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I learn to eat like a bear

bear eating fish in a stream
My first fast took me through August 12, 2019.

During that fast, I rather sheepishly joined the Eat Like a Bear group on Facebook, founded by my longtime online friend, Amanda Rose.

Previously, Amanda told me she'd lost 100 lbs in 8 months. I wasn't skeptical about the weight loss per se, I just didn't care. I had just gotten home from my hospitalization for congestive heart failure; I didn't want to lose weight, I wanted to lie down and still be able to breathe. I was happy for her, but it had nothing to do with me.

Image credit: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain]


She told me she did it via intermittent fasting, eating one meal a day. I thought her calories were dangerously low. She told me what she was eating, the Ridiculously Big Salad (RBS). I admitted she was probably getting more nutrition than most people eating the standard American diet.

She went on "maintenance" from there and lost another 40 lbs, literally winding up half her weight; her FB page exploded with people asking her how she lost so much weight.

A while later, she posted her video from Yellowstone.



Her newly formed ELAB group exploded all over Facebook. I looked on with mistrust. Amanda knew a great deal about nutrition and had a long history with real food, so had done it safely. But all those other people were going to wind up malnourished anorexics; I disapproved from a distance.

By the time I sheepishly admitted I was planning to fast a heck of a lot longer in order to kick diabetes to the curb, no one had become malnourished and over a dozen women had lost 100+ lbs - in one year.

We've over 20 women who've accomplished it as of this writing. More interesting to me, many, many have gotten off insulin and other diabetic medications, some even achieving not only non-diabetic A1cs, but under 5%.

So ELAB is my new online home. I summarize my situation as: Dr. Fung taught me not to eat; Amanda taught me what to eat. Together, the two saved my life, literally.

Before I began eating the RBS, I began my own laboriously calculated meal plan: basically eggs with mushrooms, onions and cheese for breakfast, and a salad with a ground beef topping for dinner. I was doing either 18:6 or 16:8 depending on my home health aid's schedule.

My first discovery was that eating made me hungry! After dinner, I was hungry all evening, which made no sense given I'd had minimal hunger for the last 8 days of my fast.

It occured to me that I'd never been hungry in the morning, so I should skip that meal. I changed my window to 20:4, deciding to eat from 4-8 PM.

And I decided I need the RBS. The thing is, the RBS hits all the satiety triggers. We know there are stomach stretch receptors that release cholecystokinin and notify the brain when it's full via the vagus nerve, acting as a brake on ghrelin. We know animals fed a high or low protein food continue eating until they've ingested a sufficient amount of protein. We know fat provides satiety for many hours after eating. The RBS hits all those signals at once; if anything could kill the evening munchies, it was the RBS.

I began eating my RBS at 4 PM, then stuck it in the fridge until 7 PM when I finished it. Eventually, I did finish it and achieved OMAD.

My first RBS was the Big Mac salad, a favorite of the group.

I simply can't recommend the RBS book highly enough. The hardcover version is currently in development, expected in spring, meanwhile, you can read the prologue to the RBS book now.

If you're interested in this eating plan, you don't have to wait for the print version; check out the the digital course, which includes the updated and expanded 'Ridiculously Big Salad' book, 13 how-to videos, printables for menu plans and shopping lists, plus the addition of hot meals that fit the RBS framework.

But what actually happened to my bG that month?