I’m a fan. Keep your diet the same, restrict your feeding window, maintain muscle mass and lose weight? Not too shabby of a lifestyle. Throw in some extra mental clarity and a little extra appreciation for your meals and it’s a pretty easy sell.
I’m going to explore this idea, share some studies done by experts, and share my experience testing this out.
Quarantining with Fasting
During the quarantine my gym closed. I’m not an internally motivated person, I have a home gym but I’m not going to go all Jocko Willink in the garage by myself. I need some external motivation, a small amount of encouragement, some competition, and some freaking tunes. With that in mind, you’d probably think I got fat during the closure or at least gained some weight. Well I’m proud to report that I didn’t. I lost just a little bit of weight. I still ate like a pig, my exercise was the occasional set of pull ups and a 45 minute post work walk. The main change was that I hopped on the intermittent fasting train. Started with a 13 hour window, and dabbled in the 16 hour window.
It’s not really the biggest change to be fair. We eat dinners a little earlier and I skip breakfast. But I log it, and it keeps me from having an extra late night glass of wine, or from having that protein bar that tastes like cookie dough. I’m logging this though the app Zero.
Leveraging a System
It’s great, it’s simple, and keeps me coming back. It’s really all you need. I went pro, and I don’t think it’s really necessary. It’s backed by Peter Attia and created by Kevin Rose. I like both of them, Peter’s the doc who’s on the cutting edge of fasting and longevity, Kevin is more of the lab rat testing these ideas out and creating tech to help others along their journey. Perfect combination. Again we’re coming back to the idea of what get’s measured gets managed. This is a small step, log you’re last bite of food, and your first bite of food. One small step for a human, one huge leap for your health. This is an easy way to make a change to your life and it works really well for me. I get a notification when my fast is complete and can view my fasting history easily.
Why it Works for me
There are several factors that are making this an easy transition for me. First of all, I feel great. My body gets a rest from constantly digesting food. I get genuinely hungry and make each meal count more. 16 hours to plan the perfect egg scramble is more than enough time to make it the best you can. I also love coffee and tea, we’ve been focusing on tea more these days, but it helps out in the mornings to extend those last few hours. Technically it only counts if there’s no cream in it, but on days that I’m working out I add some MCT oil powder and sometimes even a little half and half.
The whole premise of time restricted eating is to get you into a ketogenic state, so I figure if I add some healthy fats to my coffee and I can still get a good workout in, it’s still a win. I like to eat big meals, so my dinner is a big meal and I’m fine with it. I actually have a clearer mind in the morning when I’m not eating, so I find more energy in the mornings. You also can gauge how food settles with you. If you’re eating processed carbs that are a quick and cheap form of energy, you wake up starving. But when you’re eating nutrient dense meals with healthy proteins and carbs from vegetables, your body is satisfied for a longer time period making your fast an easy one.
What the Experts Say
I’m not an expert on any of this, just willing to test out a better way to live my life. But there are experts that you can read up on the actual reasons behind this. I would really base this all based on how you feel, but know that there are some serious benefits to be had.
Dr. Valter Longo – He wrote The Longevity Diet and is famous for his Fasting Mimicking Diets. Where you can eat a small amount of food and still reap the benefits of fasting. He’s done most of the research, but he also kind of put up pay walls for his diet and put out meal kits. He’s also on a podcast with both of the following two.
Dr. Peter Attia – He’s written extensively on this, and I’ll link to a somewhat recent article he wrote HERE. He’s big on the rejuvenation of the body from fasting, or the process of Autophagy where the body cleans out older cells.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick – Amazing amount of knowledge and information out there on Time Restricted Eating. Check out this article, she has 41 references for the article, she’s thorough and goes very deep on any subject she goes after. She has a great podcast, but it’s almost too high level to follow sometimes.
Reexamining your relationship with food is healthy. Even if you’re perfect and have a six pack, it’s worth knowing how you got there. Odds are that you aren’t perfect, and this could be a step in the right direction. This could be an indicator of what nutrition leaks you have, or even the strengths that you have and didn’t know. The standard American diet has been proven time and time again to be toxic to us, and we need tools in the toolkit in order to keep us in check.
We shouldn’t be influenced into eating what other’s eat. When a celebrity has a great body and eats a Carl’s Jr burger in a commercial, they are signaling that this is normal. But it really isn’t, odds are that it’s the opposite of their normal diet. The core of a commercial like that is selling you a lie, and it’s up to us to have solid fundamentals when it comes to our health in order to see right through it. In order to be our best, we need to have the knowledge and the tools to not be shaken from the right path. You have to have the conviction that you will wake up feeling and looking better in order to continue on your path.
Time restricted eating has proven that you can in fact lose weight without changing your diet by lowering the window of time you eat. You give your body a rest from food, some time to digest. We can then find the foods that our bodies like and really improve our lives.
Eat real food, try time restricting feeding, and let’s be just a little bit better off.