One of the reasons I have made it this far with alternate day fasting is that for one glorious part of my fast day, I feel full and the rest of the time, water and tea do a fairly good job of keeping my stomach occupied. Don't get me wrong, I am still hungry most of the time. But the tea and water help my stomach forget about its emptiness for a bit.
Now, 400-500 calories is not a lot of calories, but it can be a great mass of food if you want it to be. Or it could be less than a cup of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. Although the latter option provides a great deal of bliss for a moment, the rest of your fast day is going to be even more difficult.
So what am I eating and drinking on fast days?
Most of the volume I am consuming is zero calorie liquids: water, tea, and coffee. The tea and coffee may have a calorie or two here or there, but they are worth it for the variety for me. I start drinking water as soon as I wake up and keep drinking it until bedtime. I have found I am much thirstier in general both fast and feast days on ADF than I was prior to this diet. I have been drinking an average of 6 cups of tea a day, one cup of coffee, and 8 glasses of water a day. I get heartburn a lot, so one coffee is all I can really handle in terms of caffeine intake on a fast day. The herbal tea is great because some of it tastes kind of like food and the different flavors provide the variety I need to not go crazy.
Currently in my tea arsenal I have: Stash Strawberry Pomegranate herbal tea, the Kroger Brand (Private Selection) Peppermint herbal tea, and Kroger Brand (Private Selection) Rooibos Red Tea. These are all caffeine-free. The strawberry pomegranate flavor is tasty, but there is no resteep value in it. The others are good overall for the money. I drank all of my remaining ginger and jasmine tea already. A lot more tea is going on the grocery list for next week. It is a good thing I love tea and normally drink it without any sweeteners.
In terms of foods, I have been mostly eating raw and pickled produce this week:
- Carrots (a whole carrot, ~30-35 kcal)
- Broccoli (a spear, ~10 kcal)
- Onion (a slice, ~15 kcal) - for flavor
- Celery (a stalk, ~5 kcal)
- Cabbage (a leaf, ~5 kcal)
- Spinach (a leaf, ~2 kcal)
- Dill Pickles (large, whole pickle, ~10 kcal)
- Pickled Sweet Peppers (1 pepper, ~5 kcal)
- Clementine (one fruit, ~40 kcal) - TREAT
- Navel orange (one fruit, ~70 kcal) - TREAT
I eat most of these things solo. However, I made some of these things into a salad and put on Kraft's Fat-Free Zesty Italian dressing (~15 kcal per two tbsps). I am not really a fan of any fat-free or light dressing, so I would never eat a salad with this dressing normally. But when you are hungry, everything tastes a lot better. If you have low-calorie salad dressing recommendations that don't taste too sweet, I would LOVE to hear them.
On the pre-prepared foods side, I am currently loving Progresso's light line of soups. The ones I have been eating are 120 calories per can (60 calories per serving, two servings per can): Light Savory Vegetable Barley, Light Vegetable and Noodle, Light Zesty Southwestern-Style Vegetable. No can opener required on these, so they are an easy take-to-work food too.
I also have developed a cheap and low-calorie take on tuna salad which I plan on eating for lunch again today:
Fast Day Tuna Salad
- one 2.5 oz size Bumble Bee Premium Light Tuna in Water Pouch (~70 kcal/pouch)
- 2 tbsp celery bits (~2 kcal)
- a dash or two of lemon juice (not enough calories to register on the nutrition label)
- dill pickle relish (not enough calories to register on the nutrition label)
- sprinkle of pepper
- heavy sprinkling of Old Bay seasoning