Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trying a new tack

So, I've been experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (or IF).

If you follow this blog you know that I've been racking my brains trying to figure out how to budge these last 20-25lbs. It's frustrating to have lost 155lbs and not be able to get rid of the last 25 and I'm hoping IF will give me an assist.

IF is used pretty often by Paleo folks as we realise that our ancestors certainly had to have eaten that way - if unintentionally.  Think about it. There's no way Grok got three squares a day and he sure as hell didn't roll out of his nest at 9 in the morning and chow down on a sugar-and-carb nightmare like 98% of Americans do!

No, Paleolithic man rose with the sun and didn't eat until he or she found something to eat.  They got up and got on the move - a fasting workout - and ate when they located forage or made a kill.

We evolved over millions of years to do this and occasional fasting won't hurt you a bit despite the horrified reports from the mainstream. There are a whole host of myths about eating frequency, as a matter of fact. The whole "you need a good breakfast to kick start your metabolism" for example, is pure bunk. It's a tired, regurgitated lie perpetuated by "dietitions" and online fitness and diet articles that has no basis in fact.

The "it's better to eat 5-6 times a day" thing is absurd as well along with the "I get shaky and lightheaded if I don't eat" excuse. Well, if you stuff your maw with carbs and sugars then you are going to be starving in two hours. Duh. You spend all day yo-yo-ing your insulin and blood sugar, no wonder you get flakey if lunch is late.

If you eat whole food, real food, and wholesome, satiating things like meat, eggs, nuts, cheese, real butter, and vegetables, you don't NEED to eat so often!

So, back to intermittent fasting. There are different versions. Some folks like to do 24 hour fasts a couple of times a week. Others fast every other day (Alternate Day Fasting, ADF). I tried both of these and failed miserably. See, I cook three hearty, healthy, meals from scratch for six other people (my husband and my five kids) every day. I was able to make it through breakfast and dinner, but by supper time, when I really was hungry, frying those hamburger steaks or pork chops or pulling that chicken out of the crock pot KILLED me.

So I've been experimenting with doing daily fasts of 16+ hours.  I go to bed at 8pm so I figured that if I could make it till noon, that'd be 16 hours.  Today is my fourth day of IF-ing and I've made it to 18 hours one day and 20 another.  It's remarkably easy and I feel great.  It's really nice to not worry about set meals and not have to weigh, measure, plot, or plan.  I just break my fast with whatever I feel like eating and I LOVE the fact that I can eat the foods I adore; huge steaks, shrimp by the pound, veggies swimming in butter, without having to count calories or worry about portions.  I've noticed that my appetite has become naturally greatly reduced. The first day I tried IF, I made a huge steak and a load of cauliflower and ate every bite, by day three I made a huge pile of food, but only ate half. I just was full after that amount!

Do I miss breakfast?  Not in the least. I don't even make coffee anymore (I like my coffee loaded with heavy cream, so I reserve it for a late treat).  I grab a glass of water and sit down to work every morning and my mind is clear and sharp.  Don't I get hungry?  I get peckish about noon or so and I treat myself to a diet soda or some sugar-free tea if it really bothers me.  So I guess the meal I "miss" is lunch, but it really doesn't bug me. Especially if I'm out and on the go, I don't even think about it being "lunch time".  And if I'm really starving, then I have the option to eat at twelve and just do a 16 hour fast that day.

Am I losing weight?  Well it's only been four days and they weren't consecutive (had a 24hour day try-and-fail in there). ;)

Do I think I can live like this all the time?  Sure. It's insanely easy (and I'm a huge fan of easy!), really, really convenient (no lunch to pack, no grabbing breakfast on the go), and quite frugal!

So what about you? Have you ever tried IF?  ADF?  What worked for you?

UPDATE: I'm on day 5 of #ifast and my weight is definitely trending downward!  Squee!

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:46 am   3 comments


At 10:41 am, Blogger moonduster said...

Awesome, Blue! I think I already do this, without realizing that it was what I was doing. I always go with about a 12 hour fas ton ym weigh-in day, and, during the week, if I don't like the trend my weight is taking, I occassionally take a day where I don't eat anything until about 5pm. I never eat past 7pm at night, so that would be a 22 hour fast. (I don't do the fasting thing as often as you do though.)

At 10:48 am, Blogger Jim Wright said...

Hey there:

I've been doing adf for about 8 months, and have dropped about 40 pounds doing it. Found it easier in the end to fast for over 30 hours (from last meal prior day, to breakfast next day), but that's just me. Stick with it. It really works!

At 10:13 am, Blogger 'Natuurlijk Zuinig' said...

Have you ever tried green smoothies? They totally changed my life!

I absolutely agree with you on all acounts about the way our ancestors have probably eaten.
However, because of that, their metabolism (and therefore ours) is tuned to using as little calories as possible when fasting. So I'm not sure...
But if YOU feel good about, you should do it. After all: all of us ARE different!

Good Luck,


Post a Comment

<< Home