Iíve enjoyed reading and learning from those on this board, and having read many wonderful posts on this forum, and similar debates elsewhere on the web, I thought Iíd post a brief excerpt concerning my experience as a 5 year practitioner of a pseudo-IF protocol.
Mostly this is an introduction, but if Iím able to help others by posting my experience, so much the better!
For starters, I train regularly, with a routine adhering to the following principles:
- Workout early in the morning. I usually workout at 0500 due to schedule.
- Lift heavy. I follow a 5x5 protocol three days a week with a special emphasis on squat, deadlift, and presses.
- Met-con. I do met-con workouts three days a week. A typical workout would be one of the CrossFit ďgirlĒ routines (or similar).
- Active rest. One day a week is allocated to active rest (typically a long walk)
Iím in my early 30ís and have goals to remain active, energetic and healthy throughout the remainder of my days, however long that may be! At 5' 10", Iím lean (some might say too lean) for my height and am working to put on a few pounds of muscle mass.
With the basics out of the way, I've followed a pseudo-IF schedule for the past 5 years. Meaning that I was on a 12/12 eating schedule (12 hours fasting followed by a 12 hour eating window). I stumbled upon this schedule, and wasnít trying to do any form of IF, it just worked out that way Ė some would / could argue that a 12/12 cycle such as this isnít really IF, and I wouldnít disagree.
In early July 2007, I started reading / learning more about IF, and became intrigued by the reports I read and then posts I saw on this board. As a result, I quickly moved to a more aggressive IF schedule whereby I fast 17 hours a day, and Ďentertainí a 7 hour eating window. My fast usually ends at Noon (6 hours after I workout), and though I thought that might be difficult, itís really not been too challenging. With this schedule, and keeping a 99% paleo diet, Iíve seen good results: measured in terms of strength during workout, sleep, focus, mental cognition, and general energy levels throughout the day.
A brief note about my experience w/ paleo-centric eating. Again, thanks to this board, and its excellent, well-educated posts, I moved to a paleo centric diet in March 2007. Itís been great! I didnít realize how sensitive I was to grains, dairy, legumes, and much of the other junk being marketed as ďhealthyĒ until I switched to a paleo diet, and some months later attempted tried a bit of oats and milk. The result of re-introducing these foods was a disaster, making me feel terrible for the next 24 hours. I decided then and there that paleo was the way to go!
Certainly, this is just my experience with IF and paleo-centric eating, and while Iím not promoting universal applicability of either approach, or claiming that there's anything 'optimal' about them, they do seem to be working for me. That is to say, in my subjective assessment, Iíve been able to maintain muscle mass (likely, gained some along the way), greatly improve my bodyís work capacity, improve my energy levels, focus / concentration, and overall sense of wellbeing.
In the coming weeks, Iíd like to experiment with longer fasts (maybe Fast-5) and see how that affects my day. For now though, Iím relatively pleased with the results Iím seeing, and am happy that Iím able to meet social obligations (e.g.,, lunch and dinner get togethers), maintain a daily exercise routine, eat healthy, and live an energetic lifestyle that has promoted greater focus, mental cognition, and general sense of well being.