Now that I’ve been Intermittent Fasting (IF) consistently for the past month, I am amazed by it. I have done it off and on for a couple years. The addition of the Zero app makes it so much easier. I’m a Type-A, analytical kind of guy, so I love tracking progress with the App. Here are a few insights to how its working.
There are several Fasts that you can choose with the app. The lowest is the Circadian Rhythm fast that roughly runs with the nighttime hours and lasts 13 hours. The other fasts graduate to 16:8, 20:4, and multi-day fasts. I was bouncing between the 13 and 16 hour fasts based on my life schedule. But I found that if I was going to fail (early on in this process) a 16 hour fast, then I didn’t want that blemish on my history report. So I would switch to a 13 hour fast mid-stream. Now, I always do a 13 hour. Then if I go longer, I just go longer. I don’t call it anything else. Regardless, I reach my goal and often have more hours than the minimum.
I haven’t read the research lately that speaks to how a stomach stretches when you eat. I watched Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest on the July 4th. I often wonder when they eat so much food, their stomach and other organs must stretch to some crazy volume. But do they feel hungry the next day after all that stretching. For me, I feel on IF, I get full very easily after my fast. So a big dinner for me is usually very moderate in size. I think that’s an added bonus with IF.
When I come off my fast, I almost never eat something significant unless its the weekend. If I have my druthers, I would much rather break my fast with a Ketogenic option. Then, I am not triggering insulin production, which makes you more hungry and shifts away from fat burning. Part of my goal with IF is to also DE-hypersensitize my insulin response. I only want to use it when I really need it. So if I can eat fat instead, like medium chain triglycerides, then I can keep in the fat-burning zone. But honestly, have something like a normal breakfast food like a pasty or something sounds much more delicious. I’d rather not crave something like that and I usually don’t. So that happens rarely. Actually, if I can go the full day being totally ketogenic, then all the better. For instance, last night I ate dinner at 530pm consisting of a grilled (half) butterfly pork chop and a big helping of broccoli. No starches or sugars at all. So I’ve been fat-burning for two days now and it feels fabulous. I can visualize fat melting off of my organs. That’s a good feeling.
The other benefits of IF are amazing. For one thing, each day I do IF, I am becoming less hungry and cravings are at their lowest. Most times, when it comes time to break my fast, I forget and just keep working. I don’t have peaks and plateaus of energy. Everything is Even Steven. When I ate a normal 3 squares a day, that lunch time feast would always cause me to find a Circadian trough where I needed a Siesta after lunch. I don’t feel that way anymore. Usually, I just work through lunch "time" and feel motivated all day.
The difficulties were weekends. The first few weeks, I would break my IF or not even attempt it. Then I’d eat like a normal person. When Monday rolled around, I was back on IF. But this past weekend, I didn’t have a desire to break my fast. So I just kept to it and it wasn’t a big deal. Also, I would make myself some eggs and sausage links for breakfast when it was time. That is a hearty meal that fuels a busy, physical day while still being ketogenic. Its a much better option than bagels, waffles, pancakes, donuts, or any other flour based treat. I even cook the eggs with some bacon fat to make it more tasty and giving more energy units.
Another good option I’ve used during the work week is to have oatmeal in my office. Despite my disdain for grains in general (I love the taste, hate the effect on us), I will eat oatmeal on occasion. Research studies show that oatmeal is one single food that can assist with reduction of type 2 diabetes and other conditions. So that is my one slack food that I’ll eat now and then.
Experiment with IF even if for only one or two days a week. It is instrumental in breaking food dependence and hormonal hypersensitivities. If Caveman did it and lived through very tough times, then its probably good for us too. Do it for your kids too. Then they know what its like to do without and can make them more resilient mentally and physically. Take out the silver spoon and throw it away. Its a lesson for us adults as well. You definitely are not going to die if you miss a meal or two. Its good to learn that in life.