Yesterday marked the end of 8 weeks of intermittent fasting for me. Essentially, I only eat between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM and eat mainly protein and fat, which, over time, allows your body to start burning fat instead of glucose for energy. Some results of this experiment follow:
· I lost 11 pounds overall (at least 7 of which was fat), 2 inches off my waist and 3% body fat during the first 4 weeks. During the second 4 weeks, I added back 2 pounds (muscle) while decreasing my stomach measurement by another ¼”.
· Sleep and energy levels improved dramatically after the first week (eliminating carbs results in brain fog and flu-like symptoms the first week). I noticed on the handful of days where I cheated (late night trips to the fridge, sleep sucked…full disclosure)
· I gained ½” in my shoulders and maintained muscle mass in my arms and back while losing fat (see first bullet point)
· The first week was ROUGH. Make sure to drink a lot of water to offset the ‘carb-flu’ and brain fog as your body converts from carbs to fat for fuel.
· Cheating has a domino effect, especially the further you get into the diet. Sugar is incredibly addictive and that one piece of cake at my grandmother’s 88th birthday celebration caused me to crave chocolate and sweets more than ever. Find a semi-alternative food instead of sugar if you just have to eat something besides protein and fat every now and then.
· My panels on a recent doctor’s visit 6 weeks into eating this way reflected that my blood is slightly acidic; basically, I’m drinking too much coffee and not eating enough fruits and vegetables. I’m going to look for more plant-based proteins to add to my diet to offset this, as well as cut down on the caffeine.
To be completely transparent here, I’ve not done well the past week or so, as late-night zombie walks to the fridge have knocked me out of ‘keto’ and prevented me from continuing to make further gains. And as much as this has been negated by an increase in weight training and added muscle, this lack of discipline has decreased the amount of freedom I have to eat during my 8-4 window each day. And so I end up creating a vicious cycle of not eating enough during the day to offset late-night binges, causing me to be hungry again later….
No more excuses. Back to the plan…..