Saturday, February 1, 2014

One Month Without Dinner and February's Two Liter Challenge

My new year's resolution started with skipping dinner in January. It was sometimes really easy, sometimes hard, but in general, it was not that though. Was I successful, you might ask. Yes, I was, at least in my terms of success. There was one time I took calories after 5:30 pm. But it was not intentional. There might have been an evening or two, where I did not look at the clock and hence ate calories at 5:32 pm (but I'm pretty sure that didn't happen). Here's what I have experiences and learned:

The neutral aspect:

  • Coke Zero actually has calories. This was my one-time where I did eat calories after 5:30 pm. I was tired, had to drive home for a long distance, so I was glad about some caffeine, a friends offered me in the form of "Coke Zero". Believing the ads, which said, that there is no sugar in this stuff, I concluded, that it did not contain calories, as well. As I later found out, I was wrong. Coke Zero contains 0.25 kcal per 100 ml. Not that much, but it contained calories. But now I know.

The positive aspects:

  • I sleep better. When eating dinner, and laying down to sleep, I get heartburn. This stopped this month.
  • It's easier to wake up early. When your last meal was at 5:30 pm, or even  4:30 pm, your body will crave for food in the morning. Hence it will be easier to wake early. For me, I rarely stood up before 8:00 am. But skipping dinner makes waking up at 7:00 am fun. I get more that early.
  • I've lost about 1.5 kilos of weight. It was not my intention to lose weight. But being "skinny fat", It's a quite nice side effect.
  • I drank way less alcohol. My drinking time for alcohol is usually the evening: Having a beer after work, or drinking a glass of wine with my wife. This month I drank wine with friends at lunch. And one time with my wife, at lunch. And funny thing is: The wine tasted better than usually.

The negative aspects:

  • Sometimes, I had a great appetite in the evening. Sometimes I wished, I wouldn't have to do this. The next morning the cravings were gone, and I just moved on with my normal life.
  • The worst feeling about not being allowed to eat in the evening, was when it's socially expected of you. For me, it was when having friends visit us. It just sucks, being hungry (or having at least lot of appetite), sitting with wonderful people at the table, ... and watching them eat the tasty pizza my wife created. These were the hardest moments this month.
  • Going to the cinema, and not buying tons of cola and nachos or popcorn, also felt weird. The smell of popcorn was very tempting, to give in. But on the other hand, I usually eat all nachos even before the movie starts, so I realized, I don't really need this, I'm just used to it.

Having experienced this all, I think I will set dinner skipping as my default. The benefits outweigh the negative aspects by far. But I will allow myself to eat dinner with friends. This is what I missed most.

And one meta-thing: Thank you guys for your support! All of the people, who read this, talked to me about this: Thank you! You're awesome. It helped me a lot to talk with you about my plans.

In February

I will drink at least two liters of fresh water each day. Coffee, Tea, Juices, Cola, Whatever, does not count. And additionally, I will not drink sweet, cold stuff, like cola or fruit juices (but I will put some sugar in my coffee). I hope it will be good for my health.

Let's bring it on!