In a nutshell, intermittent fasting means closing the window of time during which you eat.
If you have breakfast at 7am and finish dinner at 7pm, you’d be eating during a 12 hour window and fasting for the other 12. Many of us don’t do that, though.
Nighttime snacking is likely an epidemic and from what I hear/read, it is wise to give your body at least 12 hours of fasting time.
Have you ever skipped a meal and felt lighter, recharged, and not hungry? I have often felt this way. I understand about a third of you will probably be about the opposite but such is my experience.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
I was interested in intermittent fasting years ago when I read what Tim Ferris had to say about it. He has access to exceptional people, is wildly curious, and respects science to as much as a degree as I can tell so I tend to consider what he has to say.
I started trying it a year and a half ago in the hopes it would help me lose some stubborn weight. If I didn’t have type 1 I might have type 2 diabetes. In other words, I become resistant pretty easily and quickly to insulin. If I eat my disciplined way and exercise my basal insulin is about 11 units every 24 hours. If I eat the standard american diet and don’t exercise it goes up to about 30 units every 24 hours. Big difference.
Anyway, I began by just not eating breakfast and having my first meal of the day at lunch (noon) and then having dinner at about 6pm and finishing up at 7pm for the night. I continued my walking most days, trying to walk at least 3 miles a day.
This was easy for me because I have always regretted breakfast. Seriously, I eat it and feel too full for lunch and if I skip lunch I get hungry so it just complicates things and zaps my precious energy. For so long though, the commonly heard “never skip breakfast” has prevented me from doing what felt right.
I lost 10 pounds in about 8 months. I’ve since lost another 5-6 pounds by having lunch not at noon, but at 3pm each day. I’m never hungry before 3pm each day so it seems I have adjusted to this way of eating, which is cool.
Intermittent Fasting for Better Blood Sugar
The other reason I’ve enjoyed intermittent fasting is because instead of figuring out insulin for three meals or more a day, I’ve cut it down to two, giving me one less variable to mess up my blood sugar levels with.
Skipping breakfast helps with the dawn phenomenon and morning exercise, too I think.
For example, when I get up, I first test. I adjust with insulin if needed, usually giving the tiny bit extra for the dawn phenomenon and then get on the treadmill. Exercising in the morning before food has proven to help burn more calories AND it has been proven to keep exercise happening in the first place. If we put it off for later in a busy day, it may just not happen at all.
During and after my walk on the treadmill I will drink coffee, which is my personal way of incentivizing my walk.
When Will I Stop Losing Weight?
I’m very curious about this question because if eating well, consistently walking, and fasting keeps reducing my weight, what does that mean?
Does it mean that intermittent fasting is helping to boost my metabolism? I swear I eat as much food as I used to, if not more. My last blood tests from 2 months ago show my thyroid working much better than it did 2 years ago when it was at the very lowest end of normal, so that is encouraging.
I’m not done losing weight so I will just continue on the path i’m on. I estimate that for my 5’4 height and very small frame I should weigh less, still. Belly fat is my main concern and as my kids lovingly tell me, my stomach is a “cozy and squishy pillow” to lay on.
I’ll be very interested to see if my blood pressure changes in a positive direction with any additional weight loss (fingers crossed). You’ll be the first to hear about it if it does.