Kristina’s Low-Cal Days.

Here’s what got me to shed 20 pounds in one year while eating some pretty naughty stuff.

Over one year I have 183 “Eat Whatever” days – cheat days.

To feel satisfied I’d used the concept of Play Days or Cheat Days before, but they only work for 36 hours.

In the past, plans that used them only allowed for one splurge day per week.

Basically they ask you not to eat any chocolate, pizza or wine (etc., etc., etc.!) for six whole days.

Though I tried that off and on for a few years, I cannot handle that and still shine!

So if I’m going to have 183 “Eat Whatever” days per year, I need to go easy in between.

Today there are loads of plans out there that use intermittent fasting to offset play days.

I don’t truly fast, I just go low-cal.

When I started I figured there was no way I could eat super-low calories for even one day.

But I told my husband Paul all about it and he said he’d do it with me.

To barely eat for a day is no big deal for him.

I thought, “If he can do it, so can I.”

Okay, honestly, I was thinking something more like “I’m not going to let him beat me!”

So his easy resolve helped me through, thanks to friendly competition.

I ate 500 calories that first low-cal day – with difficulty – and then kept it up for two years.

The first couple of weeks was tough…determination was my key.

Here’s how my alternating “fasting” went for 2 years:

  • Sunday = Play/Cheat/Eat Whatever day
  • Monday = 500 calories
  • Tuesday = Eat Whatever
  • Wednesday = 500 calories
  • Thursday = Eat Whatever
  • Friday = 500 calories
  • Saturday = Eat Whatever

I did have to play tricks on myself to ignore hunger in the beginning.

  • Stay busy. Really busy
  • Drink water and tea and an occasional diet drink
  • Chew gum
  • Eat super low-cal foods

“Super low-cal” usually means veggies.

I don’t count certain veggies toward the low-cal daily total at all.

That’s because I might not eat them if I did.

I’m that weak. ; D

If I counted veggies I might say to myself, “I don’t want to waste 30 calories out of 500 on snow peas and tomatoes!” even though I actually like those things.

Here are veggies whose calories I don’t add to my low-cal day total:

  • Most brassicas, and leafy, root, tuberous cruciferous and sea vegetables (some are listed here)
  • Asparagus
  • Beets, turnips
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc.
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce, spinach, all leafies
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Peppers (all colors)
  • Tomato, tomato salsa
  • Sauerkraut, pickles
  • Seaweed (plain) and other sea vegetables
  • Snow peas
  • Sprouts

So low-cal days are made up of a lot of fiber.

To that I add a little nutritious, tasty and satisfying food, like fruit, egg whites and grains.

As a result, my gut microbiome is happy, which is great for my mostly happy mood.

After the first two years I upped the 500 calories to 800 on low-cal days. It’s sooo much easier.

Technically, on low-cal day I could eat 800 calories worth of candy bars or fried food.

As long as I stay within my limit calorie-wise I bet I’d still stay between 109 and 112 pounds, at 5’3” and 50 years old.

I haven’t tested this hypothesis yet, and likely never will!

The point is, variety is good, but keeping low-cal day meals nutritious is better.

In the end, I enjoy tasty and nutritious food on Eat Whatever day.

I upend that with 800 calories on low-cal days, and am maintaining my size and health easily.

This online journal is not meant as medical advice. See your doctor before changing your eating plan.

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