I’ve written several times about the use of periodic fasting days to counteract our periodic feast days as well as health benefits of fasting from the perspective of supposed cancer fighting and potentially longevity. I’ve also mentioned fasting as a means of accomplishing weight loss too. Now that I’m a couple months into that practice, I figured I’d show what that actually looks like.
While using the Goal Accountability Project as a means of keeping myself honest on where I am with my health it occurred to me that a graphical punch is as important as a daily check in. It’s one thing to look at a table of numbers and see that I haven’t been hitting the marks I want. However it is of far greater impact when you see a picture of it. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
We’ve talked about two types of measurements so far: mood/health and performance. Tied to that but something that is far more visible to everyone are measurements of body composition. It’s one thing to track something as subjective as how I feel each day of the experiment and trend that. It’s another thing to track overall performance over the experiment at regular intervals to see how my body is operating. However it is our body’s physical characteristics that are both the most visible and at the same time one of the important things that I want to track and trend over the experiment.
A successful diet is built around foods that you enjoy, that are nourishing and healthy and that fits within your budget. This applies to everyone from vegans to your average joe just walking down the street enjoying his SAD diet. One of the tricks behind this experiment is going to be finding that combination for each of the diets that I’m going to be trying out. I’m going to be employing several tools to do that.
How long should I be trying each diet out? I’m taking great care to consider the proper phasing and timing of the entire experiment. I’m trying to make sure that I’m not setting myself up for failure by doing things overly aggressively. I’m also trying to make sure that I don’t bias any results for a given diet. It would be a pity if I switched off a diet just in time for the effects to be felt. At the same time I don’t want to make the period so long that it takes years for this process to unfold.
As I think about how an adaptation to a new diet evolves, I think that commentary of the results day to day needs to go along with a more general discussion of how things are going in the diet. There is the concept of a journal entry to discuss this general component, but a look at the day-to-day specifics of what is going on really deserves its own section. The journal will be more colorful language and describing the failures and successes at that given point in time. An accounting of what I ate or did in a given day however will go into a daily updates section. Ideally this would take my already digital log of consumed food, activities and perhaps moods and show it in a brief set of words and graphics.
Would such an update be too much data for anyone other than me? Having it off in its own area may help with that. It may end up being too time consuming for me. My first update proved to be overly laborious for my liking. Perhaps I’ll get the hang of it and it will just fly by in later updates. I’ll also be updating fitness trends over the weeks and months of the diet, so the daily data may prove to be redundant anyway.
From a methodology perspective, I will be tracking all of these things daily. The question becomes whether that data is turned out daily here as well.