Home > Musings > First Experience with Intermittent Fasting

First Experience with Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pretty popular concept in the paleo community (see this post on Mark’s Daily Apple for an explanation of IF and its benefits, which “include decreases in blood pressure, reduction in oxidative damage to lipids, protein and DNA, improvement in insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, as well as decreases in fat mass.”). I tried it accidently yesterday.

Tuesday I have an 8:30am conference and usually set two alarms – one for 7am and one for 8am – just in case I pull a typical university student and sleep through one of them. Good thing I did, because yesterday I slept right through the first one!

As it takes me 15 minutes to get to the class, I only had time to wash my face and brush my teeth before running out the door and grabbing a coffee on the way. No breakfast. (Conventional wisdom disapproves!)

As I walked to class I started to think about all the reading I’d done on IF and decided to try it, just out of curiousity.

Wow. Just wow. My energy levels were super-high, I didn’t feel drowsy at all, no headaches, I wasn’t even really hungry! I managed (surprisingly, considering how much I usually eat) to survive an ENTIRE day, including a tough workout, subsisting only on coffee, water, and a few sips of cream every now and then.

I’m still shocked by how much energy I had – I’ve read from multiple sources that IF makes you active, but I had no idea it would work like that.

To be fair, during my workout my endurance was a little lower than it usually is – not surprising considering 2/5 of my liver glycogen stores had probably been used by that point – and I was sore immediately after, but it felt great anyway.

I had planned on breaking my fast in the evening, but then didn’t and broke it this morning.

Interestingly enough, fasting after a workout may also increase the levels of HGH in your system as insulin suppresses HGH. I read that on Mark’s Daily Apple in another IF article (just search HGH and you should find it easily in the first few results) and it seems to make sense.

Also, the sleep I had last night was some of the best I’ve ever had. Restful beyond belief. You can believe I’ll be a regular IF-er now. It’ll probably be a 36-hour fast every one or two weeks or so. I’m curious as to how the rest of it will go.

LOL,

Tim

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  1. 24/02/2011 at 3:32 am

    Any more experiences with this? oh, and bruschetta?!?

    • Tim
      24/02/2011 at 11:34 am

      Yep, I’ve been fasting weekly since that trial. Going really well so far. I think the biggest thing it helps with is moderating hunger signals on normal days – I notice that I’m less tempted to snack on non-Paleo foods after fasting.

      The bruschetta was delicious 🙂 It is and isn’t paleo, depending on who you talk to. The real breakfast was still to follow….

      Interestingly enough, despite all the talk about how you should end your fast with a light meal, I’ve found that if I break my fast with a regular meal I’m just fine. Maybe it has something to do with the low carb content?

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