Reality check [5:2 diet, chapter 2]

The first post describing my Fast Diet (5:2 diet) weight control efforts was almost uniformly positive. I recorded a weight loss of 1.6kg in the first week and the post culminated in the first fast day of the second week; another successful day.

This trajectory continued through day 11, the second fast day of the week, which was unlike anything I’d experienced previously. Starting the day with porridge I barely felt hungry as the afternoon progressed and didn’t eat until about 7:00pm, enjoying my by now standard dinner time poached egg about two hours later than I have previously.

typical fast day nutrition
porridge: 60g rolled oats, 200ml semi-skimmed milk, 5g brown sugar
energy: 228 + 98 + 19 = 345 calories
 
poached egg: 40g slice wholemeal bread, 54g medium egg, 7g olive spread
energy: 88 + 82 + 38 = 208 calories
 
one white coffee: 1g instant coffee, 20ml semi-skimmed milk, 5g brown sugar
energy: 2 + 10 + 19 = 31 calories
 
TOTAL: 584 calories

On day 12, weighing myself informally, I was disappointed to find that my weight was exactly as it had been at the same point in the previous week implying that I was unlikely to record any weight loss when weighing in formally at the end of the week.

The following day I felt a little low though nothing exceptional in the context of my normal first world bubble; my anticipated lack of weight loss and not having run for almost three weeks since spraining my ankle were probably no more influential than the typical stresses of life. Nonetheless I was aware as I picked up a two finger KitKat during the afternoon that I was going to eat it for comfort; not as a treat. The comfort did not materialise; it never does of course or rather the fleeting sensory comfort is almost immediately overtaken by the antithetical emotional response and the negative feedback creates a strong urge to repeat the error. After my third KitKat I somehow distracted myself.

Despite this distraction the urge remained and a few hours later, in the late evening and by now watching TV on my own, I sought out the elements of cheese and biscuits. Normally, if that’s the right word, when binge eating I do not take notice of what I am eating, rather quite the opposite. The full cycle described in the previous paragraph is essentially “eat, fleeting comfort, negative emotion, urge to repeat, repeat”. In reality this becomes “eat, fleeting comfort, repeat” thus avoiding any negative emotion for the duration of the binge. On this occasion that wasn’t quite the case, I couldn’t eat completely mindlessly as I was aware that I would be posting about my experience here and this forced more present consciousness of my actions upon me. However I don’t think that this made any difference to the number of repetitions of the truncated cycle. Afterwards, as usual, I put everything away and did not confront myself with any detail of what I had eaten, but the next morning, again because of the knowledge that I wanted to write about my experience here, I made a point of seeking out the packet of crackers and the block of cheese to calculate/honestly estimate how much I had eaten. I have never done this before.

CSI binge
cream crackers: 13
nutrition: 455 calories, 14g of fat
 
cheese: 36g
nutrition: 150 calories, 13g of fat
 
olive spread: sufficient for 13 crackers – 45.5g
nutrition: 244 calories, 27g of fat
 
TOTAL: 849 calories, 54g of fat

In the context of my, currently sedentary, nutrition requirements of just under 2000 calories and just under 80g of fat per day that is a massive amount to have eaten in addition to a normal day’s food. The following day, yesterday, was better in that there was no concerted binge, but again I forced myself to note food I ate for comfort in addition to the normal meals of the day; three chocolate chip brioche and a wholemeal bagel.

Both the results of the calculation and the act of publishing this post are uncomfortable and I’m consciously not directly promoting this post via Facebook or Twitter as I normally do for my running related posts … I find myself wondering if other binge eaters have a similar pattern? If my ‘truncated cycle’ is a common experience? If anyone else blogs on this subject?

And so this morning, day 15, I weighed myself. 71.9 kg, no change. Reality.

Oh, I almost forgot the 3 two finger KitKats: 318 calories and 16g of fat. Check.

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