I didn’t know IF was a thing when I started doing it. I’d read that a major study proved intermittent fasting (basically, eating just one meal a day) could increase longevity by around 20%. And since I come from a long line of short-lived men (Dad died at 45, both grandpas at around 60), I thought “What the heck?”
A little background: I’m a bit of a health nut, exercising regularly and choosing natural (slow) foods over junky (fast) foods (confession: I do have a weakness for sugar). Also, I’d already switched to eating two meals a day when I was cast in the romantic lead in a feature film a few years back–pot bellies and romance don’t go particularly well together on camera.
I adopted a modified approach, eating one meal a day—dinner with my beloved—four times a week, and orgiastically indulging in two meals on the other days!
Results? Wow! The bennies have been impressive, although if you do this your results will undoubtedly differ—for starters, I have two problems you may not have (1 and 2 below). Here are my bennies, using the oh-so-clever acronym AAWSTLO:
- Acid stomach: I’d been on Prilosec for years. It magically reduced acidity, but also risked creating long term side-effects, so my doctor switched me to Zantac (less magical, but safer). Interestingly, I’ve since discovered that my digestive tract “resets” each day, allowing me one acid-free meal without the assistance of a of lab-produced substance!
- Allergies: For years I suffered from a mysterious morning allergy (an allergist couldn’t figure it out). To wit, my nose ran non-stop every morning. Year round. It always happened, no matter what foods I ate (or avoided). But when I began IF-ing, my “allergy” mysteriously disappeared! (I’m still apparently allergic to breakfast, but can handle it almost symptom-free a few times a week.)
- Weight loss: I’ve slowly shed 18 pounds over the last half year or so, and guess what? It turns out my chest and stomach are actually separate parts of my body! No six-pack yet, but I’ve managed a 2pac (although I still can’t rap).
- Special event: Now that I eat less often, I enjoy eating more than ever (surprise, surprise)! I look forward to meals, plan them, and savor them. (Food: “It’s about time he learned to appreciate us!”)
- Time: Preparing to meals, eating, and cleaning up take time!
- Longevity: I’m going on faith here. Check back with me in another 30 years or so.
- Other advantages: Mental clarity, attitude enhancement, spiritual focus (there’s a reason fasting was a thing in Jesus’ day, too), joie de vivre… These are hard to quantify, but are arguably the best bennies of all. Plus, I like lists of 7.
No, I’m not selling a “plan,” I don’t have a system, and I don’t promise to chant for you. But if you really want to send me money, feel free.