I have found that it is not as easy to eat Paleo style in the winter when fresh fruit is not as easy to find. With limited running in the past couple of months and holiday cooking all around, I haven't been able to maintain the eating levels and weight that I would like to be at. In the back of my head, I have been planning to start something called "intermittent fasting". This means you do not eat anything for 18-27 hours or so. I was just too chicken to try going without food for so long. I could go without eating until about 1:00 p.m. and feel great, but could I go without eating anything until dinnertime? I have been doing the no breakfast thing 3-4 days a week for a couple of weeks, but Sunday I tried going until dinnertime with a longer fast. It was much easier than I thought it would be. I finally had my first bite of something (and I only drank water) at 6:30 p.m. Today I skipped breakfast, then even though I had a lunch, I skipped that too. I did not eat until supper. This is what I have learned from these two trials. I am no hungrier at 5:30 p.m. then I would be a 10:30 a.m. The hunger does not get any worse throughout the day. In fact, you feel quite comfortable and energetic and don't even feel hungry unless you think about it. Appetite is different then hunger. Fasting for the first time is like running your first marathon: you are frightened that you can't do it and think that it is impossible to accomplish. After you have run a bunch of marathons 26 miles is a piece of cake! In other words it is not as hard as it sounds. Once you do it once, it is easier the second time.
I have read a few websites and blogs on intermittent fasting. I am trying it to lose some weight (less calories going in), to get off the bad foods I have been eating, and because supposedly the fat burning works better when you aren't constantly eating. I have not read this e-book, but this site (Eat Stop Eat) tells you a bit more about intermittent fasting. What is there to know? You just don't eat all three meals seven days a week. Take one or two days and don't eat (from supper to supper). I had no loss of energy and will keep trying this to see what or if there are any results.
Plus as a time when I cannot be competitive, I was just competitive with myself and accomplished something I never thought I could do (or at least willingly do). It was interesting to note that denying yourself food for a few extra hours was not that hard to do and in fact felt much more more healthy than grabbing snacks of various types throughout the day.
Here are a couple of sources of information on intermittent fasting:
Running on empty: the pros and cons of fasting Shari Roan "Los Angelos Times"
Called intermittent fasting, this rather stark approach to weight control appears to be supported by science, not to mention various religious and cultural practices around the globe. The practice is a way to become more circumspect about food, its adherents say. But it also seems to yield the benefits of calorie restriction, which may ultimately reduce the risk of some diseases and even extend life.
Fast way to better health by Michael Eades
Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? by Mark Sisson
Numerous animal and human studies done over the past 15 years suggest that periodic fasting can have dramatic results not only in areas of weight (fat) loss, but in overall health and longevity as well. A recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gives a great overview of these benefits which include decreases in blood pressure, reduction in oxidative damage to lipids, protein and DNA, improvement in insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, as well as decreases in fat mass.
Scott’s Intermittent Fasting Success Story Scott Kustes
The Benefits I’ve Seen
* Improved mental clarity during the fast
* Improved workout performance during the fast
* Lower body fat percentage at the same bodyweight (i.e., more muscle mass)
* No worry about food during the day ‘ I can get up, run out the door to work, work all day, then go home to eat. I don’t have to be concerned with fitting in lunch and food is no longer the focal point of my day; living is.
* No food-induced crashes during the day – I’m on top of my game all day. Even eating low-carb Paleo on a normal eating schedule left me more lethargic than this
* Better in-tune with my body – you learn to distinguish psychological hunger (i.e., it’s noon and I should eat) from real hunger. When I get truly hungry, I break the fast and eat, even if it’s outside my “window”
* More energy – You’d think I’d experience fatigue with no food intake, but I can’t quit moving and having an urge to go run around the block during a fast
* Food tastes better – it’s amazing how much better a well-cooked meal tastes when you haven’t eaten all day