Saturday, December 08, 2012

Intermittent Fasting Report

I have been mildly curious about intermittent fasting for a while, reading a bit about it e.g form this guy. I have always been rather sceptical about the claimed health benefits and no real intentions of ever doing that myself. However, when I came across an ad for the Concern Fast something spoke to me, though not the fasting itself (which still smacks a bit of a "let's play suffering for a day" stunt to me) but the opportunity to raise some money and maybe make a tiny bit of difference for some. Before I had the opportunity to think things through I had already signed up.

Friday 7 December was not exactly the best date for fasting - it was also the day of my department's Christmas do, and I very much enjoy that every year. I might no look like it but I absolutely love food, and Jack's Seafood Restaurant in Cromane is one of the best eateries I have ever visited. I wasn't going to subject myself watching everyone else eating some of the most delicious food on the planet and then get drunk in unison, so the party had to go ahead without me.

Fasting was supposed to last from midnight to midnight, but I ate my last snack at 10 pm on Thursday; any later and I reckoned I would have trouble sleeping. Morning started as usual, I still went for my 10 mile run in the morning, except I only had water for "breakfast".

I started to get hunger pangs at about 9 o'clock when I arrived at the office and suspected I would be in for a long day. Turns out a cup of coffee is a surprisingly effective hunger depressant, though it's probably not the best thing for your stomach. As the day wore on, more and more people started asking how the fast was going, though I could not tell any difference. It did occur to me that today I could behave as grumpy as I liked and still have a good excuse, though I'm not sure anyone would have noticed a difference. The hunger pangs did not get any worse during the day; I even worked through breakfast and most of my lunch break. Keeping busy was a good thing.

Towards the evening I noticed I started getting slightly dizzy if I got up from my chair a bit too quickly, though that was as bad as it got. Cycling home was no problem, and skipping dinner was easy enough as I knew this would be over soon. Niamh tried to get me to eat at 10 o'clock, pointing out that I had been fasting for 24 hours already, but I insisted it would have to be midnight to midnight and went to bed instead. I woke a few times, and at 2 o'clock went to the kitchen and raided the fridge after 28 hours of fasting. Unfortunately I slept very badly that night, which included another feed at 5 o'clock in the morning.

I went running again at 7:30 in the morning, which went surprisingly well.

Would I do it again? Well, unless it was another charity gig that was supposed to last from midnight to midnight, I would do it from evening time to the following day's evening time, simply to avoid the sleeping problems. Otherwise it was actually pretty easy. I kept comparing it to running for 24 hours straight, and not eating for a day did not even register on the scale compared to that.

I also was 2 pounds lighter this morning, despite my 2 night feeds, but that may be temporary only.

I raised €157 so far, with a few more being pledged. Thanks everyone who chipped in, this is very much appreciated.

And while 7 December might not have been the ideal date for me, 8 December would have been a lot worse. Happy Birthday, Cian. I don't think my blood sugar levels will remain low for long today.


  1. Well done Thomas. That's a VERY sweet looking birthday cake!

    On the sparse eating, works well for Nolan Shaheed - one meal a day to one meal every other day -

  2. So are you planning to get a bit more serious with Intermittent Fasting? You know there are differetn ways you can go about IF. You don't have to fast a whole 24 hours if it doesn't fit your schedule as a runner...