Body Fat: 27.7%
BP: 141/83 @56bpm
RHR: 60bpm (Resting Heart Rate)
(I’ll be taking these readings at the same time each day, to reduce variables)
So, I start. And from these figures above, none too soon. I’m heavier than I should be, I’m carrying more fat than I should, and my BMI is above what it should be. It should be below 25. My blood pressure is highish, but I have a genetic pre-disposition to hypertension.
I got a call from my doctor last night. He gave me the results of a blood test I had done late last week. All good. Cholesterol good. Blood sugar good. No nasties. Phew. I put this down to 1) cutting dairy out of my diet altogether. I’ve not eaten dairy now for about the past 12 months, 2) reducing red meat to about 2-3 servings a month, and 3) exercising regularly. I do 40 mins on my bike 5 days a week at moderate to high intensity. On Sundays I do 60mins.
I’ve stopped walking for a while because my knee’s buggered.
10am – and I’ve just had 2xdouble espressos.
No milk, no sugar, of course.
Just pure caffeine.
That’s what I need to start writing.
That might change as the fast progresses.
1pm – I’m hungry. I want lunch.
2pm – Jennifer comes in and asks me if I want an orange juice. No, I say. Do you want some orange juice in a glass of water? No, I say. (my stomach rumbles.) What do you want then, she asks. A cup of Darjeerling tea, thanks. She comes back later with a Yeti flask of Darjeeling tea.
5pm – exercise on my stationary bike. 40mins/17.9kms/631cals.
7pm – dinner / black tea.
So, I want to introduce you to a good book on fasting. It’s written by Dr Jason Fung. He’s a specialist in kidney disease, and regarded as a world expert on fasting. He’s Canadian based, but worked a lot at the Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre. HIs book is called, simply: The Complete Guide to Fasting – Heal your body through Intermittent, Alternate Day and Extended Fasting.
Here’s the Amazon link – The Complete Guide to Fasting Here’s an extract: (and I’ll be posting regular extracts as my fast progresses…)
Starving and fasting should never be confused with each other, and the terms should never be used interchangeably. Fasting and starving live on opposite sides of the world. It is the difference between recreational running and running because a lion is chasing you. Starvation is forced upon you by outside forces. Fasting, on the other hand, may be done for any period of time, from a few hours to months on end. You may begin a fast at any time of your choosing, and you may end a fast at will, too. You can start or stop a fast for any reason, or for no reason at all.
Fasting has no standard duration—since it is merely the absence of eating, anytime that you are not eating, you are technically fasting. For example, you may fast between dinner and breakfast the next day, a period of twelve hours or so. In that sense, fasting should be considered a part of everyday life. Consider the term breakfast. The word refers to the meal that “breaks your fast”—which is done daily. The word itself implicitly acknowledges that fasting, far from being some sort of cruel and unusual punishment, is performed daily, even if only for a short duration. It is not something strange but a part of everyday life.
I’ve sometimes called fasting the “ancient secret” of weight loss. Why? It is certainly an ancient technique, dating thousands of years, as we’ll discuss in Chapter 2. Fasting is as old as humankind, far older than any other dietary technique. But how is fasting a “secret”? Although fasting has been practiced for millennia, it has been largely forgotten as a dietary therapy. There are virtually no books about it. There are few websites dedicated to fasting. There is almost no mention of it in newspapers or magazines. Even its very mention draws stares of incredulity. It is a secret hiding in plain sight.
How did this happen? Through the power of advertising, big food companies have slowly changed how we think of fasting. Instead of being a purifying, healthful tradition, it’s now seen as something to be feared and avoided at all costs. Fasting was extremely bad for business, after all—selling food is difficult if people won’t eat. Slowly but inevitably, fasting has become forbidden.
Nutritional authorities now allege that even skipping one single meal will have dire health consequences. You must always eat breakfast. You must snack constantly, all day long. You should eat a bedtime snack. You must never, ever miss a meal. These messages are everywhere—on television, in the newspaper, in books. Hearing them over and over again creates the illusion that they are absolutely true and scientifically proven beyond a doubt. The truth is exactly the opposite. There is no correlation whatsoever between constant eating and good health.
If you want to learn more about Dr Fung’s approach to diet and fasting, watch these videos on his website: https://www.dietdoctor.com/authors/dr-jason-fung-m-d