I’m a week shy of the one month mark I had set as the minimum time frame for my fasting experiment. As of this morning, I had fasted 14 days and eaten on 11. The disparity came last week, when I shifted my schedule twice: once to accommodate a work lunch (and mistakenly thinking I needed to shift for the first Sunday LDS fast), and the second time to fast on the first Sunday. This meant that from Monday, June 25 to Sunday, July 1, I fasted five days and ate on two days.
This was much easier than it might sound. I ate on Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday I had about 1800 calories; Friday I had much more. I had a large lunch (probably about 1200 calories) and then snacked on stuff left out at home while cleaning in the kitchen in the evening. I estimate my calorie intake on Friday was about 3000 calories.
Saturday I did my dietary fast as usual, drinking water & diet soda throughout the day. I stopped taking in liquids around 10:00 or so at night and went without liquids on Sunday until about 8 p.m. I did notice a drop in energy on Sunday (I ended up taking about a three-hour nap), but I’m not sure whether to attribute that to the longer fast, going without liquids, or just late nights catching up to me (I recorded the Euro 2012 soccer tournament games and watched them late at night 🙂 ).
As I’ve monitored my weight, it appears that I lose about one pound per fasting day. I’ve lost 15 pounds so far during the experiment (3 ½ weeks). 14 days fasting = 15 pounds lost. This has been pretty consistent over the past couple of weeks; it will be interesting to see if it holds up over the longer term. Sunday will be the last day of the first month, with Thursday & Saturday being the only fasting days between now and then. I expect I will have lost about 17 pounds over the course of the month.
As things stand now, I intend to continue this fasting pattern for a while yet. My employer offers a wellness program; I’ll set up a coaching appointment at which I’ll have my body fat percentage measured. This should give me an indication of whether I am losing muscle mass by fasting so frequently. Assuming I’m not, I think a target weight of around 170 pounds (about 25 pounds below my current weight) is a good one. If the weight loss pattern holds up, that means another month and a half beyond this coming Sunday: 17 pounds per month * 2.5 months = 42.5 pounds; 209.5 – 42.5 = 167 pounds. This would match the low weight I achieved through diet & exercise a little over four years ago.
If I am losing muscle mass, I have a few ideas of how to compensate through weight training and diet modifications (basically eating more on feeding days and doing substantial weight training in the early mornings on those days). I’m looking forward to the continuation of the experiment.