16/8, OMAD, or 48 hour fast
What’s the difference between 16/8, OMAD, or 48 hour fast ? Which one should you do? I guess it depends on your goals. My goal was to lose the “pumpkin“ that was beginning to appear on my belly. I saw it in a digital photo while taking a casual photo while visiting the Seattle Space Needle. I remember thinking. “Hmmm… I’m growing a belly again.”
How did that happen?
Loving and eating comfort foods like bread and butter, angel hair pasta with scampi, waffles, cookies, and wine. That’s not all I would eat. I ate, and eat, lots of protein too, but I also thought about what I eat when I’m on the road for business and eat the free breakfast at the hotel. And what’s there? My favorite. Biscuits and Gravy. I could even write a biscuit and gravy comparison test, and probably will someday. But I digress. The point is I was eating too many extra carbs and calories that I just don’t need. I may want and like them, but I don’t need them.
Still, nothing had motivated me to change my eating behavior until my brother casually referred to my “pumpkin”. Not in a harmful, or mean way, but I knew immediately what he was referring to, since I had seen it in that photo at the Space Needle.
So, what to do?
Try a 16/8, OMAD, or 48 hour fast
I have been practicing 16-8 intermittent fasting for a couple of years now, but I guess my body has gotten used to it, and I’ve also been eating and drinking too many carbs, snacks, and wine. A 16/8 intermittent fast has you fasting for 16 hours, and eating all your meals and calories within an 8 hour window. It’s really not hard to do once you’ve gotten used to it. But in my case, my body had gotten used to it, and I was cheating with too many carbs, sweets, and wine.
So what could I do to shake things up?
OMAD. One Meal A Day. Sounds drastic, but it isn’t really, if you’ve already been doing 16-8 intermittent fasting. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s used to three meals a day, but for someone like me that was used to two meals a day it’s not a big change. But it is enough of a change to make a difference.
I remember my gut hurting the Thursday after the weekend that I visited my brother and sister in law. On Friday I thought “I don’t want to eat.” as a way to rest my stomach. But I did eat a light meal of salmon and vegetables that night. So, only one meal that day.
The next day I thought about what I did the day before. Just one meal for the day, and thought , “I wonder if I can do that again?” . Turns out that yes, I could. Chicken and vegetables for supper. No wine either night. No carbs, besides the vegetables like broccoli. So, by day three I thought. “Let’s go for three days of OMAD, One Meal A Day again.” No problem. And weight was already coming off, but not so much the pumpkin. Smaller yes, but still there.
What I immediately also found out is that I was also eating fewer calories overall, since I was only eating one meal a day. 8 ounces of salmon is only 360 calories. 8 ounces of ribeye is 660 calories. 2 chicken thighs are 460 calories. Even with adding a green salad, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms, my entire caloric intake might be between 1000 to 1200 calories. That’s not a whole lot of calories for the day. But I was, and am, feeling great.
But I did decide to modify the OMAD plan, following the suggestion of a doctor posting on the internet, by eating three soft boiled eggs a few hours before the evening meal. Only 240 calories, but loaded with protein and choline, vitamins E, A, D,K, and Omega 3. The incredible, edible egg. Adding that small meal between hour 20 and 21 increased my protein intake for the day to a still low, but safe level, (for me), 1000 to 1400 calories a day. By the end of two weeks of eating this way I had lost 7 pounds. And feeling great. No intestinal pains. More energy. Just good stuff.
48 hour fast
That’s when I decided to go crazy and do something I’ve read about before, seen videos about, but never thought that I’d try. A two day, 48 hour, fast. Why not? Doing a one day fast, even if modified, was no problem. I could easily do that. So why not try 48 hours?
I started the 48 hour fast after my last meal on Friday night. I made it a protein, vegetable rich meal. I had 8 oz of salmon, a pan full of stir fried broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms, and three scrambled eggs. I seasoned everything with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and Italian seasonings. It was delicious. I thought the scrambled eggs wouldn’t be a match for those other foods, but they ended up being perfect with the salmon and all the rest. I completed that meal before 6PM Friday night.
Saturday morning came, and I began the day as I always do. Drinking some tea. Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chai tea, Black Tea, Green tea. Tea. I like the stuff, and it agrees with my gut. I would also drink water throughout the day. By the time dinner time came around I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t eat. That’s how the first day went. Well that, and some studying for a test while on a treadmill, and lightly working out. I finished the day with a glass of apple cider vinegar and water, a tried and true combo that I’ve used before when losing weight.
Sunday morning came and all was well until I felt myself getting groggy mid-morning. I had woken up early, but I was feeling like I needed to sleep again. I checked out why, and it may have had something to do with not enough salt, so I drank a little salted water, and I felt fine again. By 4:40 that afternoon I started to break the fast by drinking a cup of bone broth. Bone broth helps with your guts biome and prepares it for a larger meal later. And it’s only 40 calories.
When supper came around I had caldo con cammarones. Shrimp soup with flavorful red broth, which the restaurant garnished with half of an avocado, chopped onions, and fresh cilantro. The soup itself was delicious, the shrimp is packed with protein, and the avocado is an amazing healthy fat. I added the cilantro, but didn’t use the onions. That total meal was less than 700 calories. So, when I got home I did what any good fast breaker should do when they find themselves short of calories. Ate a small cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Yum. Total calories for that day was still under 1000. And I was down another three pounds.
Can a 16/8, OMAD or 48 hour fast be sustainable?
Is this kind of meal schedule sustainable? I think the One Meal A Day OMAD plan is, once you’ve been doing 16/8 intermittent fasting for awhile. I’ll be following the modified OMAD plan since that seems to work well for me. And every now and then I’ll do a two day fast again. And maybe stretch that to a 72 hour fast. But not right away.
My goal is to see my abs again, and see the pumpkin disappear. I can already see progress on the scale and in the mirror. And I feel great too.