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Intermittent Fasting (IF) gets some main stream press

November 25, 2009

Great to see If getting some mainstream press.  Although you can already see in the comments section, some people will just call it a fad diet and others who have actually tried it, always report stunning success.

For me, I usually do about a 16 / 8.  thats 16 hour fast and 8 hours of eating as much as I like.  Today its nearly 12pm and I haven’t eating anything, my last meal finished up at 8pm last night.  I’m feeling pretty wired right about now, full of energy which I feel like  Ineed to burn off.  I had some hunger pains at about 10am which subsided as I did some stretching and right now I feel like I just drank about 5 coffees because I’m wired up and ready to go.

Strange thing IF…it does the opposite to what your logic tells you it should do.

Logic says:

  • If I don’t eat breakfast I will have no energy. – Wrong.  I’m 16 hours in and I’m wired.  I feel like I could go for a run or go to the gym, and often I go to the gym in a fasting state and have a great workout!
  • If I don’t eat my body will use destroy muscle mass to get energy – This is true, but only after 3-4 days of fasting.

The human body was designed to feast and then fast.  If you think about hunter gatherer’s, which is how humans lived for millions of years, they didn’t wake up in the morning, open the fridge and pour a box of cereal and have it with 2 slices of toast and a glass of OJ.  They made a kill, feasted, and then took it easy for the next day until they got hungry again.

Some research posted on the wholehealthsource blog tracks how hunter-gatherers lived:

The Ingalik Hunter Gatherers of Interior Alaska: ‘As has been made clear, the principal meal and sometimes the only one of the day is eaten in the evening.’
–The Guayaki (Ache) Hunter Gatherers of Paraguay: ‘It seems, however, that the evening meal is the most consistent of the day. This is understandable, since the day is generally spent hunting for food that will be eaten in the evening.”
–The Kung Hunter Gatherers of Botswana. “Members move out of camp each day individually or in small groups to work through the surrounding range and return in the evening to pool the collected resources for the evening meal.”
–Hawaiians, Tahitians, Fijians and other Oceanic peoples (pre-westernization). ‘Typically, meals, as defined by Westerners, were consumed once or twice a day. . . Oliver (1989) described the main meal, usually freshly cooked, as generally eaten in the late afternoon after the day’s work was over.”

The most consistent daily eating pattern that is beginning to emerge from the ethnographic literature in hunter-gatherers is that of a large single meal which was consumed in the late afternoon or evening. A midday meal or lunch was rarely or never consumed and a small breakfast (consisting of the remainders of the previous evening meal) was sometimes eaten. Some snacking may have occurred during daily gathering, however the bulk of the daily calories were taken in the late afternoon or evening. This pattern of eating could be described as intermittent fasting relative to the typical Western pattern, particularly when daily gathering or hunting were unsuccessful or marginal. There is wisdom in the ways of our hunter gatherer ancestors, and perhaps it is time to re-think three squares a day.

Now if you believe, as I do, that the human body is designed to work better on a hunter gatherer lifestyle, because that’s the way we evolved over millions of years and we’ve only been farming for the past 10,000 years, then Intermittent fasting makes perfect sense as part of a healthy lifestyle.

And personally for me, I’ve had the best fat loss results during my time doing IF.

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