Last week I celebrated my birthday. Along with typical goals like exercising more, eating less and working harder, I decided to make this year the year I say "yes." I want to experience new challenges and maintain an open, positive mind. Hey Sam, would you like to drive to Big Sur this weekend? Yes! Would you like to try this new Zumba class? Sure! Would you like to try this new Fast diet? Well, as FitDay's product manager and a rookie "yes" woman, I saw no other option but to say yes to this as well. How difficult could it be to eat 500 calories for two days a week?
I will begin by saying it is, in fact, very difficult.
(If you're unfamiliar with the Intermittent Fast Diet, check out this article.)
Conflict Number One: Planning Ahead
My original plan was to fast on Sunday and Wednesday. But, I quickly I learned that it's difficult to tell your family that you cannot make it to dinner Sunday night because it's your fast day. Without sacrificing family time, Sunday's fast quickly changed to Monday's. And after one fast change, came another. My roommate asked if I wanted to get dinner with her at a new sushi restaurant down the street on Wednesday. I had to say yes! So my original plan of fasting Sunday and Wednesday turned into Monday and Thursday. But Thursday was my birthday! So it couldn't be Thursday. Friday? Who wants to fast on a Friday? Saturday? Who can fast on Saturday? HELP!
Conflict Number Two: Exercise
I enjoy surfing, running and taking exercise classes. I stupidly thought I could handle a work out while fasting. Again, I was completely wrong. I took an aerobics class Monday morning and spent the entire day counting my almonds, tomatoes and spinach leaves. I ended up coming home from work grumpy with a horrible stomachache and binge ate an entire chicken. After adding my chicken feast to my FitDay food log: 500 calories? Try 1,130.
Conflict Number Three: Eating Days
Lets just say, I took full advantage of my eating days. I had delicious spicy tuna rolls, numerous slices of birthday cake, pizza on two different occasions, ice cream sundays, turkey sandwiches, and more. I felt free to do whatever I wanted because tomorrow I would fast.
But this is the problem: the idea that we have control over "tomorrow." Tomorrow is always full of excuses to binge on chocolate, have an ice chai latte or eat a turkey sandwich. Planning to diet tomorrow when you have control today, is just an excuse to eat whatever you want.
I understand that I tried this diet on the worst possible week, my birthday. It is also important to note that I am not a prime candidate, as I do not wish to lose a large amount of weight. But because of this, I found it the perfect challenge.
If a diet can't be maintained in the worst of situations, is it successful? If someone who is already healthy can't maintain it, is it a smart plan? I feel sustainability trumps quick results. I've learned that if you wish to lose weight, and keep it off, you can't feel deprived. Doesn't choosing a healthier option on the menu sound better than not going at all, or worse, starving your self? Rather than trying this diet, I suggest you spend the time learning how to eat healthily every day, rather than starving yourself for two.
Samantha Klein is FitDay's Product Manager. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art from the University of Southern California and is from Los Angeles California. Samantha has worked with and learned from various FitDay authors and Registered Dietitians and truly enjoys working on the site. When not working, she stays active by surfing, scuba diving, and running.