If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20

Monday, September 10, 2007

Step 5 -- Controlling Calories through Fasting

On October 25, I learned about Alternate Day Fasting, which is a method of restricting calories in order to gain longevity and other health benefits. I saw a link to a Yahoo email group on the subject posted on a bulletin board and joined the group. From what I read initially, several studies confirmed that restricting calories to about 65% of maintenance levels (normal weight maintenance) showed definite increases in longevity. Alternate day fasting (ADF) is believed by some to be an easier way to achieve this caloric restriction.

There are a couple of variations, but the gist of ADF is to abstain from all food one day, then eat ad lib the next day. The result is that less is eaten on the eat day than would be normally eaten for the fast day and eat day combined. Those in the Yahoo group that were overweight reported significant weight losses.

I felt inspired to give it a try. I weighed in at 208.8 on the morning of October 25, my first fast day. It wasn't too difficult at all, but I am accustomed to fasting because of my religion, and have completed a 3-day fast in the past.

At first, I ad lib ate, like most in the group. I did see very good results, as shown by the chart. The cycle was pretty regular: on the morning of the eat day, my weight would dip down because of the fast the previous day, and on the morning of the fast day, my weight would go up some, because of eating the previous day. On the chart, I only recorded the weights for the mornings of the eat days.

From November 12 to November 30, I was on a business/family trip -- that is why no weights are recorded for that time. I was able to follow ADF for the entire trip. I was very pleased that I maintained my weight during this trip.

On December 11, I decided to restrict my calories on the eat days to 2400 calories. I had plateaued doing the ad lib eating, and wanted to get back on track losing again. And it worked. On the 13th I dropped below the Green line, which marked the baseline for the morbidly obese category. Finally, after nearly 14 months, I could remove that awful word "morbidly" from my weight description.

By the end of December, I noticed a definite change for the better in my food preferences.
Previously, I had only limited the snack food and junk foods in my diet through portion control. Over the course of the last few months, I had been eating healthier foods and wanting snack foods and junk foods less and less. Sometime in December, I stopped eating junk foods and snack foods altogether. I just didn't want them any more. It wasn't a matter of not allowing myself to have them. They were all around me, and I didn't want them. I just plain didn't want them. That was very exciting to have that happen.


Net loss of 16 lbs.
Total weight loss of 62.2 lbs.
Drop down from morbidly obese weight to severely obese
I had overcome my addiction to junk food

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