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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Intermittent Fasting - Progress Report

I have been at it for a few weeks now, with some mixed results.

The Program

Eat during an 8 hour window each day, fast for 16 hours.  Repeat.

I chose an 11:30am-7:30pm eating window, so basically I get normal lunch and dinner.  No breakfast and minimal post-dinner snacking.

More details in this blog post.

The Good - Appetite

I used to be hungry all the time - even after a meal.

During intermittent fasting, I've rarely felt hungry, and never any hungrier than usual.  I was expecting to be famished, especially at the end of the 16 hours - but it felt totally normal and natural.

So the big win here is a curbed appetite.  I don't know why - I have to assume it's due to improvements in insulin sensitivity, or maybe it's psychological - but either way this has been much easier to stick to than calorie counting.

The Bad - No Weight Loss

My weight hasn't budged, it's pretty much where it was at the start of this experiment.

Now I have to admit I have not tried even a little to curb my eating during the 8 hour window... it's pretty much been "anything goes".  As I said previously, I haven't felt all that hungry, but during the eating window I respond to even a slight interest in eating by, well, eating!

I am going to bring healthier snacks to work with me (rather than succumbing to the siren song of the Tim Horton's donuts) and cut back a bit on beer/wine, see if it helps this aspect, since it's the main reason I'm doing this at all!

The Good - Energy

I have felt really good, even during work-outs.  Mostly I have timed them to be either in or after my eating period so I'm not energy deprived, but even when they're not I haven't felt bad at all.

The Bad - Carbo Loading...

This isn't really a negative of the fasting, but rather my ability to stick with it... when a race is looming, it has to go out the window for a few days while I carb-up.  I have to think fasting prior to a race would negatively impact glycogen levels in the muscles.

Fortunately I don't do more than a race every month or so, so it shouldn't impact things too badly.


I'm glad I tried it and I'm going to stick with it at least for a few more weeks.  I feel great and it's pretty easy to stick to.  Hopefully the weight loss follows!

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