Saturday, May 12, 2012

Long Term Intermittent Fasting

Had a comment asking me if I have stuck with this since I started in January of 2010.


I fast every single day for 19 hours. Of course there have been times when I went off plan, but only for a few days on vacation or a day or two during Christmas. Nothing substantial.

I also do a long fast every Sunday, meaning that I do not eat at all on Sundays. I take a break on that during the summer months, but Spring, Winter and Fall, I fast all day, every Sunday.

Also, sometimes before and/or after a vacation where I may eat outside my window or indulge a bit more than usual, I may include a three day fast before and after to try to counteract the excess food.

Despite all of this, I still struggle with over eating during my eating window. Fasting helps this issue not effect my weight in any significant way, but I do want to fix this problem in my life eventually. I am so grateful for intermittent fasting because it has helped me control the effects that my over eating has on my body and my health.

For me, because I have been practicing intermittent fasting for a long time, it just feels natural. It has become my way of eating, my lifestyle, my routine. I rarely think about it, and find that I only feel hungry when it would normally be time to break my fast. It really is something that the body can easily adapt to. I truly believe that humans were made to eat this way...early humans had to hunt for food, not just make a trip to the store. It would have been common to go without food for long periods of time followed by short time of plenty, after a kill.

I feel like what is abnormal is eating constantly. The body doesn't know how to handle all the food and it is a lot of work to be in a constant state of digestion.

Funny story, there was this young girl on the train with me the other day. She was telling her friend about her dinner the night before. She said: "Like, I was SO hungry, I was like, give me food NOW or I am going to DIE! I am STARVING! I mean, I hadn't eaten one thing at all since lunch!"

People do think it is abnormal to not eat constantly...eating between meals is common and expected. People think that skipping a snack means that they are STARVING...honestly I find this a bit arrogant. They have no idea what true starving is and have never even tested their bodies tolerance to lack of food.

Fasting calms my body and my mind. I could never go back. I will practice intermittent fasting for the rest of my life.


  1. Hi Jenna ~
    Firstly, Thank You!! I stumbled apon your blog 24 days ago and your blog has helped me on my road with IF. I got Dr. Herring's Fast-5 book and have lost 5lbs so far. I started WW in April but it just wasn't working like I'd hope so now I'm doing a combination.
    You are such an inspiration and I would have never known about the IF lifestyle if I hadn't found your blog. I'll keep checking in to see how you are progressing and use that as motivation to keep with it too. Thank you again!

  2. Jenna! Thanks for sharing!! I stumbled across IF because, I vowed not to diet, but to start paying attention to true hunger. I found I was only really hungry once a day! So I googled it, "eating once a day" and stumbled across your page. It's nice to know that all the medical hype out there is not for everyone. I've been practicing this for about 3 weeks....I'm not as constipated, I don't think about food constantly, I don't feel guilty after eating anything, I have more energy, the list goes on and on. I haven't been weighing myself, but I can say my wedding band is loose, I can cross my arms easier, and the shirt I wore the other day....showed way more cleavage than normal! The only "bad" side effect i've noticed, is trouble sleeping, but find it's a great time to catch up on my reading! Thanks again for your site!!

  3. Hi Jenna, me again (I'm Zoe, from Australia by the way). Slowly making my way through your entries. Just a quick question - have you done an entry on alcohol intake while fasting? It's what I find hardest (I can avoid late night food with friends but if someone offers me a glass of wine...)

    1. Any calories at all should only be consumed during your five hour window, this includes alcohol.

      I would not recommend breaking a fast with alcohol either. Drinking on an empty stomach is not a good idea.

      That being said, I am a wine lover as well! What I find works is to schedule my eating window around events that will include alcohol. Then eat first and enjoy some wine afterwards with your friends all inside your five hour window.

      This may mean that you need to do a longer fast during the day to wait until a time that will work for including alcohol.

      I can usually work around this easily as most events are planned or scheduled well in advance which gives me time to plan for the fast.

      This past Friday was a great example of this, I had ended my fast the day before as normal at 5pm. I knew the next day (Friday) I was planning to go out after work with some friends for drinks. So I waited to break my fast until 5pm, (a total of 24 hours fasting). At the location where the event took place I ordered an appetizer and had that before my first glass of wine. Then enjoyed the night with my friends over wine and dinner.

      At 10pm my window closed and I had had a great time, but the night wasn't over so I just switched to water. Helps to rehydrate after a few glasses of wine anyway!

      Hope this helps!


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