Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Next Step: Intermittent Fasting

I've been around the bend a time or two with many diet plans, but what seems to work best for me is cutting food intake along with lower carbs. I naturally tend to eat relatively few carbs most days anyway, focusing on protein, natural fat (butter, cream YES!), veggies and the occasional piece of fruit. I also am not hungry in the morning. Sometimes hunger doesn't call until well after 12 noon. When I eat breakfast, no matter how little, I feel bloated.

So I'm taking the next step: intermittent fasting or IF. Found a super program (and free) Fast-5 Diet and Lifestyle. It was created by a doctor and has solid science behind it. The plan involves basically extending your nightly fast throughout the day until 5 pm.  That's no food and no calories from the time you get up in the morning until 5 pm. Then there's a 5-hour "eating window" up to 10 pm. After 10, no more calories until the next "window" at 5 pm the next day.  During those 5 hours you can eat anything you want, there's no restriction whatsoever on food or quantity. I can certainly live with that.


  1. Hi

    I thought I'd post a comment, since I've been following IF more or less on the Fast-5 model for much of the last decade, and also Heavyhands for about the last 25 years! This means of course that I work out in a fasted state, and indeed I rarely feel any need to eat during the day even if I'm hiking or skiing, for example. One word of caution is that it's a good idea to transition gradually into this approach, rather than go "cold turkey". There seem to be some specific adaptations that occur quite naturally and painlessly provided you don't rush things.

    By the way, I post from time to time on both the Yahoo Heavyhands Group, and the Fast-5 Group. I don't know if you follow these groups, but if you're interested you can find more detail there and there are good archives of posts in both groups.

    Best of luck!

    David Nyman

  2. Hi David,
    Thanks for your comment!
    I've been easing into IF for months now without even realizing it. Just got 'fed up' with food and diets and gradually started skipping meals. I never ate until noon anyway, so IF wasn't such a stretch. Went "cold turkey" into Fast-5 with no problems. Done 3 days so far with no hunger or ill effects whatsoever. On the contrary, I feel great. I eat during my "window" simply because of subtle cues from my body. Otherwise, no hunger and no problems like lightheadedness, etc.

    Exercising is no problem. Walked for an hour an half straight in the snow yesterday. Easy. Did my lifting workout in a fasted state tonight and it went well. Took it slow, but could easily handle the same weights as before.

    Thanks for the tip about the HH group. I'd been looking one. I'm already a member of the Fast-5 group (as scaramouche_54).

    Good training and fasting to you. See you on the boards!