Quite simply, until month four, you should not have two consecutive days on the calorie restriction/exchange unit diet.
Important: Don't leave any of the food on your plate on the days you are using EUs as your guide to quantity, only on the 'normal days.
This pattern of introducing the diet gently is ideal for anyone of 50 or over.
For anyone under 50 (and over 20) the pattern for introducing the diet should be as follows.
For the first month introduce the 1,800 calorie per day calorie restriction/exchange unit pattern on two days each week (but not on two consecutive days), while on the other days eat as previously but start to eat 10 per cent less than usual for the first few weeks, before moving to a 20 per cent reduction in 'normal' intake.
In the second month move to four days per week on the 1,800 calorie per day calorie restriction/exchange unit pattern (by now regularly eating 20 per cent less food than before the diet started, for your 'normal' meals).
Space these restriction days out so that a 'normal' day intervenes wherever possible (e.g. Monday restriction diet, Tuesday normal (20 per cent off) diet, Wednesday restriction diet, Thursday normal (20 per cent off) diet, Friday restriction diet, Saturday normal (20 per cent off) diet, Sunday restriction diet. In this way only Sunday and Monday are adjacent to each other as restriction days, at this stage).
By the third month you can move to applying the restriction pattern on six days per week and eating 20 per cent less than usual on the other day.
By the fourth month you can be fully on the calorie restriction/exchange unit pattern of eating. Don't leave any of the food on your plate on the days you are using EUs as your guide to quantity.
This somewhat faster introduction to the fully restricted diet is suitable for anyone between 20 and 50 years of age.
If either of these patterns seems too quick for you, you can slow the whole introduction process down even further by taking two months for each change which is listed as taking one month in numbers 1 and 2 above. What you should not do is to try to speed the process up as nothing will be gained by doing this.
An important additional 'boost which you can give the programme, in dietary terms, is to periodically (once a month for two days, for example) use fasting or mono-diets. Guidelines on these will be found in Chapter 13.
Monitoring the changes
- Keep a record of your weight at least once a week taken at the same time of day each time.
- Once a month recalculate your protein and fat requirements based on changes in your weight.
- Every now and then (once or twice a month) do a 'spot check' on your calorie intake, using the information in Chapter 12. Make sure you are close to the 1,800 or 2,000 calories a day (depending on your age), as there is no virtue in trying to reduce the levels further.
If at any time you feel unwell on the diet, consult a health professional. It may have nothing to do with the programme, or you may be applying the pattern wrongly in some way. The most likely readjustment you will sense is a change in energy patterns, with feelings of more vitality and well-being, although there is often a period of adjustment during which you may feel lethargic or even nauseous for a while.
If you feel dizzy, lethargic or 'spaced out' this could be a temporary phase. If it persists for more than a few days, a health check would be wise. Sleep patterns and bowel habits may change. These will usually adjust themselves over a period of months.
If you were previously allergic or 'sensitized' to particular foods which are now being eliminated, you could feel withdrawal symptoms or even develop minor skin eruptions. Although usually self-limiting, if you are at all concerned a nutritional expert/health professional should be consulted.
- Ensure that you are eligible, with no age or health barriers (see cautions above).
- Identify your 'set point' and present weights (they could be the same).
- Calculate from your present weight your daily protein and fat requirements.
- Carefully read the notes on exchange units so that you are quite comfortable with the ideas they contain.
- Buy your supplements.
- If in any doubt, consult a health professional before starting the programme.
- Start the programme.
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