I am not a doctor, and Seraphic Singles should never be taken as a substitute for medical advice. Or spiritual advice. Or as a substitute for anything really, save blogs that claim Singledom is wicked/terrible/pathetic/unbiblical.
"I want a diet where I don't have to DO anything," wailed a young house guest of ours, who complained she had put on two kilos since her arrival.
"The Fast Diet is perfect," I said. "All you have to do is not eat."
And really it is that simple. Since January 10th, I have fasted two days a week--eating only 500 (or thereabouts) calories on these two fasting days. I am not sure what weight I started at, but the scale said 10 stone 2 (142 lbs) on January 23, and 9 stone 2 (128 lbs) on May 15. That's one stone (14 lbs or 6.5 kg) gone in 16 weeks. [N.B. I am 5'2".]
Ha! Not exactly the 1-2 lbs a week suggested by the Fast Diet (aka the 5-2 Diet), but I am not complaining. Well, not yet. I will complain later today about feeling hungry and being tired of drinking herbal tea. Today is FRIDAY, and my usual fasting days are Wednesdays and Fridays. Oh, for the happy Wednesday I can start chowing down on Wednesdays again. I will be fasting on Fridays, however, for the rest of my life.
The Fast Diet suggests Mondays and Thursdays as fasting days because people are less likely to be invited to parties those days. It also claims the founder of the Muslim religion fasted on Mondays and Thursdays, as if the other 94% of Britain might believe or be inspired by that. Personally, I think about all the Christians, especially Eastern Orthodox Christians, who always fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, especially Greek Orthodox monks. If Greek Orthodox monks can do it every Wednesday and Friday out of love for God, I reason, surely Roman Catholic I can do it for purely selfish reasons. Nothing like a little ecumenical rivalry, eh? And if there is a party on Friday, I just fast that Saturday instead.
My selfish reasons are to look better, to stave off dread disease and to get the long-term benefits of fasting, which apparently include defense against age-related dementia. I used not to be afraid of dementia, but then I found out dementia can include being terrified. That sounds awful, and not like the blissed-out torpor and mental trips back into the past I was hoping for. Blah!
Having lost fewer than sixteen ounces a week, I an attest that the Fast Diet is not a quick fix. And indeed I may have helped it along by actually increasing my exercise. For example, I go to the gym at least one day a week for a lovely Pilates class and a 20 minute run (or, more challenging, intervals) on the treadmill. And sometimes I do Pilates at home with a free lesson on Youtube. And while in Poland I walked rather a lot.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so it could be that Pilates is actually slowing the weight loss, albeit in a good way. The true test of slimming is not the scale but your favourite skinny dress. My favourite skinny dress now fits, so I have asked my mother to bring my dodgy black spandex jumpsuit from Toronto when she comes to Scotland on holiday. I cannot remember why I bought it or imagine where I could wear it now. Not to Mass, that's for sure.
One of the beauties of the Fast Diet is that it is free. No memberships, no meetings, no pills, no powders, no special food. Just 500 calories for two non-consecutive days a week. My typical fast day involves oatmeal porridge with blueberries in the morning and a fillet of salmon with a pile of veg in the evening. I drink black coffee, water, and an awful lot of herbal tea. When I feel hungry, I offer it up for those who are hungry because they have no access to food and then have another mug of herbal tea.
Naturally B.A. and I do pay for my gym membership. However, exercise can be free, and you can find many free Pilate classes on Youtube. In fact, I didn't really enjoy my gym Pilates classes until I began doing Pilates outside of class. So it turns out that the weight-loss industry is, or should be, doomed. The answer to the most discussed quandary of Western female life comes free of charge. Unless you have an eating disorder, or a history of eating disorders, or are a child, teen, pregnant, etc., check out the Fast Diet online.
Update: In case you are wondering, I just eat whatever and whenever I want on the other five days, although I have cut back on sugar and eliminated almost all processed foods. I have added high-fat (but unsalted) seeds and nuts instead. Yum! Apparently given my habits I should be eating only 1642 calories on non-fast days, but I cannot be bothered to count.