoil yourself.  You’ll probably find that if you’ve been sticking to your plan you won’t feel like anything too far from home in terms of normal eating for you anyway, but you’ll feel relaxed knowing you can eat what you want.  Remember that if you fall off the wagon outside of this, take note of what you’ve done, write it down in your plan (rule 9) and vow not to do it again.  A mistake doesn’t ruin your whole eating plan.

Rule 9 – Record Your Plan vs Your Actual

A simple routine is the way we keep doing things that are good for us.  Don’t think too much about the food you eat, just plan it, eat it, and move on.  But it’s important to record your progress.  Research indicates those who record their progress stick to their plan.  Use a phone app like My Fitness Pal to record what you consume and match it every week against your plan.  Calorie amnesia is a huge problem for those wanting to lose weight.  Writing it down immediately after you eat it eliminates this.  Eventually you won’t need the app as you move towards permanent healthy eating in a permanent routine.

Rule 10 – Measure Your Success

Every six weeks measure yourself again.  There are several components to the measure.  Scales alone are not good, but can be used in conjunction with other measures.  Use a measuring tape, especially for waist and hip measurements, and if you can have someone measure your body fat that’s a bonus.  Remember that muscle tissue weighs more than fat, and the order of loss of weight is generally that you add muscle first, and the added muscle assists in weight loss, so in an effort to lose weight you may weigh more before you weight less.  In general body fat comes off in the reverse order it went on.  If your stomach fat was first on, it comes off last, so measure everything – neck, chest, hips, stomach at your naval, arms at mid bicep, legs at mid thigh and largest part of the calf muscle.  Otherwise you may focus on the fat that’s not coming off for a while yet.

Good Luck!  Make your changes permanent…


Exercise and intermittent fasting Part 2

Well… Dr Michael Mosley, the main proponent of the 5:2 diet may be a medical doctor but from what I’ve just been through he’s no exercise scientist that’s for sure.  I note that s0me of his other ideas about exercise are a little misguided and indicate he’s never really had a dip at some physical hard work.  For example, he doesn’t believe exercise promotes production of endorphins siting of the lack of research in the area.

” The idea that working up a sweat will put give you a rush of endorphins and put pep in your step is rubbish. This is based on a few studies on a few people,” he says.

As with many concepts, true understanding comes with regular research on a concept and a trend amongst that research in a particular direction.  But some things go without saying and don’t need research for them to be fact. Anyone who does regular intense exercise actually knows first hand the endorphin state after exercise regardless of the lack of research.  So that’s a bit of a hit for his credibility from the start, but the idea of intermittent fasting is not his idea to start with, so I gave it a go.

So… can you exercise on this type of diet?  The short answer is no.  Not if you are exercising at the intensity required to encourage the body into repair mode (mostly anaerobic exercise at the edge of your performance levels for the appropriate amount of time).  The training I do both personally and with my PT clients is specifically of this intensity.  Superset weight training – six exercises in three pairs, 3 sets of 8 so that the eighth rep of the third set is all you can do, fast concentric, slow eccentric, short recovery between pairs, immediately followed by some high intensity interval training, for example 6 x 60 second runs at 7-8/10 effort with a 60 second recovery – – for me running – for most of my clients on a spin bike.  You need some fuel for this.

Perhaps if you were more sedentary and enjoyed a daily walk around the block you could probably do it, but here’s what happened to me:

My two ‘fasting’ days were Tuesday and Thursday.  On the Tuesdays I had no problem exercising despite not eating.  One of the advantages that I perhaps have is that will power isn’t really an issue.  I’m an ‘eat for fuel’ type of person mostly so I don’t eat specifically for taste or recreation.  If I’m supposed to fast I can do that without too much trouble.  The hunger pangs are short term and a cup of green tea solves the problem.

Wednesday was a little different.  I found that I didn’t eat any more than I normally did on any other day, but the lack of food the day before made me lethargic as far as exercise is concerned.  I found it difficult to get through my session with the same gusto I normally display and really just went through the motions without performing at the usual level of energy.  I decided that Wednesday would be good as my rest day for the week.  I could eat normally and build up for exercise on Thursday.

But Thursday came – my second fasting day- and I found when I was using the Wednesday as a rest day in the second week I still hadn’t fully recovered from fasting on Tuesday.  I was more lethargic that I had been on the Wednesday when I had trained and actually couldn’t get through the session.  When I started to see stars I abandoned my fast for the day and stopped exercising.  I thought that perhaps I just need to adjust to the new routine and next week would be better.

The third week was exactly the same.  Tuesday was good, Wednesday was a rest day with normal food, and Thursday was my second fasting day.  Again, I was very lethargic and unable to finish my session, and again my vision started to blur so I abandoned my fast and ate normally for the rest of the day.

So for me this is not a suitable diet pattern.  It is possible that I could do 6:1 but I don’t see the point really.  Ok – fair enough – I wasn’t doing it to lose weight I was just checking it out, and maybe if you have the spare supply of body fat things may be different.  But I’m not so sure.  This seems like the eating pattern you can manage if you don’t like to exercise.  A bit like Dr Mosley apparently.  The dangers of dieting without physical activity are well documented – loss of muscle mass, reduced cardiovascular function, decrease in metabolic rate etc. – something I’ll go into another day and all things that have consequences for the dieter beyond the period of dieting.

So… the bottom line… I wouldn’t recommend intermittent dieting if you intend to exercise as part of your weight loss regime.

The next challenge then… meal replacement diets and exercise.

I’ll keep you posted!


Exercise and intermittent fasting (the 5:2 diet)

So have you heard about the 5:2 diet fad? 

Well, although it’s been taken up pretty quickly after some publicity in an U.K. television special, it’s not really a fad.

Intermittent dieting has been around for many years and is based on research on eating patterns in part of Asia.  As with a lot of seemingly good ideas, it takes quite a while for sufficient research to come to light to make the concept suitable for public acceptance and subsequent use.  So whilst the concept isn’t a fad, this new incarnation of it may well be so… we’ll know in five years or so I guess.

So what is it? 

In practical terms the 5:2 diet is a version of intermittent fasting where for five days a week you eat a normal diet and for the other two days you restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories for females and 600 for males – that is one quarter of the normal calorie requirement for the average person.  The two days of ‘fasting’ are not to be consecutive.  The idea is that you can eat whatever you want on the other days, but really, whilst ‘in versus out’ is a bit simplistic, it’s still a basic rule.  A normal healthy balanced diet should be the focus of the rest of the week.  During your fasting days you can eat all your calories at once or spread them out.  The research hasn’t been done on that yet.

How Does it Work?

Scientists have known for the last 60 years that controlling calories and eating only strictly healthy food (no sugar, low fat, small meals) can prolong life span by up to 40% in mice.  How that translates to humans is problematic but there is anecdotal evidence that it does.  There is even limited scientific evidence that indicates fasting reduces levels of IGF-1 – a hormone partly responsible for quick growth and development in humans and also partly responsible for aging as we get older.  Limiting this hormone in your system by fasting encourages the body to go into a repair type mode where the body utilizes body fat to repair and prepare for starvation mode.  The fact that you eat normally again the next day staves off starvation and you return to normal maintenance mode.  Over time significant reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar have been recorded in most participants in the few studies so far.

So can you still exercise on a diet like this?

Well… there’s been no work done on this that I can find.  But what I do know is that diet without exercise will result in muscle loss – and I mean intense exercise is required to maintain muscle mass, not just a run around the block a few times a week.  You can read my upcoming blog about the benefits of intensity to see what I mean.  So can you do this?  Exercise and fast?

I’m about to find out…

Before I run my PT clients through training programs I devise, I always run myself through them for at least four weeks.  I subscribe to the theory that I shouldn’t make people do things I’m not prepared to do, so I make sure what I give people to do is do-able.  At least by me… So the same goes for the dietary advice I give.  I live by my high protein, low carb meal plan.  I basically live on eggs, milk, meat and vegetables with some occasional fruit yoghurt and nuts thrown in.  So I’m going to see if I can maintain my exercise plan whilst on a 5:2 diet.

I’ve already started…

I started Tuesday.  I plan Tuesday and Thursday to be my ‘fasting’ days and I’ll stick to my normal diet on the other days and see if I can keep going.  My first day was fun… not!  I’ve been busy – really busy – some days where I actually don’t eat until dinner but I’m so busy I don’t notice it.  When you plan to do this however, it’s a different matter.  I woke up thinking about food and did so all day.  Those who know me know that I’m normally not that worried about being hungry.  But I thought about it all day.  I decided that I’d prefer not to start up the hunger cycle by eating too early in the day.  I remember a study on POWs in the second world war where they asked survivors about how they spread their rations from issue to issue.  The two main techniques were to either eat very small portions and spread the food out, or to wait until you couldn’t cope any more and eat it all at once.  What they round out was that those who waited and ate it at once were more likely to have less health problems and more likely to live.  So based on that study and some other suggestions for coping with this diet I waited until after my normal lunch time to eat my two boiled eggs and spinach salad.  I then waited until about 8pm for my dinner of baked flake and vegetables.  Plenty of vegetables to make up my 600 calories.  About 2 1/2 full cups of mostly green iron rich vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and broad beans.

I did my usual exercise – 25 minutes of super sets and 20 minutes of high intensity interval training and felt none the worse for my lack of food.


I woke up Wednesday and was very tired.  I didn’t sleep as well as normal and woke up feeling very sluggish.  I wasn’t unusually hungry like I thought I’d be but I felt exhausted.  So exhausted I used the day as my weekly rest day.  I sort of felt like I was sick and couldn’t exercise.  I ran a couple of PT sessions and had trouble standing up for 45 minutes!

But come on… it’s the first day and there’s bound to be some adjustment to something new like this.  Tomorrow is my second day of fasting so we’ll see what happens.  I’ll keep you informed!

It’s getting late… better chow down!