Hi all! I want to give a detailed update to anyone interested, so here it is. This is my 5th day of this eating experiment I shared called Protein Sparing Modified Fasting. Tomorrow, I will have some carbs in the form of delicious popcorn as Maura and I watch Incredibles 2, and from there work my way back up to my maintenance calories. I also would love for you to read my post from Monday for why I am doing this and why it isn’t a great idea for most people.
What I ate
I consumed about 1000-1250 calories per day, the vast majority of which were protein. All calories came from ground turkey, chicken breast, tuna, ants that I found crawling on the floor in my darkest moments, whey protein powder, raw kale, tomatoes and celery, cooked broccoli, sugar-free Jello, and the very little calories that came with my black coffee and chewing gum (not together, disgusting). I supplemented with a multi-vitamin, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and I used a lot of salt. These were to fill in the holes left in my diet by cutting out much of my normal food.
I’ve lost 4-5 pounds in 5 days. I had gained some fat, mostly in my mid-section, as a result of my recent increase in caloric intake in order to break through my strength training plateaus. After this week, my shirts lay flatter. Most of the weight loss likely came from water weight, but I have noticed a little fat loss with no noticeable loss in muscle mass. Ketosis (your body turning to its fat stores for energy in the absence of carbs) gets a lot of negative hype from people who overplay it’s results and miscommunicate why it works, but it is real.
I lifted weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Monday’s workout was more or less normal. I moved up on some lifts. I experienced a dip in energy in the middle of my session, but it returned quickly. The quality of this workout is likely due to the residual glycogen (energy stores from carbs) in my system from last weekend. Wednesday’s workout was insane. I was energized and also moved up despite having only about 475 calories in me. I don’t know how to explain this except that perhaps the caffeine from my espresso was “kicking me up a notch” since I hadn’t eaten a lot with it. Thursday’s workout was atrocious. I attribute this to not sleeping well the night before as well as my glycogen stores (carbs stored as energy) likely being totally depleted. I had a few times where small headaches came on and where I was very tired, but for the most part my energy levels were stable and at times even high.
This approach is by nature a jump-start program meant to transition into a sustainable approach shortly thereafter. In my opinion it should not be done for more than 1-2 weeks because of the sheer physical and mental difficulty of it, and the inherent danger if supplements are not correctly used. I would absolutely recommend speaking with a doctor before giving it a try unless you are very experienced with manipulating calories to reach your goals and have the willpower of a Jedi Master.
Lessons you can take from this
This is nothing more than an extreme calorie deficit to lose weight with a focus on maintaining muscle mass as you do it. It is a strategy that can be implemented the same without the extremely low calories. I recommend a more moderate deficit. Some things that I am taking from it are recommendations for people I am coaching for weight loss on feeling satiated, since Lord knows I missed my chips and salsa, and a reminder of what it’s like to not be able to eat what you’d like to because of your goals.
Message me if you’d like me to help you come up with some number to focus on, I’d be glad to help, and comment any questions you have about this! Connect with me on Facebook if you’d like here!