Adventures in Intermittent Fasting

empty plate

Intermittent Fasting involves eating during an eight-hour block while fasting for 16.  I’ve been adhering to this schedule for about 6 weeks, although I skipped the week I was on vacation and I eat prior to my long training runs on Sunday mornings.  I begin eating at around noon and stop eating and drinking (except for water) at 8PM.  I just recently began two days ago limiting added sugars and eating more fruit.

My reasons for intermittent fasting were as follows:

  1. I wanted to see if I could do it because it seemed hard.
  2. It simplifies the morning routine and evening routine.  In the morning I drink coffee.  No other meal prep.  No dishes.  Fewer items to buy at the supermarket.
  3. I liked the idea of reaching a fasted state.  It takes the stomach two hours to empty its contents.  Depending on the source you read, your body takes up to 12 hours after eating to use up all the glucose, free fatty acids and amino acids it pulled out of the food.  That is called the fasted state.  So in my 16 hour window, there are 4 hours where I am using energy drawn from my stored fat.  If I’m doing something strenuous like exercise, this obviously is reached sooner and the calorie drain is deeper.  You can still gain weight with IF (Intermittent Fasting) and in fact all you need to do is to eat more calories than you burn during the 8-hour window which isn’t hard to do.  But, I liked the feeling of not being bloated and the thought that I’m drawing from my fat reserves, especially if I’m exercising.
  4. It puts limits on how much I eat.  Most of what I eat after 8PM is snack food or beer.  When the rule is to stop eating at 8PM, there is no question about whether to get snack food.  I don’t feel as full when I go to sleep.  In the time I’ve done IF I’ve lost 1.7 pounds.  Not huge but also it happened at a time I was not consciously dieting.
  5. It’s associated with longevity.  So far, I’m still alive, so I can’t argue there.

Here are the questions and answers I get most often:

Q: Don’t you feel hungry?
A: Not any more than I normally do.  There are moments of mild hunger but they usually just fade away after 5 minutes.  Because there is no decision process about whether I’m going to eat if I feel hungry I don’t pay as much attention to them.

Q:Don’t you feel badly when you exercise in the fasted state?
A: This varies.  I wish I could say like others I’ve read that I feel quick, light and great all the time.  In fact about 60% of the time I feel that way.  But there have been at least 3 times when I felt distinctly light-headed right after exercise but then felt fine until noon.

Q: What do you do for special occasions (like vacations) or when your wife comes home late for dinner?
A: I don’t do IF on vacation.  I usually wait if my wife will be home 7:45 and just eat later but if she is home much later we eat seperately.

Q: Do you eat huge quantities when you begin eating?
A: No.  I eat my normal amount.  I have a Zojirushi Mr. Bento and that portion-controls my food.  Amazon Link to Mr. Bento

Mr. Bento

Q: When are you going to stop this?
A: When it is no longer fun.

3 thoughts on “Adventures in Intermittent Fasting

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