Thursday, August 6, 2009

Four Weeks of Intermittent Fasting

Yesterday marked four weeks of intermittent fasting. Here is a summary of the results:

1. Significantly reduced pain/inflammation in my hands and wrists from rheumatoid arthritis

2. Very easy to do. Much easier to go without food for 24 hours than to try to eat just a little bit every other day.

3. Renewed focus on eating the healthiest foods available. When I'm eating only half the time, I want to make sure I'm getting complete nutrition.

4. Lost weight, even though I didn't want to. I dropped 4 pounds from an already thin frame. This is the only significant negative result I've had. I know for many people reading this, they would be disappointed if they only lost 4 pounds in 4 weeks. To you, I would say, "Don't worry." For 3 of the 4 weeks, I was consciously eating more than I felt hungry for, in an effort to maintain my weight.

5. I'm not significantly more hungry on the eating days than I was before I started IF.

As part of 3 above, I have switched to a nearly zero carbohydrate diet. I eat lots of meat, and some eggs. I would also include fish, except that I don't like it. I have found that I really like this diet. At first, it was tough, but as I get used to it, the carbo cravings are going away. Now I find myself really enjoying eating. And I fill up on meat much quicker than I fill up on a mixed diet. It's as if my body is saying "I have everything I need. Stop eating now."

The only issue with that is weight loss, though I've seemed to stabilize somewhat at between 145 and 146 pounds. Ideally, I would like to add about 15 pounds of muscle. I don't think I can accomplish that with IF. So I am considering going off IF for awhile and seeing how my arthritis reacts. My hope is, that with a (nearly) zero carb diet, I would continue to make improvements, even without IF. But there's only one way to find out...

I'll keep you posted.

Bon repos,