10 Minutes - The Sabbath Diet

Hi. It's Joe.

As I gear up for the post winter health and wellness activities, I had an idea for a dietary plan. I wish I could somehow tie the band BLACK SABBATH into this plan, but I have not found a way yet to do so.

I picked up the Tim Ferriss book, "4 Hour Body," a couple of years ago. It's got some good info and some bad info, but one of the recommendations he had for diet was to eat healthy six days a week and then have one day where you binge and eat whatever you want. There is an evolutionary genetic basis for such a regimen. As hunter-gatherers, our genetic ancestors went through periods of feast and famine depending on the availability of food in a given area. We might be hard wired to eat this way, low calories for a while then a sudden large intake of food (say, when big game was taken down).

Anyway, some people I know tried this dietary plan with good results. It might not be for everyone, but it is clearly for some people. I want to try a derivative of this plan.

The Ferriss plan involved one day of complete hedonistic dietary indulgence. I am not that much of an indulger and I don't eat a lot of refined sugar anyway. But I do tend to consume too many calories too often. So my derivative dietary plan for the spring is to eat a healthy diet most of the time but allow myself to eat and drink whatever I want during the sabbath period of the major religions, Judaism and Christianity. So basically from sundown on Friday until probably about noon on Sunday, I will allow myself to eat whatever I want, and the rest of the week I will adhere to a strict healthy diet of salads and whole food sources of protein, like beans.

This plan might work. My friends who did the Ferriss plan really went crazy on their free day, eating all manner of high calorie food and drink. I don't plan to go that crazy, so I think I can allow myself a day and a half or so of ad lib freedom, because I'll be eating less crazy. What do you think?

This jibes with the fact that I sometimes travel on weekends and it is hard to find good healthy food on trips. Plus, I can usually have a few beers when I go on trips, because I am not usually driving. So liquid calories will be OK too.

I am going to go soak some beans right now, for later cooking as part of my healthy diet. I ate some fish and cauliflower tonight and I had salad for lunch at Roman Candle. But I also had a few herbed breadsticks at Roman Candle too, because they were free. However, my friend Alexandra helped me eat some of them.


I will let you know how it goes.



Anonymous said...

Hello Joe! Since you asked for an opinion, let me say that I don't believe in "diets" of any sort! Overeating (or "consuming too many calories" as you put it) is a BAD habit that most people develop during their childhood or teen years. Like any other bad habit, it must be quashed...preferably by replacing it with a good habit. People need to retrain their brains so that they actually dislike feeling "full" or having a over-stuffed tummy (I despise feeling full, though it took me MANY years to retrain my brain in this way). Once you have retrained your brain, you will no longer have the desire to go "crazy" and you will ALWAYS be able to "eat whatever you want" b/c your brain will not want to experience fullness (which only comes from overeating/consuming too many calories at one time). Peace. :)

Joseph Leonard said...

Shara you can always leave your opinion. You are wrong but I still love you. HAHA. Just kidding. You actually make a good point. My physiology is more attuned to the "snacker" type lifestyle. The problem is I don't snack. It breaks up the day too much as besides which I don't eat sweets or refined foods, so the snack options are limited, at least at work. But if I don't eat something every 4 to 6 hours, I get stomach pain and low blood sugar and the grumbellies. So I am always sure to eat 3 meals a day. I tend to eat bigger meals to tide me over, but actually I should eat better meals, not more food. When I eat whole foods, it lasts longer. I am crab sensitive so if I eat any carbs besides fruits or vegetables my body just goes into storage mode immediately. In the nice weather, I exercise a lot and keep the gain at bay, but during winter I don't exercise enough and so in the spring I need to do a brief period of deuteronomic reforms where I adhere to a good diet and start exercising to quickly but healthily get back to my good weight. I don't restrict my diet, I just eat healthy hunter gatherer foods that do not stimulate the insulin response and thus do not stimulate the calorie storage signals to my body. Hence, the higher proportion of "clean blows" when I eat this way. A lot of the bulk and fiber just passes through. But I do like to splurge on the weekends and what I said about hunter gatherers is true. The !Kung bush people eat light most of the time, but when they take down a giraffe, they gorge and you'll see them with these distended bellies.