Those Holiday Pounds: My intermittent fasting update!
Posted on December 7, 2018
Like many of you, I pigged out for Thanksgiving. Actually, I started the week eating great food during a visit with my father in Phoenix, followed by a beautiful day of snowboarding with my buddy Jeff, before a fantastic feast with our friends Travis and Mollie. By Friday, I felt like I had eaten my way through the Mountain West!
My recent binge came at the end of a ten week/fourteen city training stretch. While my routines at home keep me healthy, going on the road, eating out and not having my typical workouts available makes staying healthy and fit difficult. However, the one thing I kept doing the entire stretch was intermittent fasting which I introduced in a September post.
The core concept of intermittent fasting is not eating after 7 pm and waiting 16 hours (14 for women per some research I found) before eating again. So, I tried to eat as soon as I could after trainings and put off breakfast until I hit my 16 hours. Over the ten weeks stretch, I followed through pretty much every day even though research shows that you can skip a day or two a week with no adverse effects on the benefits of the approach.
The results: I continue to lose weight. While I forgot to weigh myself before starting fasting, I would guess I’m down 15 to 20 pounds and even lost 7 to 10 pounds in the ten weeks stretch including my vacation and Thanksgiving binges last week. I tried this approach to gain more energy, autoimmune function, and better sleep, so the fact I lost weight is only an added bonus but a nice tangible one.
Also, happy to report that after over ten thousand miles on Southwest flights, I did not even get a cold! I kept my energy consistent and felt like I was able to give the audience of my 24th training the same as my 1st during this stretch. My sleep was a little less consistent. Between hitting four time zones, many multiple times, and over a dozen different hotel beds, I slept okay but not great. Maybe the most impressive health accomplishment of this stretch is, while my sleep schedule all over the place due to time changes and travel: I didn’t get sick!
My conclusion: After three and a half months of intermittent fasting, I’m considering it a permanent part of my life and a cornerstone of my self-care strategy. While I’m not a medical professional and you should do your own research and talk to your provider, if you are looking for a way to maintain energy, health, and maybe lose a few pounds during a stressful and challenging time of year to stay healthy, look at the research. I would love to hear from anyone else who is giving intermittent fasting a shot. I wonder if you are as sold on the approach as I am?