As you may know, I eat a diet that’s free from low-quality carbohydrates, gluten and lactose.
I also fast every day.
This combination works for me and I’d like to share a few tips about how you could make it work for you.
How often do you take an hour to eat a relaxed breakfast, while taking time to enjoy every mouthful?
Oh that’s not you?
What about shovelling down a bowl of cereal, or munching on a piece of toast whilst simultaneously packing your bag for the day, or getting the children organised for school?
If that’s you, I urge you to skip that type of breakfast.
“What? Skip breakfast? Surely it’s the most important meal of the day?”
YES IT IS!
YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!
The definition of breakfast is the meal that breaks the fast ie break fast.
So, you can break fast at any time of the day… assuming you’ve actually been FASTING!
As it happens, you DO fast every night, while you’re sleeping.
However, in case you’re not already aware, we benefit massively if we fast for longer than just while we’re asleep.
Some of the scientifically PROVEN benefits are:
Increased quality and length of life
Now who doesn’t want all or some of those?
What do I do?
First of all I tried Michael Moseley’s 5:2 diet which worked to an extent. I experienced amazing weight loss, but on the 2 fasting days I would experience a sudden headache at about 4pm if I hadn’t eaten by then.
I must point out that I tried the 5:2 diet when it was recommended that women eat only 500 calories on the 2 fasting days. In recent years the diet has been modified so you would eat 800 calories on your fasting days, which is much easier to achieve.
Since that way of eating didn’t suit me I re-watched Michael’s BBC documentary (Eat, Fast and Live Longer) and paid close attention to the man who ate a low calorie diet. That’s what I tried next.
This is where my low-carb lifestyle comes into play…
In order to eat a low calorie diet you either need to eat very small portions of food, or you’ll need to bulk up every meal with vegetables or salad.
As a lover of massive portions of food (!) I opted for the latter option.
I weighed and measured EVERYTHING I ate. The first time I ate each meal this took a while. However I made a note of how many calories each meal contained for easy reference, because I like to save my time for other things than counting calories!
As most of us eat the same meals week in and week out, you’ll find this system works well.
Calculate your daily calorie needs (also known as your BMR)
Using this formula you can calculate how many calories you need to eat every day.
I eat between 1000 and 1,200 calories per day, depending on the amount of exercise I do.
I don’t count ‘steps’ as exercise; only mileage walked or run, and exercise DVDs and yoga.
I also don’t ‘offset’ my exercise with calories: I simply judge how hungry I feel and act accordingly.
You can calculate your BMR here
Next I tried daily fasting:
And this was where I really noticed a big increase in my energy levels.
Once again, this has been tried and tested by many, including myself.
I break fast at about 1pm and I eat my second meal at about 6pm.
Sometimes I don’t break fast until 4pm. If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat!
I aim for my biggest meal to be my first meal of the day, which is not always possible.
You’re probably familiar with the saying “Eat Breakfast like a King; Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a pauper”.
Well I do exactly that, because a pauper would eat nothing for dinner!
So why is fasting good for you?
Simply: It gives your digestive system a rest.
When you graze all day, or snack in-between meals, your body is constantly processing food.
Grazing and snacking also keep your blood sugar levels raised, which is when your body STORES FAT!
Tips for maintaining a low-carb lifestyle
I’m going to start by saying that “I LOVE FOOD!”
I have my staple meals that I love and couldn’t imagine living without, like my giant bowl of mixed salad and my aubergine stack.
Click on the pizza to see the recipes that fill me up and give me the carb fixes my body sometimes wants:
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Books can be found here