Fasting is one of those health practices that I’ve been really hesitant about trying for years, despite many people telling me how helpful and easy they find it. I just don’t like the feeling of being hungry and tired that I’ve experienced before when fasting. I found that I couldn’t think of anything else while I was fasting except when I was going to get to eat, which made it hard to get through my day.
But now that I’ve read up on a lot of the literature on fasting, particularly intermittent fasting, it does seem like it has some merit. Proponents talk about how fasting is a common practice for humans for most of our history, across cultures and civilizations. It’s only been in more modern times that we have such abundance that we eat at all hours of the day, every day.
A lot of the literature focuses on the different health benefits of fasting, including:
Others talk about feeling more energy during the day while they fast, which would be interesting to see if that happens.
The key question is when to fast? I am going to start with the basic 16:8 schedule, which many people recommend. That is, 16 hours of fasting, and 8 hours when I can eat. You are expected to two meals during that period, and to stick to healthier foods, but there are no firm restrictions other than that. So carbs are back! Woo hoo!
Here’s a possible schedule, based on my work and exercise patterns:
Eating window: 11:30am–7:30 pm (8 hrs)
- First meal: 11:45am–12:30pm— Small meal, high-protein, low-carb.
- Snack: 3:00–3:30 pm
- Dinner: 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Fasting window: 7:30pm-11:30am (16 hrs)
- Workout / Dancing: 7:30-11 pm
The biggest issue I see is breakfast, which has been for a long time a very important meal for me. I typically eat first thing in the morning a protein and veggie heavy breakfast that keeps me going for the day. Switching over to just coffee in the morning sounds pretty hard. But we’ll see.
Another possible issue I see with this is if I’m hungry after dinner. But generally I don’t snack in the evenings, so hopefully that won’t be a big issue.