I was looking at my blog and noticed I had written a post called the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting and was surprised that it was posted April 2016. To my astonishment I have been doing some form of intermittent fasting on almost a daily basis for over 3 years. Since then I went on to post about one meal a day (OMAD) which can be found Giving OMAD a try – Day 1 and Giving OMAD a try – Day 2 both of these were written last year in February.
My fasting method is a 18/6 protocol where I stop eating around 6:00 p.m. at night, skip breakfast and eat lunch at about 12:00 p.m., which gives me anywhere from 16 to 18 hours without eating. I do this on a daily basis and try to add a 24+ hour fast once a week, typically on a Saturday.
The 18/6 protocol allows me to keep my weight within a 3 or 4 pound range, so for me that is anywhere between 162 and 166 pounds. While this is great for maintaining your weight I always felt that I was missing some of the benefits like pushing your body into ketosis and a greater level of autophagy (rebuilding of cells) in the body. One of the things I noticed is when I push the fast beyond 20 hours my body actually feels warmer, there is a slight tingling feeling, and I suspect I am beginning to make some inroads into burning fat instead of glucose for fuel.
If you are just looking to lose a few pounds and acquire some of the other benefits from fasting the 16/8 or 18/6 intermittent fasting protocols work just fine in my experience, but if you want to really start burning body fat and push yourself into autophagy throw in a 24 hour fast once a week or once a month. The question I often hear is how will I feel, especially during a 24 hour fast? I actually found I felt better in a fasted state then when I was eating. I won’t kid you for me I was pretty hungry at about 20 hours, but not in a ravenous state. One of the cool things is you can look forward to a pretty large meal after that 24 hour fast. You could do something like OMAD on a daily basis, but then you really aren’t doing a 24 hour fast and you also need to deal with social situations like declining lunch invitations, etc. Remember the longer you can stay in the fasted state the more body fat and cell regeneration is taking place, so pushing it from 24 to 36 hours once in a while can be a very good thing.
Well that’s my update for now. I continue to learn more everyday regarding the benefits of fasting and after 3 years I can unequivocally state that there are many positive benefits and the longer you do it, the easier it becomes.
Note: I am not a doctor and am not advocating that fasting is the only way to control your weight or be healthy. There may be some situations where fasting is not appropriate; for instance if you are pregnant or under weight. Do your own research and consult a physician if you have any concerns about trying some form of intermittent fasting.
If you want to know more about autophagy check out this article it goes into much greater detail than I have during this post:
Benefits of Autophagy, Plus How to Induce It
Actually yesterday was my second day of using the one meal a day (OMAD) intermittent fasting protocol. In two days I lost 4 pounds, had lots of energy, and ate a couple really big meals. So I was pretty determined that after I had fasted for 23 hours I was going to make sure I got in a lot of calories. The first day I ate just about anything without regard to the quality of the food, but the second day I was more selective having fish, lima beans, almonds, some high protein peanut butter, and a small plate of raw vegetables.
Well now it is Monday and I’m back to my 18:6 protocol, which is 18 hours of fasting and then eating lunch and dinner. The reason I did not continue with OMAD has more to do with being social and wanting to eat lunch with my co-workers than any real major downside to a 23 hour fast.
Overall I would rate my OMAD experience as a very positive experiment, one that I will probably do on weekends to stay trim and enhance the cleansing effect of fasting. To be honest I got pretty hungry after 20 hours or so, and I often felt cold, but my energy levels were high and my mood was very good. The only concern I would have and this may not be a big deal since my experiment only lasted two days is losing 4 pounds. I would worry that if I did this daily I might not be able to take in enough calories to maintain my weight.
As I mentioned my energy levels were high, allowing me to do yoga in the morning, weight training in the afternoon, and I even got in a 3 mile walk the first day when the weather permitted. Remember this doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition, like me you might decide it just doesn’t fit into your lifestyle during the week to skip lunch with your friends or co-workers. Don’t agonize over it; you can always go back to OMAD on the weekend. I just might try something a bit more radical next weekend like a 48 hour fast and see what happens.
Sorry I can’t help myself.
Since the last time that I wrote about intermittent fasting I thought it would be fun to give one meal a day (OMAD) a try. This is day one, and I have decided to eat around 5 or 6 p.m., having eaten last night at about the same time. OMAD is really just another form of intermittent fasting where you fast for 23 hours and then have one hour window for eating. So why would I go from two meals a day to one meal a day?
All the benefits I mentioned in my last post are still true with OMAD. In fact they are all enhanced, which is why I am trying it. I’m particularly interested in gaining greater energy and mental clarity along with a longer detox period for my body. There are a lot of studies that show a strong relationship between fasting and longevity, so it is yet one more reason to give this a try.
Here is a short video on some of the benefits of OMAD.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done a 23 to 24 hour fast, but I’m going to give it a try for a week or so and report back on my results. In the past I was pretty hungry at about 21 to 22 hours of fasting. If you decide you want to try this, please be advised that you should already be following an intermittent fasting protocol where you are eating two meals a day. I wouldn’t advise going from the traditional three meals a day to one without first getting used to some form of fasting.
As of this moment I have 8 more hours before my next meal. I’ll report back tomorrow and let you know how I feel and how my body and mind are adapting to this new approach to intermittent fasting.