The Fast and the Curious

Having gone on record for pulling “a skinny girl” and forgetting to eat an astounding two – count’em: unos, dos times in my adult life, I surprised myself when I decided to test a plan that requires me to deliberately forget about food 16 out of 24 hours in a day. The 8 Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore, claims that you will “watch the pounds disappear without watching what you eat!” by fasting during fat-burning periods.

This plan may make or break me, but my interest was piqued by the authors’ claims and research on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Apparently we have these ‘organelles’ within each of our cells called ‘mitochondria’ that control everything from cell regeneration to producing the body’s supply of ‘adenosine triphosphate’ (ATP), the chemical energy that is “the very stuff of life.” Arggg, science, the bane of my high school existence…. I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t understand it now, so I’ll have to take these brainiacs word for it. Let’s continue with the lesson Mare style….

It appears the mitochondria have a split personality – they generate energy (that’s good), they also generate waste called ‘free radicals’ (that’s bad). If the mitochondria doesn’t get some R&R from processing all the calories we shove into our bodies, all heck breaks loose and those darn radicals, free or not, run amuck and invade our system like cell eating zombies! The next thing you know our cells are compromised and as a result the aging process is accelerated, we gain weight, and we become susceptible to disease. Dun-Dun-Duuuuun!

The science behind the theory goes on for chapters, so I won’t bore you with it. In a nutshell, if we give the mitochondria time to recharge, we will reap many health benefits. This is where the fasting comes in. But how will a black belt food junkie like me stick to this extreme version of conscious uncoupling? I’ve achieved my portly state by unconscious coupling – mindless eating is my ‘thang’, and now I’m going to have to rigorously concentrate on not eating for 16 hours – that’s 57,600 Mississippis! There’s got to be a catch, for me to undertake 31 days of this insanity, right?

Oh, you know me soooooo well!

Sixteen may be the number of hours I must refrain from eating, but apparently, I can eat whatever I want during the eight chow down hours. They’re not suggesting I buy stocks in Frito Lay, but if I were to indulge in a treat, I won’t be penalized for it on the scale. They encourage eating two of their eight ‘powerfoods’ at each meal and snack, and as for exercise – get this – 8 MINUTES a day!

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! SOLD to the ecstatic curvy lady jumping for joy, and not because she has to as part of a prescribed regimen! Woohoo!

The 8 minutes you spend doing light exercise – even just a brisk walk around the block – before your first meal accelerates that glycogen burn, and once those stores are depleted, you’ll turn into a fat-burning machine for the rest of the day.”– David Zinczenko and Peter Moore, The 8 Hour Diet

Other than the heady science, I really like how the book is written – these guys are funny and pumped – they’ve even got me psyched! Can I get a boo-ya?!

I’m not sure if this is a crazy scheme to sell books, but I’m willing to give it a go. The plan is simple – there’s no weighing and measuring, no combining, no omitting – all I need is a stopwatch and resolve, so fasten your seat belt ‘cause, momma’s gearing up for the fast lane! Zooooom!

Ferrari 2006
Revving up the Ferrari (UK, 2006)

I didn’t make the connection until now – the plan I chose for Month 8 is all about them crazy 8’s – that’s gotta be a good sign! To learn the do’s and don’ts of the plan, click here.

To find out how much I lost last month when I tested The Biggest Loser 30-Day Jump Start Plan, click here.