ADF/WW: Day 20

December 27, 2008 at 12:06 pm 2 comments

One more day to go.   I think one of my main goals with this particular round was to get myself to the point where taking the time to journal my eating habits was no longer something I viewed as a chore.  That hasn’t been an easy goal to achieve, even given the snazzy online interface I get to use with WW Online.  However, I am now finding that I feel sort of ‘at loose ends’ when I haven’t journalled my food, which is good.   Whether it’s a hassle or not, journalling gives me a sense of control over my habits, and I like feeing in control of that part of my life now.  When I don’t journal, I feel sort of lost.

You might understand, then, why I find it aggravating in the extreme when the WW site isn’t loading properly. >_<  I’ve spent the last twenty minutes trying to put in the data for a new cereal I’m trying, and it won’t let me add it.  BAH.  This happens once in awhile, so I know it’ll self correct eventually. But right now is when I’m sitting here trying to add it, so it would be really nice if it worked, you know, right now.

Enough crabbing.  While I wait for it to figure out what it’s doing, I’ll review the QOD Diet book, which I finished last night.  I know I’d said I was going to read it this weekend, but it turns out almost 50% of the book is comprised of appendices and excerpts from Dr. Daugiridas’ blog, so it was a much faster read than expected.

I had high hopes for this book, if only because the author in this case is a nephrologist.  (For those not familiar with the term, this means he’s a kidney doctor.)   Dr. Johnson of the JUDD diet suffers a certain amount of skepticism because he comes to the table as a plastic surgeon, and therefore presumably lacks the background in straight-up nutrition that would otherwise fortify his opinions on this subject.  Dr. Daugirdas, on the other hand, deals regularly with the natural outcome of diet, so presumably his findings, observations, etc. could be better trusted to be rooted in something substantial.

Before I go on, though, I’d like to say that I, personally, don’t find Dr. Johnson’s background troubling.  Everything I’m reading, whether it’s about Alternate-day fasting, cooking, nutrition or whatever has underscored the point that there are very few hard and indisputable facts with respect to nutrition and weight loss.  As I think Melalvai pointed out at some point, everyone has their ‘pet’ approach, and everyone seems to be able to find scientific evidence that suggests it could be the be-all, end-all solution to the problems that ail us.   I mean, most diet books make a big production out of the fact that their diet ‘isn’t for everyone’, but then go on in the never next chapter into elaborate virtue extolment that implies that if everyone would just do this thing, whatever it is, the world would be a happier, healthier place.

I have to think that any doctor, therefore, would have enough background in nutrition just by virtue of the fact that he or she is concerned with the functioning of the human body, to have a worthwhile opinion on how best to approach one’s diet.  A plastic surgeon is still a surgeon, and I would think that someone having to do a lot of liposuction would be just as concerned about nutrition as someone whose field is urine filtration.

I may be saying this, however, just because I find I like Johnson’s book better than QOD. 😉


QOD stands for, as I think we’ve established previously, quaque other die, or ‘Every Other Day’.  It’s the medical notation doctors put on prescriptions for things that must be taken every other day.  Clever name, now that I know what it means.  The book and the approach are a little different from what I know of Johnson’s diet.   Daugirdas, for example, maintains a fairly strict regimen on the ‘OFF’ days, and (owing to his background) makes much of sodium, potassium and calcium intake on those days.  He is (again, natural given his background) very big on restricting salt in one’s diet.  Bleh.

Dr. Daugirdas’ regimen on OFF days basically comes down to a diet consisting primarily of V-8, Orange Juice and plain, unflavored ‘Drinkable Yogurt’.  Vegetables may be eaten in small amounts, but fruits are discouraged on the grounds that they contain fructose, which presumably causes obesity.  Straight-up Carbs, fats and meats are to be avoided; not much new there.

His reasons for this regimen are clearly spelled out in terms of sodium, potassium and calcium intake.  However, despite his assertion that the charm of this approach is partly in its ‘easy accessibility’, the drinkable yogurt he speaks of is only available in high-end grocery stores and specialty shops.  (It also doesn’t sound as if it tastes very good.)  Also, he does not give much in the way of alternatives if you should happen to be someone (like me) who does not care for tomato-based vegetable drinks.  He just kind of says, “You’ll have to find some other way to get the potassium, etc.”  Therefore, it’s actually a rather daunting regimen when you get right down to it.

On ON days, he recommends a 2,000-2,600 calorie diet consisting of 5-6 medium-sized meals spaced out throughout the day.   Much is made, of course, of actual calorie counts, which I personally find more intimidating than the point system Weight Watchers uses.  I should point out here, too, that Daugirdas’ book does not recommend QOD for someone in my situation (that is: someone who is obese), but rather for someone at a reasonably healthy weight that is looking to lose less than 20 pounds or so.  This is probably why his approach to caloric intake is so strict, as in that case it would take a lot more than just an overall reduction of food intake to get the job done.  Going by his diet, one would have to make frequent use of a food scale, take very careful measurements, etc.  This is the sort of thing that intimidates the heck out of the Weight Watchers crowd, which is why we are so addicted to the Points system; Points are much less precise and much more forgiving.

Daugirdas dedicates a chapter to the spiritual side of fasting, which I found interesting.  He discusses the role of fasting in all of the major religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.   The Islam entry discussed Ramadan in depth, of course, but also mentioned something I’d never heard before.  According to Islamic tradition, the Prophet David (the Jews’ King David) was known to fast on alternate days.  There is, somewhere in the Islamic texts (I don’t have the book in front of me, or I’d say where), where some Islamic prophet is discussing the proper way to fast, and he is advising his listener to follow David’s example.

When I went to research this online, I ran across a web link asking about the David Fast, which made me think there was  yet another alternate-day fasting diet out there going by that name.  Instead, it was referring to the Daniel Fast, (referring, I’m sure, to the foods Daniel and his cohorts ate while serving in Babylon) which I also had never heard of.  I might look into that later, but I digress.

All told, I found the book interesting, but not terribly enlightening.  Perhaps an actual nutrition background would have made it better, as I come away wishing I had more to work with than just a preoccupation with potassium and sodium, important though those elements are.   He did cover other vitamins and minerals up to a point, but I didn’t come away with any concrete ideas as to how to ensure I’m getting everything I need.  Moreover, I was excited to see a chapter on exercise, but disappointed in its contents.  The chapter just discusses various types of exercise and why they’re important, but makes no suggestions as to an exercise regimen while on the diet.  I was hoping for some kind of advice that would help me plan out my next 21-day cycle, particularly what sort of approach to take with respect to OFF days.  All I came away with was, ‘Exercise every day.  Eat something before exercising on OFF days.”  I knew THAT going in, but thank you anyway.

This could just mean that it doesn’t much matter.  That one needn’t worry about exercising on OFF days as long as you’re not doing it on an empty stomach.  That kind of makes sense, but I was looking for somewhat more concrete reassurance and advice, and this book didn’t have anything along those lines.

Basically, The QOD Diet is one man’s approach to dieting.  It isn’t really a system, isn’t really geared toward anyone who isn’t that one man.  If your tastes, situation or habits are different from his, this book is of limited value.

He did, incidentally, mention his Treadmill desk.  That made me smile.

One last thing before I go for today:  I woke up this morning with a perfectly AWFUL muscle cramp in my side.  It was one of those cramps that make you catch your breath when you move wrong.  It’s responding to Tylenol, but I can’t imagine what I did to hurt myself like that.  This brought to mind all of the doomsayers who complain that fasting is a surefire way to lose muscle mass.  I don’t know that this has anything to do with that, but I will definitely be starting my exercise regimen next week.


Entry filed under: ADF, Successes, Weight Watchers. Tags: , , , .

ADF/WW: Day 19 ADF/WW: Day 21


  • 1. melalvai  |  December 27, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    That does sound interesting about the various fasting rituals in religions. Maybe for Lent you could slip in a 40-day cycle.

    We read a book a few weeks ago about exercise by a Harvard guy. Iain read it more closely than I did so I’ll let him tell you about it.

    He can also tell you about the Hacker’s Diet exercise plan, based on the Royal Air Force training standards. It has the advantage of being extremely simple, if not at all scientific or thorough!

    I had a little tiny book once called “Fitness Made Easy”, that suggested squeezing fitness into little moments throughout your day. It was designed for the busy office worker, but anyone who finds themselves sitting at a computer a lot could benefit from it. The basic idea was every hour or so you’d do a few minutes (<5) of something, not enough to make you sweat in your office clothes but just enough to build a little muscle. I don’t know how effective that approach could be, but it was an interesting idea.

    My next idea isn’t much good for the upcoming cycle, but when the weather improves, can you increase the outdoor activities, like putting smaller kids into a stroller and walking to a park, store, other destination? I don’t know how logistical that is. One of them is getting old enough he’ll be able to stay home by himself for short periods soon. I think Nell was 7 when she begged us to let her stay home instead of joining me for a quick trip to the grocery store. The first time was like a big adventure but afterwards it was nice for her to have the choice to accompany me on a short errand or not.

    Not sure how effective Wii is at building muscle but it is fun and automatically recorded for you.

  • 2. Jennifer  |  December 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Yeah.. I’ll be making use of the Wii Fit, for sure. But mainly the treadmill and treadmill desk. My current lifestyle is very sedentary, and I figure that’s probably the best place to start, especially since I can do it for a long time and get work done at the same time. 😉

    But as for the ‘get the kids out and walk somewhere’ thing, it’s one of those areas in which having, say, TWO kids is a vast improvement over having four. The only place we could reasonably go without crossing very dangerous traffic (the highway near us is now the termination point for an interstate, and while there are stoplights, there are no sidewalks or crosswalks) would be the library. That’s not a bad destination at all, but even if I put Luke AND Susanna in a stroller, I’d still be dealing with Zack and Noah. The street that leads there is a busy enough road and they are young enough yet that I’m nervous about that.

    I wish I could just leave them at home. I trust the older two to not do anything terribly stupid while I’m gone. As far as I know, Missouri has no law stating at what age a child can be left home alone, but in Illinois it is illegal to leave a child under the age of 13 home alone. I don’t know if the law stipulates at what age the same child can be entrusted with the care of younger siblings. Given the proximity of where we live to Illinois, locally it’s sort of frowned-upon to leave your child home alone until they are at least 10 or 12. :/ In my case, I guess I’d be better off to wait until 13, but that seems annoyingly far off.

    Andy and I have talked about doing what you and Iain do, and just making it a point to take a daily walk when the weather is nice enough. I’m not sure how far we can reasonably go and still be within striking distance if the kids call us with some kind of emergency, though. :/ Walking is sort of slow.

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