My experience with intermittent fasting
I’m surely not the first programmer to mention the side effects of being in front of a computer all day. Right after getting a job, I started packing on pounds and my health kept degrading.
Reading Tim Ferris’ Four Hour Body got me the kick to try a diet. His is called Slow-Carb. Basically: no bread/pasta, no dairy, no fruits, but one cheat day per week. Gotta say it worked quite well and was surprisingly easy to follow. I lost about 25 pounds in a few months and maintained that weight ever since.
But during that time I also got into strength training, but noticed I made very little progress and felt my energy level was pretty low. So I went on to try something else. Also no carbs and no dairy seemed a little weird to me.
Enter Intermittent Fasting
So I ended up on LeanGain.com.
The premise is you fast for 16h+ and eat during the remaining hours of the day. Which basically means you skip breakfast.
LeanGain also adds fasted training, meaning you even train before eating, after ~15h of fast! Crazy uurg!
OMG! But breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
There have been numerous studies showing that skipping breakfast makes you fat and all. But apparently, other studies are proving this wrong. People skipping breakfast either already have bad eating habits or fasting make them eat more in subsequent meals. Which is why I tracked my calories, carbs, fat and proteins closely at first.
Intermittent fasting actually has a bunch of health benefits. Some studies even show it can lower blood pressure. I’ve had hypertension for a few years and medication was the next step. So that was enough to convince me to try it for a few months.
I’m not a health expert in any way, so I encourage you read about fasting myths here by the author of LeanGain.
I’ve been following the LeanGain approach for almost two months now and here are my results.
I had been maintaining my weight around 175 pounds and ~18% of body fat (143.5 of lean mass) for close to a year. I was unable to get lower and also unable to get more strength. Now after ~two months I’m at 170 pounds and ~14.5% body fat (145.35 of lean mass).
So I gained ~1.85 pounds of lean mass (musclez!) and lost ~6.85 pounds of fat in a little less than two months.
My strength has also been increasing:
- Bench press: from 160 pounds to 185 pounds
- Squat: from 225 pounds to 275 pounds
- Deadlift: from 185 pounds to 315 pounds (was scared at first to try this, which explains the very low initial number)
And… surprise surprise! My blood pressure dropped back to normal in just one month!
Right before starting on October 23: 155/83
On November 24: 133/84
Although it was hard during the first two weeks. I actually now feel more focused during the morning when fasting. And I also have more time during the AM as I don’t need to eat/prepare breakfast.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor. I don’t know what I’m talking about here and am simply reporting my results. Do any of this at your own risk.