Monday, August 25, 2014

Intermittent Fasting

Somehow I stumbled on a couple of talks and interviews with Dr. Mark Mattson, maybe from one of the Healthy Librarian's Facebook posts--she has a lot of interesting posts.   First, I saw this Ted talk.   Then I found this interview with him and Dr. Michael Mosley and Dr. Valter Longo on the Diane Rehm show.  So then I read Dr. Mosley's book, which is very good.  He prefers the 5-2 diet, where you eat normally 5 days a week, and eat 1/4 your normal calories 2 days a week.  That didn't sound as appealing to me as the "fast-8" diet, where you eat in an 8 hour window every day.  Both seem to have positive effects on insulin sensitivity and blood pressure and cholesterol, even for those eating the Standard American Diet.

I started the fast-8 plan almost 4 weeks ago, with the expectation that I wouldn't like it, but I'll try it for a day and see how awful it is.  Well, it wasn't awful at all and I felt great the next day.  I like to exercise in the morning, and, behold, that feels better on an empty stomach.  I was hungry at night for a few days but then that went away.  I guess most people eat their meals between noon and 8 pm, but I prefer 9 am - 5 pm--I have a lot of evening meetings and don't want to eat late at night, plus I like breakfast.  I expected I would pig out too much during the 8 hour window and then feel deprived during the 16 hour window.  Neither happened.  I enjoyed eating what and when I wanted and during the 8-hour window.  Then I enjoyed not eating the rest of the time and busy-ing myself with other things.  I've lost 5 lbs and it doesn't feel like I'm trying. I'd like to lose 10-15 more--that's the weight I've gained the last 2 years.  Plus I feel better.

Interestingly, this is the sort of eating that Dr. Fuhrman promotes with his recommendations to reach the true hunger stage before eating (at least some of the time).  I'm finding myself gravitating back to the Fuhrman diet because I feel better not eating too many starchy foods.  I also like eating some nuts and seeds every day.  I talked about that some in this post too.


Holly said...

Good to see you posting. I have gravitated to an 8 hour eating window too. I tried the 5 hour for a few weeks quite a while ago and I did give the 5/2 thing a try (for 1 day haha) but it's the 8 hour schedule which feels most natural to me. I'm basically 12-8 though not inflexible and on the weekends it is more like 1-9. And I too am including some good practices from my Furhman following days, such as having just one starchy item a day and having it with the evening meal. I feel like a heavier dinner sits well for me. It's interesting how we all vary in some of these nuances. I don't feel like it has to be an all or nothing kind of thing for me with what eating style I adopt. I don't ever want to hold myself to a certain amount of this or that each day, that's for sure.

I lost 6 lbs. and then stalled this summer during a time of intense personal stress. I would like to lose 23 more, to get to a BMI under 23. Onward we go!

Ben Miller said...

Nice blog. I am 22 years old and my marriage ceremony is so near before that I want to lose couple of lbs but due to my job timing it’s not possible for me to go gym and work out so I decided to do follow Intermittent fasting, to make my tummy flat. While searching a good healthy diet plan I came across to your blog and it’s really great.