IF locked down, how would you voluntarily change your routine, yourself?
I decided to experiment right BC. That’s Before Covid.
I tried a random eating schedule starting at the beginning of March, a couple of weeks before lockdown. I decided to try this hip Intermittent Fasting thing—“program”—and see IF I noticed anything. I thought I would use an intermediate level of 16:8 (16 hours fastings:8 hours eating)—versus 20:4, 18:6, or say 12:12.
I thought this schedule would be really hard for me since I had previously used the “eat small meals all day long—every 1-2 hours—to keep blood sugar consistent” to help me lose 140 pounds over 2 years. Eating “every hour or so” was my whole “one pound per week for two years” plan. I had been eating a little bit every hour or so for over 20 years. It would be a pretty major change for the morning hours.
It’s strange, with my IF plan, I just ate the same foods as always but in a more compressed window. I ate pretty much the same calorie content as I always had.
My new schedule was: eat from Noon-8p (Fast 8p-noon). I would eat the same foods, just eat my breakfast oatmeal at noon, then often something else at 1 or 2p. Dinner around 4, 5, or 6p. Snack at 8pm. As I got used to the schedule, I now don’t eat my breakfast until 2p or even 3p on some days.
Somehow this schedule produced amazing results. I actually cannot believe the results. More specifically, I cannot believe that it’s pretty easy to stick to my 16:8 (noon-8pm). Yes, I know, that some studies suggest that starting the evening fast by 6pm or even 4pm is more metabolically efficient, but that’s not acceptable for my style.
My scale results were starting at a good 176 pounds and smoothly dropping to a consistent 170ish. The weight loss was about 1 pound per month. I’m actually fine at the 175 range +/- 3 pounds.
Note: I did change my gym/weight lifting/resistance training routine from 2x/wk to 3x/wk because I had the option to fill my hockey/swim day since businesses were closed.
As for workouts, I did more running, biking, and weight lifting so far this year, than any other year. I always thought I had to have sustenance to get through my 60-90 minute workouts, but that turned out to be false. I feel pretty good during my workout and after. I do think my performance/power level is a little lower than the past because I’m on the downhill side of 50.
I had a cool surprise during lockdown. With the addition of a 3rd resistance day, my musculature has gone up significantly, even when using a few dumbbells and rubber bands at home. I really thought not eating meat (for the past two years) and growing older was the reason I lost a noticeable amount of muscle…and maybe it was, but adding a little more frequent effort (let’s be honest, I push myself kind of hard for an hour with the resistance) was plenty to bring back a really good muscle tone. [could that restored/created muscle be a significant factor in my weight drifting and staying lower?]
It’s safe to say that 1) I have more muscle than when I started. 2) I’ve proven I can do full cardio and weight workouts without morning fuel (not sure if I’m burning glycogen or fat) and 3) ALL my clothes— some that I’ve had for 20 yrs—all fit looser 6 months into lockdown.
IF you were tracking your body, IF you made a simple change, IF you tried Intermittent Fasting, what do you think would happen for you? I have to say, all of my millennial friends, and the older medical podcast folds I listen too (talking health and lifespan), may all be correct. They said IF was great, and I have to say, for me, so far, it’s worked out well. I’m not sure that I’m going to stop my noon breakfast schedule.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.