August 29th, Friday:
Today, the whole family ate dinner at 4pm. I decided everyone could eat on my schedule – they just don’t have to fast when I do. It actually solved lots of problems. I’m always starving around 3:30 or 4pm. The kids are desperate for a substantial after-school snack. I usually have energy at 4 to put together a meal – I’m less inspired at 6, 7 or 8 pm. We usually have activities – I’m coaching or teaching in the evening, kids have Taekwondo or dance or some school event. And, we actually were all in the same room for the meal. Only my son opted out of the time. We warmed his up at 5pm.
I ended my 16 hour fast at 8am. The fast seemed pretty painless. After I finished my meal at 4pm on Thursday, I went off to coach runners and teach yoga – by time I got home at close to 9pm, I went straight upstairs to bed. Normally, I’d rifle through the kitchen for a snack, usually unneeded, but comforting. I didn’t miss it.
This morning, I felt a bit hungry before teaching a high-intensity weights and cardio class. I did feel my heart racing more and got a little dizzy in the last 15 minutes, but nothing I couldn’t manage. Working out in the fasted state takes some getting used to – although I’ve done it many times for 5:30 am classes, but usually I’ve eaten at 7 or 8 pm the night before. It’s allegedly easier for more experienced exercisers to become accustomed to fasted training too – good news. I did precede the workout with a dose of BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), which don’t provide calories, but do provide amino acids to assist in muscle building and repair. Again, I don’t plan on doing any long workouts in a fasted state. At least, not unless I feel my body adapting extraordinarily well in the next few weeks.
Breakfast will happen tomorrow around 8:30 am – just in time for a 2-hour ride. It’s Saturday and we have no obligations until 1pm (a rarity), so I have the luxury of going a little later and having a pre-workout snack.
I feel like I’m adapting well to this fasting strategy – although, again, it’s only day 2. Many protocols recommend easing into an intermittent fasting program slowly – starting with 10- to 12-hour fasts and slowly moving meal times. So far, I haven’t felt overwhelmed, fatigued or put out. The weekend may be a challenge and I have a race on Monday – but a strategy already planned to get me through. Stay tuned.