This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
[Editor’s Note: Recall this blog has a disclaimer towards the bottom of the far right column. The following is strictly the opinion of the writer and not a recommendation for you to try something similar.]
Dieting is a huge business, these companies spend a ridiculous amount of money on advertising to get you into their programs where they basically tell you (from what I can understand) to eat less food every day. The whole idea of a diet is to create a calorie deficiency so that you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming. The vast majority of diets attempt to do this by calorie or point counting or portion control by carefully measured pre-made foods.
I have a different idea and have implemented it over the past month or so, not so much for weight-loss purposes more so because of the health benefits that are being found in study after study over the past year or two – I just don’t eat for a couple of days a week.
This periodic fasting has a couple of impacts in my life:
I don’t eat for 24 hours at a time – I eat a normal breakfast or lunch, stop eating at noon one day and start eating at around lunch the next day. In the process I miss 2 meals (Dinner and Breakfast), doing this a couple of days a week, I’m not paying for 4 meals per week (out of 21), effectively decreasing my grocery bill by 20%. This kind of eating takes a little bit more planning around leftovers, so that things aren’t staying in the fridge for extended periods but there has been a noticeable decrease in my household grocery bill.
The main reason why I started doing this was for health purposes. I would prefer to live longer than average, and from reading various books and research studies this method of eating seemed to provide the best chance of achieving this. In a recent study from the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans it was found that “Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body” (1)
In addition this same study “confirmed earlier findings about the effects of fasting on human growth hormone (HGH), a metabolic protein. HGH works to protect lean muscle and metabolic balance, a response triggered and accelerated by fasting. During the 24-hour fasting periods, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men.”(1)
I realize that this is just one study with a relatively small sample size (200 people), but there are many others that have been done over the past decade or so that show similar positive results. For me health wise, I haven’t experienced any negative effects – in fact I would say that I have been able to lift heavier weight now than prior to eating this way (I have been setting personal bests in squats, and bench press in the last few weeks).
So, although kind of different it is a method that saves money while not really changing what you eat, more when you eat. The health benefits associated with this type of diet are also significant, both for weight maintenance as well as overall health.
Would you think about such a drastic change in your diet for money or health?
(1)A summary of the study can be found here
(2) A really good source of information for Intermittent Fasting can be found at http://www.leangains.com/