18 August 2022

Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later

Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later / www.delightfulrepast.com
Why a photo of loose leaf black tea? Because it's the only thing I consume during the fast.
Water, black coffee, and herbal tisanes are also allowed.

Since I've been at this intermittent fasting lark for several years now, I thought it was time to give you an update. It is something I researched for several months before I started doing it more than four and a half years ago (I don't like to rush into things!). 

Other than my emphasis on sustainable, local, organic whole foods, I don’t follow any particular diet or have a lot of food rules. Just three:
    Always interested in maximizing my health and preventing problems before they occur, I’ve always believed something Mark Hyman, MD, said so succinctly: The most powerful medicine is at the end of your fork.

    I do a bit of daily exercise, including weight training, to prevent the loss of muscle mass that starts occurring much earlier in life than you might imagine. According to WebMD: Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you'll still have some muscle loss.

    The other key to avoiding muscle loss is maintaining healthy insulin sensitivity. And that is what got me interested in intermittent fasting, specifically 16/8 intermittent fasting.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor of any kind, have no formal education in the field of diet or nutrition, and would suggest that anyone who is under a doctor’s care for any condition should consult their doctor about dietary changes as their medication dosages will likely need adjusting. According to Dr Jason Fung, people who should not fast are those who are: underweight, malnourished, children, pregnant, or breastfeeding. And if you’ve ever had any sort of eating disorder, consult your doctor. I'm not an expert, I’m simply telling you what works for me.

    But there is plenty of information out there from people who are experts. So do your own research before making up your mind. On completion of my research, I knew this was something I would do for the rest of my life.

    This is not “a diet”—I don’t believe in temporary diets—it is a way of eating that can be done for a time or for a lifetime. I spent months researching it before starting it. I learned it has many benefits and is really quite easy to do. You can choose any 16 hours to fast, including however many hours you sleep. If you sleep 8 hours, that’s half of it right there.

    Since I had already stopped after-dinner evening snacking a few years before, it was really just a matter of postponing breakfast until 10:00 in the morning. So I decided to do all my eating between 10 am and 6 pm. This might mean packing a breakfast to have at work or wherever you're going—something with lots of protein, not Starbucks and a donut!

    But no need to get obsessive about it. If the 16/8 schedule won't work for you some days, just make it 15/9 or even 14/10. It's all good! I was not doing it for weight loss, but soon found myself losing weight. Had I continued with the 16/8 regimen, I would have continued to lose weight, which I did not want to do.

    So I switched to 15/9 to give myself an extra hour to eat enough food to maintain my weight. That did the trick. Stable weight for four years and counting! Anyone interested in losing and maintaining, or just maintaining, a stable weight will appreciate that a stable weight means not having to keep three sizes of clothes in their closet!


    Intermittent Fasting - Update Four and a Half Years Later / www.delightfulrepast.com
    Black tea - my beverage of choice during the fasting hours
    (and every other waking hour!)

    Benefits of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

    • Regulates insulin and glucose, lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, fatty pancreas
    • Stimulates metabolism for slow, steady loss of body fat (including that dangerous excess visceral fat) rather than loss of lean body mass
    • Improves lipid profile and heart function
    • Stresses the brain in the same (good) way that exercise stresses the body, reducing amyloids in the brain and lowering the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia
    • Increases human growth hormone and boosts immune system
    • Reduces oxidative stress and stimulates the body to maintain and repair cells and tissues
    • Increases energy level
    • Eliminates food cravings
    If this is something you think you might like to try but think it's going to be difficult, I'd just like to tell you it's really quite easy. If you like, you can build up the number of fasting hours gradually. It's compatible with any diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto ...), compatible with any schedule, and doesn't require willpower.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on fasting, dieting, nutrition and health. And don't worry, I'll be back with a really good comfort food recipe next time!

    Jean

    34 comments:

    Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

    JUST three? But those rules are huge. ‘Specially that first one. Methinks, a shopping regimen and a major discipline curve are required until one detoxes from the dominant marketplace. I’ve found the third one – not eating late – rather easy, and that’s led with no particular intent to my own form of fasting. On average, the latter is probably 12-12, though what follows may be as simple as a cup of yogurt until I hit 18-6. Tend to get one major meal, followed by one or two supplemental meals at two-hour intervals. Too much sugar. There are a few other things I’d like to get rid of that generally creep back into my food fare, but I try not to stay on the same poisons long-term. Because I’m quite active, I’ve been able to rely on my body’s impulses and get away with it, I think. That’s changing with age, because I’m deliberately scaling back the intensity of my recreation. Would rather do that voluntarily, than have Mom Nature force it on me…

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Sully, that sounds quite sensible. You'd be amazed at how easy cutting back on the sugar would be for you with the 6-teaspoon/24-grams rule because it completely eliminates cravings. Those last two sentences are gold! Have to keep an eye on the tearing-down/building-up balance.

    TONY said...

    I have reached the grand age of 70 Jean. I don't think I have lost 20% of muscle mass though.I have exercised nearly everyday of my life, running most days.I am a real running addict. Nowadays its more "fartlecking," the Swedish form of exercise, a mix of running and walking.I tend to run up a steep incline if I can fit one into my run. I don't put sugar into anything. except cakes and they are only baked on special occasions. I rely on being positive about eating, exercise, blogging and Jane Austen!!! Ha! Ha! I wake up everyday feeling good about things so that's all that matters. But I remember you writing about your fasting regime before. Fasting, has its religious connotations, which is great.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Tony, that's grand! I think it's important to be positive about our eating and exercise and interests (and to not allow ourselves to be dragged down by all that's going on). I can't really estimate how much muscle mass I've lost, but I'm working on it every day, so staying positive!

    Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

    Sounds very beneficial. I have successfully given up salt and sugar thank goodness. I need to blog about that. Thanks so much for linking up at the 25 and Done Link Party 23! 25 entries in 25 hours!! Shared on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thank you, Dee! Do let me know when you post about that; I don't want to miss it.

    Anonymous said...

    I think we all have to eat as healthy as we can and it sounds as if you have found a good way that fits your lifestyle well. 😊 Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks, Karen. Sometimes you have to try a lot of things before you find the things that work for you.

    Jeanie said...

    I have heard about this but never from anyone who actually did it. Reading your post makes me far more interested in checking it out more carefully. It sounds like you know how to make this work. Well done!

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks, Jeanie! I can't imagine ever NOT doing it!

    jeremy@thirstydaddy said...

    late night snacking is what does me in. As much as I know that it's terrible I just can't seem to break the habit #pocolo

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Jeremy, you'd be surprised! You soon lose all cravings and can spend the evening with other people snacking all around you and you're just not interested!

    Anonymous said...

    I've never thought of it as fasting, but this is pretty much how I live. I'm rarely hungry in the morning, so it's often close to midday before I eat. Dinner is usually over by 8ish, so it will be approx 16 hours before I eat again. ~ D

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks, D.

    Jeff the Chef said...

    Thanks for all that info. I'm glad that's working for you.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Jeff, thank you so much!

    Miaismine said...

    Thank you so much for sharing your lifestyle. I’ve heard a lot of intermittent eating and your article was very informative.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thank you, Miaismine.

    Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

    Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 80. Pinned.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks so much, Dee.

    Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

    CONGRATS Jean! Your post is FEATURED at the 25 and Done Link Party 24! 25 entries in 25 hours from Aug-25 at 5am to Aug-26 at 6am central.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks, Dee!

    Kitchen Riffs said...

    Glad that works for you! In particular, really like the idea of the mindful eating (limited sugar, avoiding nighttime eating). And one really has to do some strength training as one ages, alas. I get a lot of mild aerobic exercise (walk a lot), but about 15 years ago started body weight exercising (like pushups) and some mild weight training. I can do a LOT more pushups now than I could when I was 30. But overall I'm not nearly as strong now as I was then. Alas. Anyway, interesting post -- thanks.

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks so much, John. All my work and hobbies are so sedentery, I would be in horrible shape if I didn't do all this exercise! 😁 But, yes, we're going to lose some strength despite our best efforts.

    Miz Helen said...

    Hi Jean,
    I featured your post over at Full Plate Thursday, 603. Hope you are having some weather and enjoying your week. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Miz Helen

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Miz Helen, thank *you* so much!

    Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

    CONGRATS Jean! Your post is FEATURED at the Unlimited Link Party 81!

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Thanks so much, Dee!

    Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

    Jean,
    Loved this post! I have started on my own journey toward a healthier lifestyle recently...Since June 1st, I have lost 22 pounds...I gave up soda a few years ago and I no longer eat after 7pm at night. I do not eat breakfast so in a way, I am already fasting for at least 16 hours...I am calorie counting and exercising...My goal is to lose 5 pounds a month until I hit 65 years old at the end of January.That would be 25 more pounds for a total of close to 50 pounds....After that, I will assess how I feel and whether I will keep going with it...
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Deb, thank you, and thanks so much for sharing your story! I'm so excited for you, building a healthier lifestyle. Once you reach your goal, the intermittent fasting, maybe fewer than 16 hours, will enable you to maintain that weight, so you need never diet again—I think that is the greatest thing for all the millions of people who have gained and lost and gained over and over again, leading them to try every diet that comes along. Happy retirement!

    French Ethereal said...

    Jean, this seems like such a simple idea to put into our daily lives! I know I am hungry pretty much as soon as I wake up, so I eat then. I have been not eating after dinner for years, but slip up once in a while (fall: pie season... ;)'). But I do get back on. I'll have to look into this way of eating for better health, thank you! Happy to have featured your post at this week's Share Your Style #357 (8/31/22).

    Enjoy your weekend,
    Barb :)

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Barb, thank you soooo much! I hope you'll give it a try. I know you'll be amazed at how quickly that hunger (AND all cravings) goes away, making this soooo easy!

    Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

    Jean,
    Me again! Thanks so much for stopping by!! I am trying the Intermittent Fasting og 16/8 so I will let you know how I do!! Hope you had a great Labor Day!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

    Deb, I'm so glad! Do let me know how it goes. I'm completely sold on it and will never stop doing it, and I love hearing other people's experiences with it. I'm really excited for you on your health journey!

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