3rd day, Friday (click here to recap what I ate that day)
Coffee at 10:45 and then again at 2pm. I had just trained, I felt weak and lethargic. Afterwards a ham and cheese toastie – heavenly. These were my first carbs in three days. I noticed my cravings disappear almost immediately. Big dinner (small chicken shish plus chorizo and cheesy chips) at 7:30 plus a glass of wine.
Issue(s) detected: without any food for long periods of time, your body switches to famine mode and any food ingested from thereon would get stored as fat far more likely. I had just trained and created the need for glycogen in my muscles so some carbs would have been put to use. In an untrained individual/someone with less muscle mass they would quite likely be stored as fat as energy requirements would be lower and the body would need to hold onto the energy as it is unsure when the next meal arrives.
Dinner was too big (yet I still felt I could have eaten more). I had been hungry for so long that I couldn’t control my appetite. The hormones signalling my brain that the stomach was full weren’t being released yet. Also, with 2/3 of the days calories in one meal, it meant a huge strain on the digestive system. 3 hours later my stomach was still making noises. I felt bloated and full of air like a balloon.
When alcohol is consumed, fat burning is switched off as your body will always “attack” the worst offender first and in this case it’s the alcohol. While alcohol sugars are being burned, the meal eaten will just sit in your stomach and will be far more likely stored as fat.
4th day, Saturday (click here to recap what I ate that day)
Breakfast – slice of bacon, one toast, some baked beans and coffee. No food or drinks (other than water) for the rest of the day. Dinner at 7:30, chicken fajitas and two glasses of wine.
Issue(s) detected: Not perhaps the best choice of breakfast for weight loss as there were no vegetables, but I have to commend the choice as a medium to low GI meal. This way the body has a chance to work through the meal slowly (without a spike and drop in blood sugars) and use it for energy even hours after the dinner rather than store as fat. As soon as the gap between meals becomes too long, it will revert back to its old ways and start storing bodyfat. The gap between meals (9 hours) is unreasonably long and the meal and drinks cover 2/3 of the days calories. My body couldn’t cope with the amount of food and drink and the food just sat there even three hours later. This is a good example of how even the healthiest of meals can hinder weight loss as the conditions aren’t optimal. You can always expect to wake up feeling very ‘fluffy’ after an evening like this.
5th day, Sunday (click here to recap what I ate that day)
I was still feeling full upon waking but also uncomfortable, bloated and full of air. Coffee at 8, two slices of toast with two eggs for 11. Then no food until 8:30pm. A tea around 5pm. A big meal with two glasses of wine after 9,5 hours of no food. I was tempted to give up on the experiment that afternoon for being so hungry.
Issue(s) detected: As you can see, all three days are very similar. A breakfast, coffee or two, then no food until 8pm. Each day I had to fight off tiredness by preserving my energy as much as I could – by lying around not doing much. I had already learnt that my mood would become very unpredictable when hungry and tired so I was trying my hardest not to get snappy with Silver. When I had to go without food in the afternoon, I found myself wishing for Tina to have a coffee ‘just so I could have anything to keep me full’ – this showed how quickly drinking coffee had already become a habit for me. I even considered eating something (anything!!) from the fridge in the afternoon or to raid the cupboards and not tell anyone. No one would know anyway, right? Wrong, I would know, my body would know.
This is a perfect example of how people put on strict diets cannot ignore cravings for too long and they end up secretly eating yet denying any excess food intake. Because of the shame in front of their friends/family/trainer/themselves they ‘forget’ about it and pretend like it never happened. But as the quote says – we wear the calories in public that we eat in private.
I encourage my clients to be honest about their slip ups. There will be no punishment but at least I will know how to approach the issue and come up with a solution. To everybody reading this: if you have a trainer and you’re hiding things from them, please don’t – being honest about what you eat and drink will help both you and them equally. ❤️
One last thing to remember: no food is inherently ‘bad’. It just could be unfit for your goal. I want you to make the decision (“I’m going to eat out tonight but then be good for the next two days”), eat the food and then be done with it. Carry on eating healthily, drink lots of water and don’t punish yourself, don’t restrict your calories the next day. You shouldn’t have to feel bad for eating or drinking anything because you can work everything into your ‘diet’ if you plan in advance. But the moment you feel guilty about eating something, you probably shouldn’t be having it. ❤️