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The Weight Loss Experiment: Diet Concept V4

July 11, 2012

As I’m now into week four of my weight loss experiment, the concept has changed somewhat since I first started. So here’s the summary of what I’m currently trying to do – dubbed “V4” since it’s week 4. Stay tuned for more versions to follow – hopefully they’ll be improvements over the original one. But in any case: If you decide to implement some of the following concepts yourself, you’re doing it at your own risk.

The Concept

Each week 2-3 non-consecutive days are chosen in advance as “restrictive” days. On those days a fast is implemented – either no food is consumed at all, or very little (about 1/4 of your normal daily caloric intake). On the other days you eat normally, or a little below normal, except for one “cheat day” where you intentionally overeat – of course trying to not overdo it so much that you negate all the other days, if your goal is rapid fat loss. Some tips for the different days:

Restrictive: Try to eat two meals at most – breakfast can be skipped, then maybe a small snack for lunch (or skip lunch, too), then one “big” meal in the evening. Stick to a small selection of foods which you really know well in terms of calories. The more variety you have in your diet, the more difficult it is to eat less. Do not eat out on restrictive days.

Normal: Skip breakfast, eat a small lunch and big evening meal, or big lunch and small evening meal. Since you’re trying to undereat slightly, making one meal rather small leaves plenty of calories for the big meal, and you can give your body the satisfaction of eating beyond satiety without overeating on a weekly or even daily basis.

Cheat: Eat unhealthy food. Try to control portion size and aim for 50% more than your normal caloric intake. That gives you the chance to either have two big meals, or one mega meal.

Example caloric pattern using 2,000 calories as the normal daily caloric intake and three restrictive days (Mo, We, Fr) and Saturday as cheat day:

Monday: 500 calories
Tuesday: 1,800 calories
Wednesday: 500 calories
Thursday: 1,800 calories
Friday: 500 calories
Saturday: 3000 calories
Sunday: 1,800 calories

Total Calories: 9,900
Average Calories per Day: 1,400
Total Caloric Deficit per Week: 4,100 (roughly equates to one pound of fat)

Of course you’ll need to use trial and error to figure out what your caloric baseline is – for many adult males it will be somewhere around 2,000 calories per day. Try to factor in exercise each day, but be careful not to over-estimate caloric expenditure. If you find yourself a couple of weeks into the diet and you’re not losing weight, maybe you need to lower total calories. If you don’t have any problem with changing some or all of the restrictive days to complete fasts – do so. In my opinion the more contrast you can create between restrictive days and normal days, the better. Another tweak is to go easy on the cheat day in terms of calories – still eat unhealthy stuff, but less calories in total. 

Maintenance Phase

If you’re not trying to use a lot of fat, you can simply reduce the number of restrictive days. Simply implement one of those days per week (make it a complete fast then) and eat normally every other day except one cheat day where you eat a little too much – that should still give you a caloric deficit that can easily amount to losing one pound of fat per month. If you’re not trying to lose any fat at all but want to maintain your weight, still implement the fasting day and compensate for it with one cheat day – eating no food at all for 32 hours can be a nice experience and help your body to prepare for – and get used to – extended periods of no food intake. The digestive system gets a break, and you get a care free cheat day. 🙂
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From → WL Experiment 1

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