Groundhog Day

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Ground Hog Day is a ‘cross-quarter day’ which falls equidistant between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.  In pre-Christian times [and even beyond] it was the occasion for minor celebrations.  Our myth of the groundhog being a weather prognosticator goes back to old Germany.  Then there is the Bill Murray and Andie McDowell film, in which the anti-hero is doomed to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right.  In that vein, I will repeat myself and give you 12 tips for getting on and staying with the Fast Diet.

1. Watch the video of Dr Mosley’s program  Eat-Fast-Live which we saw originally on PBS.     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.  A 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 or Chicken Noodle Soup. 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. /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?Entire Breakfast 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, is 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.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

Mediterranean Vegetables [See SIDEKICKS II posted on Oct 4, 2017] next week you will see recipes for bread-stuffs suitable for a Fast meal
1.5  two-oz eggs
tuna  Browse the archives for a breakfast menu
frozen spinach
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

 3 oz cooked or raw fish, two varieties
 shallot  +   Spinach  leaves, fresh  Browse the archives for a dinner menu
 Swiss chard leaves
 egg    +  cream
 canned white beans
 granulated garlic   +  nutmeg
Sparkling water Sparkling water

I’m not hungry, I’m…..

On a Fast Day and even on a Slow Day, there are times that we get hungry.                                         But are you REALLY hungry? The body sends all sorts of conflicting messages to the brain and the brain responds in very simple ways: eating or vomiting are some of the common reactions. Is your ‘hunger’ actually due to a lack of food, or is it caused by something else? Here is a list of ‘something else’ which might lead you to eat when you really don’t need to and shouldn’t.

a.”I’m not hungry, I’m thirsty.”  This is a big one. Most of the time if you feel hungry, go get a glass of water. Ice water is even better, in my opinion. If you like sparkling water, that’s fine — but not flavored water or sports drinks.

b.”I’m not hungry, I’m annoyed.”      So, what is annoying you? Solve it and in so doing, the hunger disappears.

c. I’m not hungry, I’m sad.”  Go chat with a friend. Call someone you like.  Speak with a stranger on the plane.  Don’t kvetch about feeling sad, just talk with someone about anything. But don’t eat when you are sad — it creates bad habits.

d. “I’m not hungry, I’m bored.”  This happened to me yesterday. I was wandering around the house thinking about what to snack on.  I said aloud, “I’m not hungry, I’m………bored!” So I put on my jacket and went out to weed the herb garden. It worked!

e. “I’m not hungry, I’m anxious/depressed.”  Back to ‘c’ and ‘a’. Being thirsty can make you feel depressed.  So drink some water or tea. Anxiety is like sadness or being annoyed. Sit down with a comforting cup of tea, chamomile might be good, and work out the problem. Set the timer for 60-90 minutes and think about solving your problems instead of thinking about eating. Then open up to a close friend who will lend a sympathetic ear. But don’t eat, just because you are anxious.

f. I read this somewhere. Wish I knew who said this!  “If hunger is not the problem, the food is not the answer.”   SO true.

g. “I’m not hungry, I have gas”   I used to get gas in my stomach [the actual organ, not the abdominal region] and it felt just like hunger.  So I’d eat more and feel even more miserable.  Solve the gas, solve that ‘hunger’ feeling.