One of the things I said I would do is a post about side effects.
The removal of a wisdom tooth yesterday leaves me resting at home today, so its as good a time as any.
To be honest, I have found the side effects to be minimal. But there are some, and maybe worth a mention.
Let’s get the negative side effects out of the way first.
Feeling cold: Its a funny thing, I was always the bloke in a t-shirt in the snow. Not any more. On fast days I am often found shivering and putting another layer on while everyone else is walking around in t-shirts. I guess I have less padding now than I did, but I have attributed it to blood pressure. I have blood pressure tablets prescribed when I was heavier, and fasting lowers blood pressure, so I generally refrain from taking my tablet now on fast days and that helps.
Irritability: Those around me claim I am more irritable than usual on fast days. To be fair, I don’t suffer fools gladly at the best of times, but as more than one person has mentioned it, it must be true.
Toileting: I wont go into graphic detail, but I am normally more on time than the speaking clock. This diet does tend to slow you down a bit and upset your natural rhythm in that regard. I suppose its logical it would do that as your bowels are used to a set amount of food travelling through them. Suddenly, two days a week there is next to nothing. Increasing your fibre intake on non fast days seems to help though. Swap the bacon sandwich the next morning for some Weetabix and do yourself even more good.
Headaches: On fast days, I find I can get a headache, especially late in the afternoon and evening. Nothing a couple of Paracetamol doesn’t cure, but pretty predictable by now. I suspected it was a bit of dehydration and drinking more water seems to help.
Memory and concentration: The long term effect of the 5:2 is said to improve mental function, and overall I do feel sharper. But on fast days, I do find myself getting a tad absent minded. The brain needs calories though, and again, it seems logical that if it gets fewer than usual, it wont be operating at optimum capacity.
Breath: I have also found that one needs to use mouthwash slightly more often on fast days.
Getting to sleep: I find on fast days that it can be hard to get to sleep. I have overcome this by eating as late as possible so I don’t go to bed hungry.
Clothes: I have expensive taste in clothes. The cost of eventually changing my entire wardrobe is a daunting task that will have to be approached slowly.
So overall, the negative side effects are pretty minimal and far outweighed by the benefits.
Lets take a look at some positive side effects – apart from the weight loss.
Mental agility: Although at face value, this seems to contradict the memory and concentration comment above; it doesn’t. Overall, I feel that I have more of my marbles than I had before. Just a slight edge if you will. My critical thinking and problem solving seems to have become a little sharper.
Taste buds: I have noticed, especially the morning after a fast, that everything seems to taste wonderful. Brown toast with butter and Marmite with a cup of coffee tasted like God himself made it! I almost started making dramatic exclamations in French with my eyes closed. But didn’t.
The opposite sex: My wife seems rather pleased with my new and improving shape, and its human nature to enjoy attention from the opposite sex generally. I have never been an ugly bloke, and have always enjoyed the attention of women. When I was larger, I seemed to become invisible, as you might expect. Having dropped over a stone to date, it became apparent that women notice me once more. Which as any bloke will agree with, is always pretty cool.
Confidence: I have never been short on confidence, but a little more never does any harm. The three positive side effects mentioned above, together with the weight loss leaves one feeling more confident. And who doesn’t enjoy feeling like a million dollars?
As ever, your comments and thoughts are welcome using the comment box below.