I have a bunch of white strips of paper in front of me. On them is a bunch of mostly worthless information. Things like “BMI”, “Metabolic Age”, and “Physique Rating”. On the other hand, there are a few bits of info that have some merit to them. And these are the ones that I’m partially basing the effectiveness of intermittent fasting off of. Not entirely, as you’ll see later on in this post, but they certainly pull a nice bit of weight.
30 days. 30 hungry mornings. 30 lbs. Ha, gotcha! No, not 30 lbs (although I did lose a few, but more on that later). Rather I’d like to first discuss what the whole process was like. A lot of this will likely be similar to the 2 week update post I put up, but there should be some info in here as well. So what did I experience?
It wasn’t all that bad
I’m pretty sure I eluded to this earlier, but I thought that going 16 hours between meals was gonna be a real bitch. And there were a few days that weren’t all that enjoyable, but for the most part it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. My dad made a good point when discussing the whole thing with him. There’s a good reason why the fasting was done from 8 pm until 12 pm. You’re sleeping for half of it! And if you aren’t, you need to get that in check. It would be a whole different story if the fast started at say, 10 am. But since that wasn’t the case, it just wasn’t all that hard to deal with.
It’s probably not great in the long term
I was talking about this with my friend, Zach Moore, when he brought up a good point. I had mentioned how I missed my eggs and avocado on toast in the morning (one of my favorite breakfasts) and he responded by addressing the psychological aspects of IF. You see, diets usually fail because they are too restrictive and don’t allow you to have the things you want. Atkins says no to carbs. Paleo says no to anything not naturally occurring (from our agriculture). Vegans say no to meat, animal derivatives, and fun. So you can see the issue here. The flaw in this system is that I was denied something I really enjoy. And I think I know what you’re saying to your computer/phone screen right now. “But Alec, why not just make that as your first meal of the day?” Well, because I didn’t want to. But back to what Zach was getting at (sorry mom for ending that sentence in a preposition). He is more of a fan of what he referred to as “eat, stop, eat”. What this means is that you eat normally for a day or two, fast for 24 hours, then go back to eating normally. This way you can still have your breakfast most days. It’s also not an every single freaking day ordeal. You don’t have to grind through those 16 hours every day for weeks or months on end. You get a break from it. And from a psychological standpoint, that’s huge.
It beats out low carb for quick weight loss
Okay, to be fair, this is anecdotal. I’ve done the low carb thing before for quick, short term weight loss. And you know what? It works. You know what else? It sucks. And this didn’t suck. I lost a few pounds pretty quickly on this and didn’t have to give up my carbs or sanity. So in my book, this trumps low carb. Take home message here: Going to be on a beach in 6 weeks? Try IF. It doesn’t have to be the 16:8 method necessarily, but for me at least, it seems to work.
So the results are in (drum roll…)
So here I sit with these little white strips of paper. Little bastards almost look like they’re mocking me. But enough of that. You’ve heard the story. Now here are the numbers.
Beginning weight: 185.8 lbs
Beginning fat%: 17.8%
Final weight: 178.6 lbs
Final fat%: 15.3%
So there you have it. Right about 7 lbs lost and about a 2.5% body fat reduction all in just 30 days. I’m ready to go back to a more normal eating routine and will continue to eat well and track my weight and fat percentage. I’ll be curious to see what the next 30 days looks like and to see how my body responds. Ideally I’d like to be about 170-172 or so and closer to 10-12% body fat as that’s where I’ve found to sit at pretty well. The 185.8 lbs is a bit sad though, huh? I really worked for about the last year with a focus on just getting strong. And I did, but now I think I’ll lean out a bit and maybe do a few triathlons again this year. Who knows, maybe my next experiment will be to get into the single digits in body fat again. It’s not bloody likely, but you never know. As always I appreciate you guys reading and following along and if you have anything to say, just put it in the comments section!