It’s essentially the self-imposed diet rules I’ve been living under for the last five weeks and it’s a feeding schedule because it’s become somewhat of a running joke with Jenn and Dave, our cycling friends, because of how much we consume at our dinner meal with them. Julie hasn’t fully adopted the plan but she has embraced the majority of the idea.
The feeding schedule is simple. We have one meal each day to eat whatever we want and not be concerned about calories or quantity. Otherwise, all we eat during the remainder of the day is fresh fruits and vegetables. They may be cooked, may have salt or spices added, but no oils or any significant additions to the produce itself. Should we want a second meal for the day, it comes at a cost. The cost of an additional meal is a minimum of three hours exercise for the day. This can include many forms of exercise and we have primarily been focused on cardio and low impact workouts. We bike, run, or walk the majority of our time. As long as we meet the three hour criteria, we are fine to eat the second meal with the same parameters as the first meal. Should we want a third meal, it’s an additional three hours of exercise.
The idea behind the plan is that I love to eat and I don’t like to regulate what I eat. A need for change made itself apparent by the end of our road trip in August because we were both feeling the weight gain after the trail and we were not happy with it. The feeding schedule is a compromise because I get to eat what I want but only at certain times. It cuts out high calorie snacking and strongly promotes exercise. The exercise naturally burns calories and in a sense, I earn the extra calories I get to consume.
Does it work? I don’t know and I haven’t been conducting much of a scientific test to actually tell if it’s worthwhile. We don’t have a scale out here and I haven’t been on one since 8/23. I feel good though and even after all the indulgence in SF, I don’t feel that I’ve gained much if any weight. Once we get back to Ohio and pick up more of our stuff, including our body fat scale, I’ll begin testing more thoroughly. But for now, it motivates me to work out, it provides incentive for thinking about what I eat and when each day, and I actually get really hungry at times, which is a good feeling. I found that during our East Coast road trip, I was never actually hungry. I’d eat good meals with friends, I’d snack during the day, and eat ice cream almost every night. On this plan, if I want the snack food, the cookies, or the ice cream, they need to be part of my meals for the day or else I don’t get them.
I’m not encouraging anyone necessarily adopt the feeding schedule. There is no evidence it works or is at all healthy. It fits my personality though and it makes sense to me, even though I haven’t thought through it that intensely. I feel good, I’m eating well, and I’m also getting in plenty of exercise. Life is good.