In the previous post Intermittent Fasting – Fears and Motivations, I mentioned that I had started experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (IF).
In the end, I decided that I needed to know if Intermittent Fasting would work for me. Both sides of the IF debate knew more science and nutrition than me. Only my own tests would answer the question.
It has been almost 5 months and I’ve done 16 Intermittent Fasts. My Intermittent Fasts go between 21 and 22 hours. I average one per week. If I were obese or had a family history of cancer, I would two per week (on nonconsecutive days). During the fast, I consume no calories, unless you want to count that single rogue calorie one gets from espresso. Here is how a typical IF works for me:
- Finish eating last meal at 9 PM.
- Go to sleep.
- Go entire day only consuming unsweetened tea, espresso and water.
- Break the fast with meal around 6 or 7 PM.
- Resume normal schedule.
I had two fears with IF. Did either fear materialize?
- Did I lose muscle or strength? No.
- Did I gain fat due to a slowing metabolism? No.
By all accounts I should have gained fat this winter. For a large chunk of December I couldn’t lift due to a shoulder injury. In January, my back was in serious pain. And this month I had the back injury which has sidelined me completely. Despite having my activity level plummet this winter, I got leaner. It could have been the cold weather exposure, the intermittent fasts or some combination.
I consider IF to be amazing success if for no other reason, I am no longer a slave to eating by the clock. If I come across poor food options, I can now choose to eat nothing. Hunger is now an acceptable feeling. Because I am now comfortable being hungry, I am longer pressured to eat fast. Taking the time to prepare a healthy meal even if it means waiting another hour is no longer a dilemma.
Something else cool happened this winter. Despite being surrounded my sick people, I never once caught a cold. That has never happened before. That could be a result of food choices, IF or some combination.
Some people have commented that it would be too difficult to do intermittent fasting. Trust me, I understand exactly how you feel. A year ago I never could have imagined this possible. It is doable. I do have some tips and advice, which I will save for my next post.