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,


  1. excellent benefits tom! im very happy for you on all accounts but the weight loss, however, there seems to be a loss, then gain from those who go zero carb.'s-journal/360/

    lex has kept impectable records of his medical response to not just zero carb, but even monitors reactions from upping fat/lean ratios, including organ meats, ect ect. he lost at first, and then gained 10lbs heavier than his starting weight. he only eats once a day. if you're in for a very interesting read, go over his detailed account!

  2. WOW! This is really interesting. I tried the akins diet but I started losing my mind. Did you know that your brain if fueled by carbs? How did you feel mentally through all this?

  3. Hi She-Fit,

    Thanks for writing! Actually, the brain is not fueled by carbs. It does require a certain amount of glucose every day; however, the body is very good at creating glucose from dietary protein (this is called gluconeogenesis, or "the creation of new glucose"). The brain is perfectly fine functioning on this glucose and on ketones, which are created on a restricted carbohydrate diet. As a matter of fact, there is growing evidence that ketones may help prevent Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

    There is no biologic requirement for carbs in the diet. Absolutely none. There are essential amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids (fat), but no essential carbohydrates. This is a scientific fact.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "losing my mind" on Atkins. Many people have some uncomfortable feelings such as headache and "brain fog" when going into ketosis, but this is only temporary. Your body is trying to switch from running on carbs to running on fat, and it takes a few days or even a couple of weeks to adjust. This is normal.

    I invite you to research this more. A low (or even zero) carb diet is the healthiest way to eat. Start by reading "Good Calories Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.

  4. Hi, I've read recently that IF helps one to gain muscle because as we fast out levels of Human Growth Hormone go up. I don't know if this is true but it would be worth experimenting with for a few weeks. As long as you train a few times a week you won't LOSE any so give it a shot. I just started IF and the first day went really well. Surprisingly well actually. I hope it continues this way. My sister does it although she figured it out on her own. She is tall and lean but very muscular and strong. She doesn't have problems with swelling or gets colds. She rock climbs, kayaks and snowboards like a maniac. She's what got me researching this in the first place. I didn't realize it had already been deemed IF.

  5. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!


    That's all you need to know about IF!!!