Sunday, March 28, 2021

Weight Loss: Rich in Calories

Fasting Weight Loss

Rich in Calories

The general consensus is that one pound of body fat = 3,500 calories. 

A man who weighs 250 lbs is 75 lbs over the recommended weight for someone 6 feet tall.

He "owns" over a quarter million calories in his "fat account" (75 times 3,500 = 262,500).

He should be consuming 2,500 calories per day. Based on that, he should have 105 days of calories if he doesn't eat a bite of food during that time...

He's Rich!

Unfortunately, those calories are around his belly. So why is he hungry all the time? Bob Briggs suggests that it is insulin. 

Rick's weight loss chart from  2013 to 2021

I started my "one meal a day" fasting regimen in September 2020, seven months ago as I write this. You can quickly see on the chart how my weight has dropped even faster!

I still eat the same calories now than I did then; about 2,500 per day. The difference is that I eat them all between 11:00 and 1:00 - then I don't eat anything until the next day. And I'm successfully losing weight! 

Here is a typical day's "lunch" menu:

  • One hard-boiled egg (sometimes two eggs; too lazy to fry & clean up)
  • 2-1/4 oz of sausage (yes: processed food)
  • English Muffin w/Butter (stopped in February)
  • HUGE salad with cheese and dressing
  • Protein - 8 oz of hamburger or two from this list
    • 5 hot-and-spicey chicken wings
    • 5 baked chicken wings
    • 1 can of Tuna with pickle relish and avocado mayonnaise
  • 1 piece of pumpkin pie (yes, dessert every day at noon!)
I'm full and ready for a nap!

I am no longer a slave to that schedule. Twice I've gone to a buffet lunch and filled several plates! That was within the 3-hour window, and I didn't eat until the next day. To my surprise, I didn't gain any weight. 

When I join friends for an evening dinner, I'll order a salad to have something to eat while they're eating. That is outside my 3-hour lunch window, but it's OK.  (Sometimes the server's tip is more than 100% of my tab.)

The bottom line is that I am not hungry until meal-time the next day.

What follows is my understanding of how the process works. I take some liberties with the terminology, but the concepts seem right to me. You're welcome to comment below.

The Roles of Sugar & Insulin

AKA: Glucose, Fructose (fruit sugar), Sucrose (table sugar), Lactose (diary sugar)

Sugar is the chemical that feeds cells. I've researched many articles about the source of sugar and how it enters your blood. The key words that caught my attention are carbohydrates (carbs) and starches.

After you eat, your intestines convert carbs into glucose, and it goes into your bloodstream. 

Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream and into your cells. Once in your cells, insulin "instructs" your cells to either use it or store it. 

During your post-eating conversion of carbs into sugar, your insulin levels rise. They'll peak 2-3 hours after eating, then your insulin levels will start to drop. You never have zero insulin in your system, but you apparently have a "normal" level.

When your insulin returns to its normal level, then your body says something to the effect of "stop storing fat in your cells and begin releasing fat so that you can have a 'normal level of glucose in your bloodstream."

Fasting is considered, per one definition, to be a state where your body has digested your meal. (Insulin levels should be normal for your body.)

"Fed" or "Fasting"

Where I am trying to go with this is that your body knows when it is "fed." In this state, your insulin level is telling your cells to use the glucose it needs and store excess glucose as fat.

When your body is in a fasting mode (the glucose from your meal that absorbed in your blood), then insulin "tells" your cells to start using the glucose stored as fat and to release the glucose back to the bloodstream for other cells.

Dr. Fung points out that you don't burn fat as you eat because your body is storing the food as it comes in. Uh... if you're eating all day (B'fast, snack, lunch, snack, dinners, snack, and late-night snack) your body is in the "fed" mode. 

Your body never switches to "fasting" mode. The "rich" person at the top never gets to use any of their quarter-million stored calories!

I wrote another article (My Weight Loss: Progress! the link will open in a new window if you want to read it.) that goes into how I've using fasting in my lfie.

***

I wrote this article because my weight loss is very evident in my face, and at dinner last week several people were asking me about it. Someone challenged me about how a body's metabolism adjusts to a reduced caloric intake. I didn't have an answer. 

Jason Fung addressed this in a video "Metabolic Rate (How to avoid Starvation Mode)" where he shows how fasting does NOT reduce your body's metabolism.

I hadn't considered changes in metabolism (and I didn't have an answer) because  I still the same number of calories, but only during a 3-hour window every day. 

In my article, I wrote how I planned to continue. I need to add one more bullet:
  • I will continue accountability by recording my daily weigh-ins.
  • I will continue to eat about 2,500 calories per day
    • I will forgive myself if I go over or under 2,500 
    • I will have the occasional non-carb salad when I join friends for dinner
  • I will continue to journal my food intake. (More accountability.)
  • I will continue my fasting regime. Currently, it's a 22:2-hour split. 
  • I do not see an extended fast, more than a day
  • I am experimenting with shifting the 2 hours from noon to mid-afternoon or early evening. 
  • I will try a 20:4 and a 16:8 split to see if my lifestyle works for that
  • I am not planning on a daily fast less than 16 hours (16:8) split
You might enjoy watching videos in the bibliography (below). Each link will open in a new window.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only. It's my story. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis and recommendation.  Always seek the advice of a physician, nutritionist, or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

 Rick's Bibliography


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