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  • I'm copying this from my journal, and highlighting the ADF relevant portions.

    And I'm off!

    I could already feel the difference this first day. As I was packing Littlest's lunch, I realized I wouldn't be allowed to taste the kiwi berries I was putting in. If I was feeding my family on SNAP, of course, I wouldn't be BUYING these little treats, not at $2.99 per package. Food stamps means no experimenting with little fun things that cost 1/10th of your budget. Well, no, of course not, food stamps are for hard times. Experimenting is a luxury. But still, it made me sad. I like for my kids to be adventurous in their foods. Glad that Littlest is not doing this with me.

    Next realization: although my breakfast of 1/2lb ground beef with 2 fried eggs filled me up, I missed my A-1 sauce. Or other options of some blue cheese, fried onions, or a sliced avocado. Sigh. Those extras really make my Up Days, and now I don't have them.

    By lunch time, I was definitely thinking of food. I wasn't HUNGRY per se, but I was food-bored: I wanted something to eat. Something fun. I began to think I had made a serious mistake in not planning for a treat for each day. Maybe I will use that $1.71 to buy some jello. I sipped up my 2 cups of meat and vegetable soup very slowly, to make it last. I could have had some creamed spinach with eggs, or coleslaw, but I felt that first nagging worry: if I eat that NOW, I might not have it for LATER.

    I got busy in the afternoon, and didn't think about dinner until almost 6:00. Fried up my chicken, used some chicken grease to make my zuccini( again with just oregano), and heated up my cauli-rice leftovers. The cauli-rice recipe was okay, nothing special, I wouldn't make it again, but I found myself scooping up extra. It was there, and it was filling. The chicken and zuccini were delicious. But when I was done with them, I was DONE. I wrapped up the rest of the chicken and put it into the freezer to eat on Sunday. I realized I couldn't afford to have them hanging out in the fridge. What if they went bad, and there was nothing to eat on Sunday? What if I ate them beforehand, and there was nothing to eat on Sunday? What if someone else got them, AND THERE WAS NOTHING TO EAT ON SUNDAY?! Man, it doesn't take long to become protective about your food, does it?

    Littlest snacked on some cheese to round out her dinner( well, why not, there was no extra-creamy goodness WITH it!) and offered me some, before realizing I couldn't have any. She was sorry, and so was I ...that cheese looked and smelled good! (Gouda.)

    I went to bed not hungry, but sightly edgy. I felt like I was missing something. I think maybe I was nervous about heading into a Down Day not feeling satisfied. I woke up this morning a little hungry, but ready mentally for my Down Day. I have good habits now. I am counting on them to carry me through. And I have that soup waiting, in case I need something. And carrots. And 1/4 head of cabbage. I can make it!

    Interesting note: my weight was down two pounds this morning. After an Up Day. I usually swing UPwards.


    • Wow, Sabine! Good luck on the challenge. There was a short period of time (around 6 weeks) in my life when I actually had to restrict my food intake for financial reasons. It was a little over 9 years ago. I had just graduated from college, and, while I had a job working at a university lab, it took the university a couple of weeks to process payroll so I couldn't get paid right away. I basically ran out of money and wouldn't get my first paycheck for 6 weeks. I lived off supermarket bread (the cheapest kind) and one bottle of Welch's strawberry jam. I'd make myself jam sandwiches, but I could only have two a day because I had to make it last. Needless to say, I lost weight. It wasn't fun though. It was very stressful.

      My journal


      • Thanks, Diene. It IS a whole different thing indeed, to be restricting due to money than health/religion/what have you. I'm so glad that I am doing this by choice, rather than necessity, because the stress would be horrible. As it is, I already feel it a little. I find myself very possessive of my eggs: I don't want to get to the last day and not have enough to eat. This is just a small taste of the 'too much month at the end of the money' situation so many people on reduced incomes are in.

        Yesterday was a Down Day, so I already had the plan of not eating much. I've budgeted for a bottle of kombucha(homemade- $.50) for each Down Day, so the only real difference is that instead of having a protein shake at the end of the day if I 'need' it, I planned for some veg/meat soup. I didn't have any last night, partly because by the time I was wanting it it was already close to bedtime(my usual reason for not having it) but also a LITTLE because there is only so much soup to be had. Again, I didn't want to run out.

        I woke up hungry this morning, for the second day in a row. That happens sometimes after a Down Day, but not as a REGULAR thing. And it was very weird to wake up hungry after my UP Day. Not just 'oh, I've been up for an hour, I'm hungry' , but 'open-your-eyes-and-be-thinking-about-food' hungry. I think it is partly emotional, because I had good protein and fat, and I am mostly-fat adapted. My body should just be dipping into stores. Apparently knowing I can't eat what and when I want, really pushes some buttons in my brain.


        • Still waking up hungry.

          I'm going to make an effort to eat MORE on my next Up Day, and not worry about running out of food on the last days.

          My weight is dropping even after Up Days, which doesn't usually happen for me, and certainly not on two in a row. In terms of weight reduction I am mostly glad. (The mostly comes because I don't like to go down too fast- it makes me think something might be wrong.) But I won't be continuing this after this one week challenge because mentally I don't like the restriction.

          Which may sound funny. People can look at ADF and see restriction. Why isn't that the same thing for me?

          Well, every other day I get to eat WHATEVER I WANT. That makes not eating anything/much for one day seem like nothing.

          I've also come to really ENJOY the Down Days. They feel like RESTS, not restriction. (Mostly. Sometimes of course, I just want to EAT. But just occasionally.)

          And I am CHOOSING ADF. I'm doing the SNAP challenge to raise my awareness/compassion for people who have to eat this way all the time, so it is my choice, but I am very aware that for most people it is not. It is a day to day grind. And since I am determined to really do this for a week, for this week, I feel like I have no choice. So I feel grumpy. Last night my pork was dry, and I couldn't just grab the sour cream and throw on a blob. I couldn't decide that hmm, some salsa would be great on this. I couldn't say, not enough crunch in that meal, how about a few nuts. And neither can most people on SNAP.


          • hello, im new to this i am 15 my bmr is around 1500. i haven't been healthy and been trying to starve self :/ this seems like a healthier option. i started this today ate 500 cals, tommorow ill probably eat around 1200. i have 2 questions
            1. Is 500/1200 enough if not how much should i eat? -i play a sport at varsity level that starts in a couple weeks
            2. if i got to a happy maintain weight in 2 months can i come off adf without gaining weight back?


            • Cambree, if you are 15 years old I would NOT suggest ADF. Your body is still growing. Eat enough EVERY DAY. As a teenager, I am sure you need more than 1500 calories per day, and more again if you are playing sports.

              Why don't you look into basic primal eating eating first. It will give you all the nutrition you need, and if you are overweight(you don't state, but imply you are) it should get you to a healthy weight in a better way for your age.

              I see this is only your second post and you joined the forums this month. Don't know if you have been looking at the threads for long, but there are much better places for you to start than ADF.

              Take care.


              • thanks for replying im 5'8 around 136lbs
                i wanna probably lose 10lbs, im not sure what im gonna do with how to do it. my bmr is 1500 how am i supposed to eat enough AND lose weight?


                • 5'8" and 136 pounds is not overweight by any normal standard. Why don't you focus on building muscle, instead, if you still 'feel fat'?

                  Also, remember that your BMR is if you are lying around all day. Any activity you add is added to that. 1500 is just enough to keep you in bed.

                  I know that if you want to lose weight, the last thing you want to hear is, 'don't', but I think you might need to. Have you read 'The Primal Blueprint'? Or even the 'start here' threads?

                  Try working on improving/changing your lifestyle as Mark suggests, without worrying about the weight, then see if you still feel that way after three months.

                  Please don't try ADF at this point in your life. There's better stuff out there for you.


                  • At 5'8" and 136 lbs, you don't need to lose any weight. In any case, 500/1200 would defeat the purpose of ADF, which is to prevent your metabolism from slowing down by alternating high-calorie and low-calorie days. 1200 calories is way too low for an up day. You should do at least 500/2400.

                    BMR is the number of calories you would burn if you stayed in bed the entire day. Since you probably don't stay in bed all day, you burn way more than that in any given day. Even mental activity burns calories.

                    Look, take it from someone who had an eating disorder when she was a teenager. Don't do it. You want to give your body sufficient nutrients to grow at this age. Not doing so will mess you up for life. It's not worth it.

                    My journal


                    • Thanks for this thread Sabine, and for including the SNAP stuff. SNAP is not easy.
                      Paleo Diet: 8-25-13 Wt: 185 BF% 27
                      Primal Diet (Lower Fat/Carb): 9-27, Wt: 176.4
                      Potato Hack Diet (Rotation): 11-12, Wt: 171.2
                      Primal Diet (LF/C): 1-23-14, Wt: 159.6
                      1-30-2014 - 157 (lowest weight since 2004)
                      GAPS/SCD 12-29-2014
                      CW: 164 GW: 130-135 CBF%: 24.38
                      49 - 5'7.5"
                      Macros (PFC) 30/40/30


                      • SNAP + ADF update

                        Well, I made it through my SNAP challenge. And for me, it really WAS a challenge. I learned a lot, but I won't address it all here, just the part that I think relates to ADF.

                        One of the aspects of ADF that appeals to me is...Anything I want, every other day. Since I am only eating (to any great extent) half of my days, I have started eating only things I really want. No wasting my time and calories on ho-hum foods. And sadly, on SNAP, it is mostly ho-hum. I would eat all of those meals again, but I would definitely jazz them up with extras, and not have them twice, or thrice in a row, as I had to do this past week.

                        So I felt the restriction of my diet a lot this week. Down Days were the easiest (except for not getting enough on Up Days leading to lingering hunger issues) because I wasn't looking for food enjoyment. Aside from my kombucha. Yay for kombucha!

                        I did go down more this past week (5 pounds versus my normal 1-2) and I hope to hold on to some of that, but it was not a pleasant way to do it, and I would not do it for weight reduction.

                        Very important to me in doing ADF is that it is a method I foresee being able to use long-term. (As I have already been doing it for 7 months, I think I am right about this. This is the longest I have held to any 'plan'.) The SNAP is definitely NOT sustainable long term for me, and I could feel the desire to 'eat, eat, anything, just eat' building in me, reversing my ADF control.

                        Yesterday was my first day off the SNAP challenge. By my schedule, it was meant to be a Down Day, but I made it a Medium Day instead. I treated myself to something I really like- sashimi- and immediately felt happy. Today I will be having a normal Up Day. I don't think I will go crazy with amounts, but I do anticipate enjoying eat whatever I like, and not just what is on the plan.

                        And then a normal Down Day on Friday. I'm looking forward to entering it with no hunger.


                        • I'm still plugging along with ADF. I have been naughty and taking extra feast days for social outings though. This hasn't seemed to slow my weight loss progress too much though. I've managed to lose 5 lbs in just less than a month. I think a part of this not eating a crazy amount of of calories anymore and eating less refined foods and grains since I have settled back more into my normal eating routines. I am one pound away from where I was before I entered maintenance mode before my wedding in August.
                          Blogging my weight loss experiment using alternate day fasting here:


                          Created by - Free Calorie Counter


                          • I'm really happy to find this thread! I've been basically doing this for about the past two weeks or so, just because I had been having some stomach issues that were keeping me from feeling like eating at all, and then I'd be hungry the next day. I probably should lose about 15 pounds or so (I was 185, 5'11", and would like to be firmly under 170), and I ended up dropping 3 pounds FAST. It was incredibly easy and natural-feeling, and since I've been primal I've found it easy to do IF and even occasional longer fasts. I actually prefer the down days in terms of energy and overall well being! So with all that being said, I'm planning to continue this way of eating and hopefully get some support (though I see this board is a little slow recently) in doing so... Hoping to lose these extra pounds and continue to see the energy benefits! (I've been more productive in the past week than I can remember being in the past 5 years!!)
                            So my (somewhat personal) question is this: does anyone have issues with constipation (:-o) doing this? All of a sudden my bowels don't seem to be working right... I may have slacked a little on hydration, so I'm trying to be really careful about that, but other than that, has anyone else had any similar experiences? Any thoughts on reasons for that? My down days I generally drink kefir and have coffee, and a very small primal meal for dinner, and then the up days are just a standard 2000ish cal day of primal eating... Thoughts?


                            • Hi, Joyfulsong. Glad to have you join us.

                              I didn't have any constipation issues when I switched over to ADF, but my standard advice is to try squatting, or even just putting your feet up(with no weight on them) while eliminating. I don't usually have issues, but even regular elimination is noticeably easier when I use the squatting rather than sitting position.


                              • Thanks Sabine, hopefully it's just some dehydration issue, but I will try your suggestions as well.. Sorry to be so gross in my first posting here! haha
                                Another down day for me today, and I have to say it makes me happy! I went out to lunch w/ coworkers yesterday, and then had dinner at a friend's house, so I tried to make as-primal-as-possible food choices, but it's so much easier when I don't have to make any of those decisions!