Intermittent Fasting: Experiment Concluded

I started intermittent fasting (IF) on May 20th, 2015. I shared my experience covering the first five weeks of my fasting experiment in the following post.

“The most important part of this whole experiment is that I feel great!”

My original post was one of my most popular posts in 2015 reaching millions of people; it went viral! Since then I have had a handful of people ask me some additional questions about my fasting experiment.

As a follow up to the original post I thought I would close the year with some final metrics and last set of observations from my experiment.

The chart below shows my weight measurements from May 20 to December 17th (almost 7 months to the day) while following the IF schedule outlined in my original blog article.  I started at just under 195 lbs and am currently at 186.9 lbs.

2015-12-17_22-59-33.png

I can not explain how I went from 185 to 180. It was not intentional. At 180 pounds my workouts did become sluggish, and my energy level did drop. I did intentionally consume more calories and drink much more water for a time to get my weight back to 185 lbs.

My body fat percentage (BF%) has not been tracked consistently since during this open experiment. In 2015, I purchased a Skulpt Aim that I have been using since September. In September per my Skulpt Aim my BF% was 12.6%.Today my BF% is 11% with my lowest reading coming in early November at 10% BF.

Not the most scientific or precise but to put the whole picture together

  • Start:  195.7 lbs and 15% BF
  • Today: 186.9 lbs and 11% BF
  • Lowest weight: 180
  • Lowest BF%: 10% BF

So all in all the experiment has become my new norm. The most important part of this whole experiment is that I feel great! IF is not a cure all but when you put a healthy diet, exercise and IF into the same equation the end result appears to equate to a very positive experience.

“IF is not a cure all but when you put a healthy diet, exercise and IF into the same equation the end result appears to equate to a very positive experiance.”

I will always pay attention to my health metrics, but I do not suspect I will be able to contribute much else on the subject of intermittent fasting via my observations so this officially marks the end of my experiment.

Some Questions I have been asked about IF…

Do I still do intermittent fasting?

Yes, I still IF on a daily basis. There are numerous scientific studies about the benefits of IF, and I hope I am capitalizing on every one of those benefits. The primary reason I maintain my IF fasting is because it works for my personality and my goals.

The schedule limits my calorie consumption to reasonable hours. It also prevents me from grazing every time I enter the kitchen. I still feel amazingly compelled to open the refrigerator every time I enter the kitchen, but after hours I just window shop.

The schedule gives me a little (I emphasize a little) bit more freedom with my diet. Since I have started my IF schedule, I have been able to be less restrictive on my caloric intake.

Additionally, the increased energy level and improved body composition are significant benefits.

What about your appetite?

I have not tracked this very well during my IF experiment and this topic has become very hard to actually explain. Whenever I try to explain the impact of IF on my appetite it just creates confusion. The primary driver for that confusion is because I do not understand the fluctuations in my appetite. The only thing I can attribute the variations in my appetite to is my activity level. Fluctuations? Yes. I always eat. Sometimes I eat enough for three and other times I eat enough for one.

How strictly do I follow my IF schedule?

I do a very good job at keeping the schedule. I do however shift the schedule by an hour or two earlier or later depending on the day or the occasion. Additionally, if the family is doing something special or something out of the norm, I will also eat outside of the IF window.

Did you maintain IF while you are sick?

I have been sick a few times since I started IF. I tried to keep my IF schedule while sick, but the circumstances were a bit beyond my discipline. Those that are fans of IF seem split on this issue of fasting while being sick. After reading a bunch on this topic, I am wondering if certain ailments may benefit from fasting while others drive a need for caloric intake. I will leave that one for the doctors to debate.

How has IF impacted your workouts or strength?

I have yet to notice any adverse effects on my workouts or strength. In 2015, I hit one rep max personal records (PR) in my overhead squat, back squat (40 lbs) and strict press (10 lbs) just to name a few.

My metabolic conditioning (metcon) performances do not feel they have suffered from anything other than my pure disgust for wall balls, kettlebell swings and thrusters.

Are you putting on muscle?

If I have gained any muscle it has not been much! The simple math would indicate that I have not gained any muscle. The simple math also suggests that I did not lose any muscle. I stopped training for muscularity or size a long time ago. My focus is on maintaining an active lifestyle and functional movement. Since putting on muscle or size is not one of my goals this experiment does not provide any insight to how IF impacts muscle growth.

Are you doing any additional cardio to keep your BF% low?

I do not do any cardio that is not contained in my Crossfit programming. All of our workouts are designed to take less than 30 mins. I generally workout at least 3 times a week.

Link to a video of a Ted Talk I like about fasting.

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