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Saturday, March 7, 2015

My Intermittent Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting

I've been doing the Intermittent Fasting thing for 2 months now, pretty much solid.

Some thoughts...

It's Pretty Easy To Stick To

Of all the dietary changes I've tried to make in my life, fasting from 7:30pm to 11:30am the next day has been the easiest to adjust to and stick to.  I could do this forever, I don't really crave food anymore until lunch.  I've only "cheated" when I was genuinely sick, and even then only for a day here or there.

The Weight Loss Isn't Automatic...

Weight loss is definitely easier because you just naturally eat less.  But if you keep piling on the calories (alcohol and gorging!) then the needle won't move.

... But Stopping the Weight Gain Was

Even if I eat kind of crappy, my weight doesn't go up like it had been before fasting.

Pushing The Fast

The 16 hour fast with 8 hours of eating was a good starting point, but I find I've been drifting more to a 17 hour fast 7 hour eating window, sometimes even more fasting.  Just depends on how I feel.  If I'm still full of energy and not feeling hungry, I don't rush to have that first meal of the day.

Exercising On Empty Works!

I have been shocked with some of the workouts I've been able to pull off.  At the end of the 16 hour fasting window, I went for a 14km run without any calories.  No trouble at all, plenty of energy for a long steady run.  This goes against so much runner's wisdom... but there is a small group that preaches working out on empty to simulate how you will feel on kilometer 30 of the marathon.

Key word being "steady" - anything with intensity I don't have the same success while fasted... so I do my intensity at the end of the eating window rather than the fasting window.

Stop the Pseudoscience, Please

Finally - I have noticed a strong correlation between people doing intermittent fasting and many other far less proven things.  Bulletproof, Paleo, Detox, Anti-Gluten, etc... so ultimately I just stopped talking to other people doing it online, they were driving me nuts.  Intermittent Fasting has many supporting studies behind it - that is a huge part of the appeal to me.

Detox is complete nonsense.
Bulletproof is a fad you can lump in with grapefruit/southbeach/etc.
Paleo is based on a completely faulty view of how evolution works (and people only like it because they get to eat more bacon).
Gluten tastes delicious and unless you have Celiac Disease, eat up!

Show me the science, people!

Verdict:  Works for Me

I'm going to stick with it, possibly forever.  It's just really easy, fits my lifestyle, and I feel great.

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