My alternate day fasting schedule is 6:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Last night (Wednesday), I was not able to eat until about 6:30. That turned out to be fortunate, because I was at a business/social engagement until 6:00 tonight. The last time I had eaten was at 3:30. So I stopped at Whole Foods and grabbed a bite to eat from their food bar. I was finished before 6:30, so I maintained the 24 hour cycle. Tomorrow, I will not eat again until 6:30 or later. Then I'll get back to 6:00 on Saturday night, when I start fasting again.
I find that I really like the fasting part of my 24/24 schedule. I know it's only been a few hours, but I already feel better. And I guarantee I will wake up early tomorrow, alert and ready to go. I've definitely noticed a reduced need for sleep in the short time I've been practicing intermittent fasting.
It is a bit awkward, though, when you're at a function where everyone is eating. I was at a neighborhood get together tonight, where there was lots of food, and they kept inviting me to eat. Despite the fact that I write this blog, I am not comfortable telling people face to face what I am doing. I find that people think you're trying to "show them up" by telling them how you're fasting for health, or even that you're avoiding junk food or whatever. The truth is, I could care less what other people eat, and I don't try to convince anyone to do things my way. If they ask me with genuine interest, I am happy to share, but I'm not going to force anything on anyone. So I don't tell people what I'm doing. If I just don't eat and keep quiet about why, they might think it's a bit odd, but they'll quickly forget about it.
I also cannot have gluten or casein, because it affects my rheumatoid arthritis, and most foods at these social events have one or both of those. So if someone really pushes me, I can just explain that I'm "allergic," and that usually gets them to let it go. So I just drink my water, and enjoy the conversation.
It's somewhat humorous to hear all the people talking about their diabetes, claudication and heart problems. All the while, they're eating this high sugar, high carb, junk food! Again, I could care less what they eat, but complaining about diabetes (excess sugar in the blood) while eating pure carbohydrate (sugar) just strikes me as completely nuts. You don't have to be a rocket surgeon to figure out that people with a sugar metabolism problem shouldn't be eating sugar, at least not if they want to get better. Dr. Richard Bernstein has proven this both with himself, as a Type I diabetic, and with thousands of diabetic patients (Types I and II). If you haven't read his work, I encourage you to do so, especially if you or someone you love is diabetic. Check him out at http://www.diabetes-book.com/.
Speaking of diabetes, one of the reported benefits of IF is an improvement in insulin sensitivity, and thus a reduction in the likelihood of getting Type II diabetes. If you're a Type I diabetic, however, you should definitely check with your doctor before even thinking about fasting. I'd love to hear Dr. Bernstein's opinion on the subject. I'll see if I can get him to answer that question on one of the regular free conference calls he does.
Keep checking this blog for more updates on my progress, as well as (hopefully) interesting information on diet and health.