« My Favorite Micro 4/3 Lens | Main | Help Rebuild Central Camera »

Sunday, 31 May 2020


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sounds like a good plan. Good job sticking with it. I need to stop eating at night.
What struck me most is that you need a new thermostat. They're programmable now you know ;-)

[Not for me they're not. Here's what I need on a thermostat: On/off. Heat/cool. Up/down. And--this part is important--nothing else. --Mike]

We're all different and you've found what works for you. This is terrific news.


Hey Mike, good deal! It's funny that you mention plateauing, because I've done the same, at 212! I haven't tried time restricted eating, but I'm doing my daily vin-and-tonic religiously. And like you, I just feel better.

I'm happy that you've been doing these OT posts for the last few years, because it inspired me to give it a try!

[Not for me they're not. Here's what I need on a thermostat: On/off. Heat/cool. Up/down. And--this part is important--nothing else. --Mike]

I completely get that. However, that's exactly why I do not use a Japanese camera. They are the antithesis of what you want in a thermostat.

Here's one bothersome thing about losing weight, at least for me. When I lose weight, I lose the weight around my navel last. When I'm quite a bit heavy (for me, over 205) I don't seem to have a protrudent gut, because I've got fat around to the sides and on my hips, and a fairly smooth cylindrical body shape. When I lose the first ten pounds, I lose it on the sides...and now my gut appears to protrude. I lose another ten...and it's worse. I look thin but with a belly, which is really kind of awful. I start on the third 10, and then, the gut starts to go away. I'm currently down at 178 on my way to 170, where I hope to establish a plateau, and stay that way.

Hi Mike. I do a similar thing to you but for a different set of reasons, which I won't bore you with. I eat a 'bedtime' snack at 21.00 and then don't eat again until lunch at 13.00, then my main meal is at 17.00. It works well, and like you I won't go back. Tim F.

'Tis truly amazing what one can read on photography blogs!

But then I s'pose photography is like life looked at through a mirror...

...or leak, as Vonnegut would say.

Thermostats are also controllable remotely remotely nowadays. Alternatively they are portable like my wireless thermostat that I can, and sometimes do, carry into the bedroom at night.

Your plan to eat only at mealtimes seems good but why not 3 meals a day with your last in the early evening? Fits better with society so may be more sustainable. If it must be 2 meals a day lunch seems to be the one to skip, particularly because it would fit better with your argument about giving time for the body to digest your food — unless you are having a 2 hour siesta after lunch ;-( .

For years I forced myself to eat early in the morning because "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". About ten years ago I decided to give my body a break and gave up breakfast completely. Everybody and their mother kept telling me how bad it was to skip breakfast, but being a stubborn know it all I persevered.

Now my first meal of the day is at one in the afternoon consisting of a traditional lunch of meat or fish, salad or vegetables and a starch if I am not dieting. I will usually take a beer or glass of wine with my lunch. This effectively reduces my eating window to 16 hours per day, since I don't eat anything after 9pm. Unless I cheat with a late night snack (gotta stop doing that). Sometimes I will take an afternoon snack (gotta stop doing that), but I can say that I regularly eat just 2 meals a day: lunch and dinner.

These days "intermittent fasting" is all the rage and I no longer have to justify to people why I don't eat breakfast. I don't get the most important meal of the day sermon and instead get praise for my "sacrifice".

One of the downsides of intermittent fasting is the social aspect of eating. Since breakfast is usually a lonely affair, those with busy social schedules find it easier to skip a morning breakfast instead of an evening meal.

Many people will eat food in the morning so that they can have coffee, because coffee on an empty stomach "is bad for you". I drink one pint (half a litre) of water as soon as I get out of bed in the morning and immediately drink a strong, black espresso coffee every single morning. After years of this routine I have no adverse effects to report. No ulcers, no acid, no hole in my stomach. I make an effort to drink lots of water in the morning and no water in the evening. This has no effect on my appetite but it does eliminate night trips to the bathroom.

When I am trying to loose weight, I will go jogging every day first thing in the morning, right after having my black coffee. 20 years ago I would not dream of exercising on an empty stomach - I believed I would most likely pass out. I can report that exercise does not make me hungry and I don't feel weak. I have come to understand that the body does not take energy from the food that is sitting in your stomach. Energy comes from the fats and sugars stored in the body from several days of meals consumed. Modern "fitness" youtubers call this fasted cardio (exercising while fasting).

There is ONE thing that makes me hungry beyond reason. It makes me weak, hungry, nervous, angry and crave all at the same time. That one thing is sugar. A high dose of sugar will take my appetite for a wild roller coaster ride about 2 hours after consuming it. In my case sugar functions like an addictive drug. I quit smoking 11 years ago after after a hard 20 year addiction to cigarettes. I can find many similarities between a cigarette addiction and a sugar dependence.

I have had success with a modified approach like this. People tend to forget that we often eat when we’re not hungry - we eat because we’re bored, it’s time to eat, everyone else s eating, habit, etc. This approach takes much of that off the table. I’m much better at eating nothing than “a lite bit”, that turns out to be a lo more.

The number 1 fact is we are all different. One eating method (habit) will not work to the same degree with all people.

After years of trying and researching a range of new eating habits I have landed on the one which works best for me.

Must accept the New Habits. Changing from the old habits is not completed by stopping the habits, but rather by replacing them with a different habit or set of habits.

Step 1 Create a habit to get sufficient water intake. Without water your system will grind to a halt. With water it will work efficiently. Contrary to the 8 Glasses of Water a Day idea you need a half ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Simply put, dividing your weight by 2 will give the daily water intake in ounces. ie: 220 lbs requires 110 ounces , 110/8 = 14 glasses of water. Ignore all other sources of liquid. Liquor depletes you water stores. I use a set of 12oz size water bottles to aid water consumption during the day.

Step 2 Eat in the King, Prince, Pauper style. Your biggest (most calories) meal in the morning, a smaller meal at lunch and the smallest meal at dinner/supper. IE for 2000 calories per day 900 breakfast, 700 lunch, 400 dinner, approx. Why it works is the body uses the breakfast to power itself during the day, the lunch powers it during the evening, the dinner takes care of the night until the next breakfast.

Compared to the "Normal" method of eating, small or no breakfast, large lunch, larger dinner. The larger lunch and dinner will provide too much nutrient supply for the body during the evening and night. This means the overflow of nutrients is stored as fat reserve. The large dinner will not be available (processed) for use until after you binge in the evening. The binge is actually caused by a lack of sufficient nutrients from the missing or light breakfast meal, which will increase the storage factor.

I try to eat based on the Zone method of eating with a 40% carbs, 30% Protein, and 30% good healthy fat intake.

I have added a HIT (High Intensity) workout (10 minutes on a recumbent bike) consisting 1 Min Coasting, 1 Minute push, 1 Min Coasting, 1 Minute push, 1 Min Coasting, 1 Minute push, 4 Minute coast approach.

This works the Heart and Lungs giving you cardiovascular endurance. The heart and lungs are the two major impacts on life continuance.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy your site.

I think the scale can be a stressor in your journey. It gives you a number that means little, while not giving you credit for body composition. A pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat. You may be "stuck" at 230lbs, but you may still be losing fat.

It is too late now (given the time you have been doing this) but a tape measure is a better gauge of your progress. It would have been more productive to have a good starting waist measurement to see progress that actually means something about the health benefits from your effort. Belly fat, now understood to be a dangerous precursor of health issues, is the target. There is no such thing as spot reducing, but you want your belly to have a measurement less than 50 percent of your height. The tape measure is the tool of choice, not the scale.

I'm your age, workout daily and haven't been on a scale in a decade. I do have a log with waist measurements. When the tape hits 34 inches, I step up my exercise and cut back on the pizza.

Good luck with your effort.

Keep up the good work! I am on a much less dramatic trajectory, but making progress. I was on blood pressure meds, but have been able to come off that and keep my BP going lower. I think I can come off the only other drug I am on – cholesterol reducer, but need to see my doc when things get less busy for some blood work. And like you I feel better.
Keep us posted!

I think you're on the right path Mike, also routinely known as Intermittent Fasting. Congrats!

Don't have much time to be typing but just want to add that a couple techniques for breaking a plateau would be to increase exercise, longer walks etc., or by increasing your calories for a few days as in eating three meals for a few days and then returning to OMAD (one meal a day).

As you know, the benefits of IF far exceed weight loss: autophagy, boundless energy, etc. etc.

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the interesting post. I started my own experiment with time-restricted eating a few months ago.
I have always been a big eater (at meals) and snacker (between meals). Although I have never had an issue with my weight, probably due to a fast metabolism and regular, intense exercise (daily bodyweight exercises, up to 100 mile trail running races, biking for transportation and fun), I felt like I was becoming a slave to my hunger. I would wake up each day with an empty pit of despair for a stomach, worried that I might not have the strength to reach the kitchen for my 5 AM breakfast. I would continue eating all day, and would sometimes have a snack immediately before bed. It was a rare day when I had more than 3 hours between some sort of food intake.
Over a short period I was able to compress my weekday eating period down to 8-9 hours (approximately 11:30 AM - 7:30 PM) without too much difficulty. I have mild intermittent hunger pangs until my first meal, but it's not too bad and hopefully builds character. I still eat what would seem like a frightening amount of food to many of you, although the total may have decreased slightly. I will say that my desire for between-meal snacks has decreased significantly.
I have a vague sense that my morning brain is a bit sharper than it used to be, but to be honest my life has been so topsy-turvy with the pandemic I can't be sure. I definitely feel better with a few hours of digestion before bed. It doesn't seem like my often poor sleep has improved, but it hasn't gotten any worse so I can't complain.
On the weekend I start eating earlier in the morning, partially as a break/reward but more importantly because of greater calorie needs for my long training runs. While I will do fasted 60-90 minute runs before my first meal on weekdays, I don't think it would be a good idea (for me at least) to attempt a 3-6 hour run without eating beforehand.
Anyway, I just wanted to offer an additional anecdote about time-restricted eating from the perspective of a very active individual. I don't know if I will keep it up forever, but I haven't noticed any negative aspects so I also have no reason to stop.

Just curious if anything is permitted outside the fasting hours, such as a smoothie. I eat twice a day but do have my own invention of an energy drink early in the morning.

Great to hear Mike! I have been pretty skinny all my life. But after having turned 50 a decade ago I started to gain weight. When I got up to 85 kg (about 170?) I felt a lot heavier. I took me a lot of time just to lose about 5 kg to get down to about 80 kg. I am 185 cm tall and it is probably a good weight to stick to.
Eating is not so important to me but I like good food. Like most people! And I enjoyed a bowl of youghurt and müsli at night. But that is not good. When I stopped that habbit I started losing weight.
You mentioned that feeling of being hungry. We are so well fed nowadays and we have no memory of what generations before us felt almost daily: Hunger.

I practiced intermittend eating; one day quite normal, one day nothing. Look for Walter Longo in Internet. I have had no headaches, although first two-three non-eating days were hard. Interestingly, hunger was not the biggest problem, psyche was: One misses the act of eating. At the beginning I lost weekly 1kg, later every two weeks. Nice side effect was new attitude to eating - one enjoys his meals more than before.
I am nearing 67 and do not need as much intake as I needed in my younger years. After I lost the "necessary" amount I took to eating daily, but only in a time window approx. from 12 to 17. I feel better now, healthier and I am more active than before. Do not have to fight fatigue and am able to walk 10km daily in the Alps with my photobackpack (15kg)and tripod. One gets farther with empty belly...
Complicated methods are dangerous, one thinks too often about it, in the end it is thinking about missing a meal. This is kind of negative thinking which likely leads to defeat.
Stay healthy, regards

Good for you, Mike!

I had trouble fasting my laces. This big lumb of fat between my chest and knees when bending down made me realize to do something about it.
I am now on day 39 of Fasting 16/8. I lost 4,7 kilograms. So far, so good.
My plan is not to weigh myself or at least only once a month or so and not to worry/think about my weight.

Youhave an inspiring blog. I learned here about the waterrower and bought one, same for a coffeegrinder and now I find inspiration in this restricted eating story by you.

Your experience of weight plateaus has a scientific basis. Our bodies have evolved to maximize survival in the short term. In the face of starvation they adapt and shift down to the mitochondrial level to maintain your weight--literally, your metabolism and metabolic "machinery" work against your dietary efforts, and you metabolic "set point" changes to maintain your weight if at all possible, and to try to get you to put the weight back on. There is all sorts of chemical signalling going on between your fat cells, your brain, your organs, and your endocrine system. I have sat through several scientific lectures on this subject over the past few years and it is fascinating. Many people who are obese for their whole lives are born genetically programmed so that their set points and how their bodies react to fasting are different than non-obese people. When I was still practicing medicine I had obese patients come in and complain that "I'm eating next to nothing, but I still can't lose any weight!" and I would doubt what they were telling me but it turns out that for some of them it is absolutely true. It is not just "calories in=calories out". We are just beginning to understand how all this stuff works. There was a great PBS Nova about this stuff a few weeks ago: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/the-truth-about-fat/

I agree totally on the thermostat. My HVAC guy once tried to sell me a one thousand freakin dollar thermostat. I was speechless.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007