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Monday, August 13, 2007

My New Fasting Regimen

I wrote a month ago about my ad-lib eating/fasting regimen. Soon after that post, I changed things up. With my lack of exercise due to shoulder surgery, I cut down on my food intake since I wasn't supporting any level of exercise. Between not exercising and not eating as much, I quickly shed 12 pounds, much of which was hard-earned muscle put on from Dec-May. One problem was that I went to eating for only about 4 hours a day and was having trouble taking in enough calories to maintain my weight without resorting to sub-optimal foods, which I pretty much refuse to do (outside of an occasional treat). So I'm now doing a 24-on/24-off regimen. I still eat everyday, but the timing of my meals is different. I have been going about 6:30pm to 6:30pm, either fasting or eating. So today I won't eat until 6:30 and what I eat will be a normal-sized meal rather than a gorge-fest of trying to ram in a day's worth of calories. Tomorrow I will have breakfast, lunch, and possibly another small meal before 6:30 hits and I shut down the eating to start fasting until 6:30 Wednesday.

I've been doing this for a couple weeks now and thus far I like it. The main benefit over my previous setup is that I don't have to gorge myself at my evening meal in an attempt to take in enough food. A lowish-carb, moderate protein, high fat diet makes it hard to really go hog wild eating because protein and fat are so satiating. The main drawback is that on Tuesdays and Thursdays ("eat" days), I have to get up early, make breakfast and lunch, and carry lunch to work with me. But it's a small price to pay to not waste away. Now that I'm back to working out with regularity (discharged from physical therapy!!), food intake is going to become more important to support recovery and fuel my activity level. I haven't really noticed any benefits in terms of performance (possibly since I haven't been working out as intensely) or mental clarity, but it is nice being able to eat without stuffing myself and knowing that I can get in plenty of high-quality calories to support my bodyweight and activity level.

Anyone else have any experience with Intermittent Fasting? I love IF, as evidenced by my two glowing posts about it. I'll give you a run-down of 24 Hours of Eating here soon.