Most people wonder how they will get through the day on only 600 calories. Friends of ours’ used to scoff at our “Starvation Days” and sometimes others will taunt us about what they can eat while we are depriving ourselves. But we are smug in the knowledge that the day after we will be a pound lighter and looking good. To help the new-comers or the wavering followers, I offer these 12 tips:
1. Watch the video of Dr Mosley’s program Eat-Fast-Live which we saw originally on PBS. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x18a1b6_michael-mosley-eat-fast-live-longer_lifestyle This is what inspired us to start this Lifestyle and it might help you too.
2. Plan ahead. We write on the calendar what Fast meals we want to eat in a week. Nothing ruins a diet like coming home and having no idea what to eat for dinner. That’s when the default foods come out [carry-out or pizza]. You can avoid that by planning.
3. Prep ahead. You see in many recipe the HINTS about preparing food ahead. This is a real time-saver in the morning. Want your spouse to help you to stay on the diet when you get home late? Write out the recipe, leave it on the counter, include info about where to find ingredients, and maybe the meal will be in progress when you come through the door.
4. Shop ahead. Now that you know what you want to eat, have the ingredients on hand. When Fast Day comes, you want to be ready.
5. Portion as you shop. The recipe calls for 4 oz chicken breast, so when you get home, cut the chicken into the correct size. Wrap and label the part you need, save the trimmings for another use such as Chicken Curry [Feb. 11] or Chicken Noodle Soup [Jan 19]. The same goes for vegetables: slice and chop those 2 oz of bell pepper that you will need. It takes moments to do this as you unload the groceries, so do it to save time later.
6. Listen to Diane Rehm interview Dr. Mosley. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows /2013-03-13/dr-michael-mosley-fast-diet Diane asks the tough questions and ends the conversation by saying that everyone on her staff can’t wait to try the diet!
7. Make the meal setting special. Instead of eating on the run or while standing over the sink, make a Fast meal an occasion. Use the good plates and flatware. Put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. See the demitasse cup in the photo? It is the only one I have and it makes the breakfast table so pretty that it is saved for Fast days only.
8. Slo-o-o-ow down the meal. The other reason for the little cup at breakfast? By putting the coffee in a pitcher, I frequently have to stop to refill the cup. This bit of fussiness slows down the process. When you put food in your mouth, put down the fork. You don’t have to chew 30 times, but don’t simply cram the food in your mouth — savor it, taste it, and make it last.
9. Set goals by the clock. After breakfast, vow not to put any calories in your mouth until noon. Then at noon, tell yourself that you can hold out for another 2 hours. Maybe setting a timer will help you: while the timer is ticking, don’t eat. This does not mean that you will eat when the timer rings! No. Set a new goal.
10. Distract yourself. After breakfast, I pour a large [1.5 cups] glass of water which I sip on until 2 pm. Then I have earned a hot cup of tea — something bold-tasting or soothing as mood dictates. A touch of honey in the drink provides a real lift. Mid- to late afternoon is difficult for me. Go for a walk [not to the kitchen or break-room!] or get involved in a long project to take your mind off eating.
11. Hide the temptation. I stash the bowl of pistachios in the cupboard on Fast Days. Yes, I still know they are there, but out of sight, out of mind.
12. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. This has a double meaning. 1] If you yearn for something on a Fast Day, tell yourself that you can have it tomorrow. It is not a promise that you have to keep. Tomorrow it might not be calling to you. 2] Tomorrow is the day that you will weigh less. Tomorrow is also weeks from now when you will be slimmer and thinking about new clothes. Tomorrow will come.