Lately I’ve been experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (IF). For me, that means not consuming calories after around 9pm or 10pm and not consuming calories again until around 12:30 or 1:30 pm the next day. This gives me between 14.5-16.5 hours of fasting each day. Here are the benefits as I’ve perceived them so far.
- Fat loss.
- Muscle gain.
- Digestive rest.
- Flatter stomach.
- More positive feedback loop with food.
- More hunger for life.
Fat Loss - This part is noticeable in terms of looking leaner and makes sense in the ‘logic’ of IF. Since I’m not eating breakfast and I don’t eat a huge lunch, I tend to eat a LOT at night. This is generally how IF practitioners do it I think. I may be consuming less calories but I’m not trying to.
Muscle Gain - I have leaned up in the 6 weeks I’ve been doing IF but I haven’t lost pounds. This combined with thinking that by the looks of it I’ve put more muscle on, leads me to think that I have. I’ve only in the past couple of weeks been using a machine at the gym that gives me a body fat read out. I wish I had taken a measurement 6 weeks ago but right now I’m about 10%. Part of what IF is supposed to do is increase Growth Hormone, and other hormones that can impact muscle development.
Digestive Rest - This is related to the flatter stomach piece. I feel like my digestive system enjoys a period of rest each day. I usually stop eating a couple of hours before I go to bed, but food is still working its way through you until you hit the can in the morning. In the past, I would soon be putting more food into my digestive system. Now, it gets a rest for at least a few hours in the morning until I eat again at around 1.
Flatter Stomach - Fat loss aside, my stomach is just flatter. I’m guessing this has to do with the digestive rest that my system gets each day. But, the fact of the matter is that even at night after I’ve eaten a lot my stomach is still pretty flat and this is a marked difference from before I started IF.
More Positive Feedback Loop With Food - This is part of what has been the psychological aspects of IF. I tend to be really hungry when I eat each day and this makes me really enjoy my food. This heightens the intensity of the pleasure that food brings.
More Hunger For Life - I have coffee in the morning with a teaspoon or so of creme. The coffee is calorie free but the creme probably puts a little sugar into my blood which may interfere with the bio-chemical process that IF is credited with inducing. Even if it is, I think I’m gaining a good portion of the benefits which are well elucidated in my trainer Nate Miyaki’s book The Samurai Diet. Nate says..
Undereating/fasting and exercise increase cAMP levels in the body. High levels of cAMP also promote the release of growth hormone — our most potent fat burning hormone in the body.
I spoke about doing this with Nate for a couple of weeks before I started experimenting with it. So far, I’m into it. I don’t really miss breakfast and the positive effects so far are far outweighing what a couple of eggs and toast were doing for me.