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Intermittent Fasting

I don't think I've written about this, but I've been looking into something called Intermittent Fasting (IF) as a companion to Evolutionary Fitness (EV). What Art discusses in that first link is using IF as a normal part of fitness in order to achieve a more randomized energy intake and consumption pattern; not weight or fat loss, which is my primary interest for the time being. I've still got somewhere between 20 to 30 lbs. of fat to loose, and that's after already losing about 20.

I've conducted two 30-hr fasts so far, in both cases lunch being the final meal until dinner the following day, two hours after a strenuous weight-lifting workout. Interestingly, the toughest part of the fast was the first evening when my body was expecting dinner. The first fast, I actually went to bed early just in hopes of escaping the excruciating, almost nauseating hunger, which in itself ought to be a clue that your body needs a bit of whipping into shape. In both fasts I got to sleep quickly, slept wonderfully, and woke up refreshed and not hungry at all. The hunger returned mid-morning but was quite subdued and I found it no problem to put in a workout and then wait an additional hour or so before dinner. Over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, it has only been the last 10,000 years where some people have had the opportunity to never be truly hungry. In short, we are designed to go significant periods of time without intake, and even to expend significant energy (like a hunt, a chase) prior to being able to eat. Wild animals exist in this fashion.

Here's a couple of things I can recommend to anyone interested in such an approach: The Fast-5 Diet and Eat Stop Eat. If you're the kind of person who has never had any problem with getting fatter as you get older, but are also the kind of person who doesn't usually eat 3-squares per day, well you just might have a clue into why that is for you, and perhaps reassurance that all the scolding you get from people isn't based in reality.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

2 Comments

  1. peter on December 28, 2007 at 13:31

    I came across your most recent post on art devany's cite regarding intermittent fasting where you mentioned both the fast 5 and eatstopeat dietary programmes. I have been practicing IF for quite some time. Is is fantastic both in terms of the mental clarity and physical transformation it reaps. I haven't read eatstopeat, but i have read the warrior diet by ori hofmekler, who advocates IF. Can you tell me, does brad pilon make recommendations on what types of foods to eat on non-fasting days, or does he suggest that it doesn't matter, that is, can a person he anything he wants on non-fasting days or should a person still aim to make health-conscious decisions? Also, when fasting, does brad say that anything can be eaten/drank asides from water, for example, black coffee or chewing gum?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Richard Nikoley on December 28, 2007 at 13:53

    Peter:

    What Brad does in Eat Stop Eat is to say that it's better if one eats whole foods, i.e., meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs, but that ultimately the act of the fasting is more important.

    I think what he's trying to suggest is that even if a person wants to eat junk, they're still better off if they fast twice a week.

    As far as what you can ingest, yea, that's about it: water, coffee, tea, artificially sweetened sodas, sugar-free gum. Essentially, nothing more that a trace amount of caloric content.

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