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Inadvertently started intermittent fasting

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Inadvertently started intermittent fasting

Old 11-08-21, 11:44 AM
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MinnMan
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Inadvertently started intermittent fasting

I seem to have stumbled on a dieting regimen, unintentionally.

In the spring, I stopped eating breakfast except for days (mostly weekends) when I go for morning bike rides. I did this as part of my continued efforts to get my carb intake and blood sugar under control. I usually eat dry (healthy) cereal and skim milk, and at first considered switching to something else - e.g., yogurt, but I thought, "why eat something that doesn't appeal to me - I'll just stick to my coffee in the morning". I shifted my lunch time to a little earlier (11 AM), and it was fine. And within a few months I lost about 5 pounds.

More recently, I was seeing an Ear Nose and Throat doc b/c I have persistent issues with a sore throat. After an exam, he concluded that its acid reflux. He gave me a script for a strong proton pump inhibitor (basically extra-strength Nexium, I believe), but I don't like taking drugs if I don't have to. Also, in part because I eat small meals (see above about efforts regarding blood sugar), I tend to snack through the afternoon and evening. So I figure I would try, without drugs, simply not eating for the ~3 hours before sleep. If after a few months the symptoms don't improve, I'll consider taking the antacid.

A few weeks into this (too early to say if it's going to affect my throat), I'm now eating only between 11 AM and 9 PM . Today it occurred to me to find out if this is "a thing". And of course, it is - it's otherwise known as a 14/10 intermittent fast. It feels fine. I'm not making up for the restriction by eating more during the intervening hours, AFAIK. It's also too early to know if it will affect my weight.

In my reading today it seems as though the 16/8 fast gets more virtual ink. I don't know if one is more effective than the other.

I didn't start this as a weight loss plan. My BMI now is between 22.2 and 22.5. But if I shed another 5-10 lbs, I certainly won't mind.
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Old 11-08-21, 11:50 AM
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Link to some info

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/i...ypes-explained
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Old 11-08-21, 01:06 PM
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I'm "not ready" to eat in the morning. It's unappealing, sits heavy in my stomach, and on weekends I really just want to get outside and ride or hike or whatever.
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Old 11-08-21, 01:20 PM
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There is this B.S. that we've heard for years. "Eat a good breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day."

Maybe for school children. But for the rest of us, it isn't. It's totally expendable in a normal day.


But if I'm headed out for a significant ride in the morning - you know, above 50 miles - no way I'm going out on an empty stomach. A century without a solid breakfast? That's just asking to bonk.
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Old 11-08-21, 02:00 PM
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I've done 16-8 on and off for about 6 months now. I was doing early morning fasted rides and they were going well so I decided to try the full 16-8. It's pretty simple: stop eating at 8pm and don't eat till noon the next day. About half of that time is spent asleep anyway. During the eating window I eat whatever and how much I want. Simple. And I'm down 15 pounds from a year ago. (I'm 3 pounds lighter than I was the day I graduated from high school.)
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Old 11-08-21, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I've done 16-8 on and off for about 6 months now. I was doing early morning fasted rides and they were going well so I decided to try the full 16-8. It's pretty simple: stop eating at 8pm and don't eat till noon the next day. About half of that time is spent asleep anyway. During the eating window I eat whatever and how much I want. Simple. And I'm down 15 pounds from a year ago. (I'm 3 pounds lighter than I was the day I graduated from high school.)
Was that before or after the beer kegger on your graduation day?

More seriously, that's interesting info. What's on and off in terms of days/week or some weeks on, some weeks off, etc.?
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Old 11-08-21, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Was that before or after the beer kegger on your graduation day?

More seriously, that's interesting info. What's on and off in terms of days/week or some weeks on, some weeks off, etc.?
Typically, I'll do it 5 or 6 days a week. I won't do it on a day I'm racing CX or the big Saturday group ride. I also try not to be too rigid about it if there's a special occasion like a dinner party or holiday. I really don't want to be *that guy.*
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Old 11-08-21, 04:02 PM
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I'm also a somewhat intermittent intermittent faster. Been doing it for about 4 years now. Weekdays I bike commute ~1 hour on just coffee, and don't eat until lunch. Took about 6 months to a year to really get used to it, but now I'm never hungry in the mornings. At first I did it for weight loss and potential fat utilizaiton increases but now its just continued for general convenience and easy calorie restriction. I also will force myself to eat something before a long ride but have also gone out for 3-4 hour easier rides fasted without any detriment. I always carry a gel in case of a bonk but it doesn't really ever happen.
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Old 11-08-21, 04:38 PM
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It's interesting to me that several of you are exercising in the morning along with your intermittent fasts. I know that some people use exercise+fasting as a strategy, but that hadn't really occurred to me. Considering that I've just fallen into this accidentally, I don't see much reason personally to do so. Except in the summer months, I don't normally ride on weekday mornings (well, I bicycle commute, but that's less than 2 miles each way - it doesn't count). And my weekend morning rides are longer. Maybe I'd survive OK on the (usually shorter and easier) Sunday ride without breakfast, but for those two mornings, I'm not motivated to try.
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Old 11-08-21, 05:26 PM
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I like to intermittent fast about 2 days per week, usually on the weekends.
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Old 11-08-21, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
It's interesting to me that several of you are exercising in the morning along with your intermittent fasts. I know that some people use exercise+fasting as a strategy, but that hadn't really occurred to me. Considering that I've just fallen into this accidentally, I don't see much reason personally to do so. Except in the summer months, I don't normally ride on weekday mornings (well, I bicycle commute, but that's less than 2 miles each way - it doesn't count). And my weekend morning rides are longer. Maybe I'd survive OK on the (usually shorter and easier) Sunday ride without breakfast, but for those two mornings, I'm not motivated to try.
I know a lot of people do morning exercise in a fasted state as a strategy for different reasons. For me, it's really just a matter of what's convenient. If it's going to be a long event I'll bring food for while I'm going, or eat right before I start.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:00 PM
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So many related things here . . .I'd say, firstly, that IF is a choice which doesn't involve any of your other choices. Break it down into parts of the continual struggle to cope with a changing body.

Acid reflux: Had that issue for a couple years, fixed it. Firstly, yes, follow your doc's advice (I always start with that and see what happens. They're supposed to know more about it than do we, but aren't perfect.) The thing to understand about reflux is that it's quite dangerous. You can get esophageal cancer from it, which will totally mess your life up.

Omeprazole is a common PPI. You take it for 20 days, no more. That first round will stop it cold. If (when) it comes back, you do another 20. However that has bad long-term side effects. So you don't let it come back.

First thing to do (tomorrow) is you raise the head of your bed 4"-8". We took ours up 4-1/2" which was enough for us. We both had it. That much is completely unnoticeable after the first couple days, except that one does tend to slide down a bit if one tosses and turns. Worth it though.

After the omeprazole, I changed to another OTC, famotidine. I took 20mg once a day, an hour before dinner, for 2 months and stopped. That was about 2 years ago. I haven't need any further medication as GERD has not recurred, probably because of my bed raising. The other change we made was to reduce the size of our dinners slightly.

Dietary changes: My favorite diabetic rider gave me some good advice. Especially for breakfast, if you eat carbs, eat fat with it. Plenty of butter on the toast or pancake. Whole milk. Fat is good for you. Cholesterol limiting is BS, no medical basis to it. Eating fat with carbs smooths out the blood sugar changes. That said, if I'm going riding in the morning first thing, the night before I make up my 400 cal. drink, a pint of water and 100g of maltodextrin and whey protein, 7:1 by weight. No fat at all. I drink it 2-3 hours before the ride start, no later! Depending on the start time and location, I might go back to bed after drinking it. It's nice to have zero prep time on riding mornings. I take my vitamins, etc. with it. During the ride, if it's over say 2 hours, I eat a bit of carb stuff every 15-20 minutes, like 25-50 calories. Sometimes it's every 30 minutes if it's not a hard ride. I never spike, never crash, never bonk. It's really very simple, just a nice consistent flow of nutrients.

I would also say that bike food is not "food". It's fuel. Think about it that way. I've never fasted except on Yom Kippur, which is only a dinner to dinner fast, no big thing, and back in my hippie days when it was a thing. Long term studies show no particular effect one way or the other. It's a choice.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
So many related things here . . .I'd say, firstly, that IF is a choice which doesn't involve any of your other choices. Break it down into parts of the continual struggle to cope with a changing body.

Acid reflux: Had that issue for a couple years, fixed it. Firstly, yes, follow your doc's advice (I always start with that and see what happens. They're supposed to know more about it than do we, but aren't perfect.) The thing to understand about reflux is that it's quite dangerous. You can get esophageal cancer from it, which will totally mess your life up.

Omeprazole is a common PPI. You take it for 20 days, no more. That first round will stop it cold. If (when) it comes back, you do another 20. However that has bad long-term side effects. So you don't let it come back.
Yeah, um. Some docs are pill pushers. I went to the pharmacy and picked up my prescription. 1 40 mg Omeprazole/day for 90 days straight. Then I read about long term side effects and thought....maybe not..
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Old 11-08-21, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Yeah, um. Some docs are pill pushers. I went to the pharmacy and picked up my prescription. 1 40 mg Omeprazole/day for 90 days straight. Then I read about long term side effects and thought....maybe not..
Yeah, right on. Time for a different doc. From drugs.com:

Usual Adult Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

20 mg orally once a day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 4 weeks

Use: Treatment of heartburn and other symptoms associated with GERD
Cut them in half, do as above, 20 days.
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Old 11-08-21, 10:17 PM
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i do the 13-18 hr fasts multiple times during the week due to working nights (generally 2pm-midnight).
usually try to eat the big (often only) meal close to 1pm. usually wake up around 8:30am-9am.
occasionally, some fruit around 9:30am-10am. really try (and usually succeed) in avoiding snacking
late at night once at home. yes, the adult bevies come into play here and there in those overnight
hours. maybe it's easier for me since i've never been a breakfast person and have always preferred
to wait until lunch.

don't race and generally don't do hard rides before work. if riding before work, it's usually to/from that
big meal/lunch. except for 4-5x's a year, don't eat breakfast unless doing a hard mountain ride and/or
century. didn't follow my own advice here for a mostly mountain century on sunday and had intermittent
cramps in both legs in weird places starting on mile 68. went harder than usual for the first time since april
and that was some of it but breakfast would have helped. if just doing a regular ride < 40 miles w/o extreme climbing
and/or speed, good until the lack of proper nutrition comes knocking.
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Old 11-08-21, 11:27 PM
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Carbonfiberboy says "fasting doesn't work", and I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to argue for or against the different theories of how fasting changes one's metabolism or affects fat burning, etc. But there are may be multiple reasons why intermittent fasting may affect diet and weight.

For me, I am and always have been a snack-eating person. As my comparatively low body weight demonstrates, it's not out of control and many of the snacks are healthier things - fruits, nuts, good quality protein bars, etc. yes, I like tortilla chips too much, - nobody's perfect. As stated earlier, I exercise a lot and I eat only 2 smallish meals/day - without the snacks, I'd be undernourished

If I restrict the hours of the day when i allow myself to eat, then I'm going to consume fewer calories. I'm not about to replace that 10 PM snack with an additional snack between 2 pm and 4 pm or make the afternoon snacks (or meals) larger. . And so I will eat less. And particularly if my motivation for not eating at 10 PM is - "I don't want acid reflux" rather than "I probably shouldn't consume more calories today", then I'm likely to stick with it. The calorie reduction is a bonus, but not the original motivation.

As to the mornings, I really don't miss breakfast if my morning exertion is limited to that little commute and then sitting at my computer. Provided I have my coffee, that is. I'm still going to eat breakfast before any real morning bicycle ride.

Among my riding companions, I'm known as a good climber. I can't sprint worth a damn, but when we hit the hills, I'm often the one putting on the hurt. Were I to lose 5-10 additional lbs., so much the better.
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Old 11-09-21, 09:18 AM
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It's all about working up to it. I started fasted riding a couple of summers ago. Started out with about 25 miles. Before long I was doing 70-80 miles at a moderate pace with no food at all. I dropped 30 pounds that summer in about 10 weeks. I like riding fasted. I just feel better than riding after having eaten. If I'm gonna do a long, difficult ride, I will eat something a couple of hours before, but otherwise, I ride fasted every morning that I can.
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Old 11-09-21, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Carbonfiberboy says "fasting doesn't work", and I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to argue for or against the different theories of how fasting changes one's metabolism or affects fat burning, etc. But there are may be multiple reasons why intermittent fasting may affect diet and weight.

For me, I am and always have been a snack-eating person. As my comparatively low body weight demonstrates, it's not out of control and many of the snacks are healthier things - fruits, nuts, good quality protein bars, etc. yes, I like tortilla chips too much, - nobody's perfect. As stated earlier, I exercise a lot and I eat only 2 smallish meals/day - without the snacks, I'd be undernourished

If I restrict the hours of the day when i allow myself to eat, then I'm going to consume fewer calories. I'm not about to replace that 10 PM snack with an additional snack between 2 pm and 4 pm or make the afternoon snacks (or meals) larger. . And so I will eat less. And particularly if my motivation for not eating at 10 PM is - "I don't want acid reflux" rather than "I probably shouldn't consume more calories today", then I'm likely to stick with it. The calorie reduction is a bonus, but not the original motivation.

As to the mornings, I really don't miss breakfast if my morning exertion is limited to that little commute and then sitting at my computer. Provided I have my coffee, that is. I'm still going to eat breakfast before any real morning bicycle ride.

Among my riding companions, I'm known as a good climber. I can't sprint worth a damn, but when we hit the hills, I'm often the one putting on the hurt. Were I to lose 5-10 additional lbs., so much the better.
You slightly misunderstand me. Yes, IF will result on lower calorie intake at least in the beginning, like any other form of calorie restriction dieting and with about the same long range outcomes. I was just saying that beyond that, there do not seem to be any more providential outcomes, or they don't show up in studies.

What I look for in my dietary practices is results on the bike. Can I go harder longer? I had one odd experience many years ago, when I did a very hard long ride on Saturday with my usual nutrition. Then I did a (ha, ha) recovery ride with friends on Sunday, about 60 miles at moderate intensity. I ate a small breakfast on Sunday. My muscle glycogen was fine as I was burning mostly fat, but I had a liver glycogen bonk. My head went blewy. I couldn't put two thoughts together. I stopped and did a couple hundred calories of liquid high GI carbs and was fine in a few minutes, no further problems. I always ate a good breakfast before a ride after that. Of course that wouldn't have happened on a 20 mile ride.

We only have about 400 calories of liver glycogen. Most of that gets used up to fuel our brains during the night. Our brains are a lot busier during sleep than people realize. All that dreaming burns a lot of calories. So that's where that "breakfast is your most important meal" comes from.
https://www.ncsf.org/blog/163-early-...-or-not-to-eat

Low-carbers who really do it and go ketogenic don't have an issue with glycogen depletion because their brains run on ketones rather than sugars. They also can't put out the power that burning carbs allows. There's a downside to everything.
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Old 11-09-21, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You slightly misunderstand me. Yes, IF will result on lower calorie intake at least in the beginning, like any other form of calorie restriction dieting and with about the same long range outcomes. I was just saying that beyond that, there do not seem to be any more providential outcomes, or they don't show up in studies.

What I look for in my dietary practices is results on the bike. Can I go harder longer? I had one odd experience many years ago, when I did a very hard long ride on Saturday with my usual nutrition. Then I did a (ha, ha) recovery ride with friends on Sunday, about 60 miles at moderate intensity. I ate a small breakfast on Sunday. My muscle glycogen was fine as I was burning mostly fat, but I had a liver glycogen bonk. My head went blewy. I couldn't put two thoughts together. I stopped and did a couple hundred calories of liquid high GI carbs and was fine in a few minutes, no further problems. I always ate a good breakfast before a ride after that. Of course that wouldn't have happened on a 20 mile ride.

We only have about 400 calories of liver glycogen. Most of that gets used up to fuel our brains during the night. Our brains are a lot busier during sleep than people realize. All that dreaming burns a lot of calories. So that's where that "breakfast is your most important meal" comes from.
https://www.ncsf.org/blog/163-early-...-or-not-to-eat

Low-carbers who really do it and go ketogenic don't have an issue with glycogen depletion because their brains run on ketones rather than sugars. They also can't put out the power that burning carbs allows. There's a downside to everything.
That's interesting and potentially useful to some, but the partial misunderstanding might be mutual. I have repeatedly noted that my stumbling on to the intermittent fast regimen does not apply to mornings when I am exercising. If I'm going for a morning ride, I eat breakfast first. Your comments pertaining to such might be helpful to others.
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Old 11-13-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I've done 16-8 on and off for about 6 months now. I was doing early morning fasted rides and they were going well so I decided to try the full 16-8. It's pretty simple: stop eating at 8pm and don't eat till noon the next day. About half of that time is spent asleep anyway. During the eating window I eat whatever and how much I want. Simple. And I'm down 15 pounds from a year ago. (I'm 3 pounds lighter than I was the day I graduated from high school.)
My fasted rides are going well also. It is pretty easy to do.
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Old 11-14-21, 04:24 PM
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More power to you folks who ride fasted in the mornings. It's not part of my plan.

Particularly so for cold-weather riding. My 8 AM (~3 hour) ride this morning began at 25*F. I'd have been cold without some fuel to burn.
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Old 11-17-21, 05:01 PM
  #22  
Skullo
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Fasting worked for me this year.In April I was 165 . Today I am at 148. No food after dinner , then a morning ride of 20 to 30 miles on empty stomach, just coffee and water.
Just had first doctor visit with blood work in two years. Numbers all good.
Used to have reflux.
Donít take proton blockers for more than two weeks.
I had a hard time weaning myself off them.
I switched to cold brew coffee I brew at home. Made all the difference.Much less acid and very smooth. Cold brew tea also.
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Old 11-27-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
There is this B.S. that we've heard for years. "Eat a good breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day."

Maybe for school children. But for the rest of us, it isn't. It's totally expendable in a normal day.

But if I'm headed out for a significant ride in the morning - you know, above 50 miles - no way I'm going out on an empty stomach. A century without a solid breakfast? That's just asking to bonk.
That was for people working on farms and heavy labor- nobody who isn't trying to lose weight needs to intermittently fast.

The easiest way for someone to lose weight is to not eat much and work their butt off and the easiest way to gain weight is to eat fast food and sit on their butt all day/night.

Math- it's not just for breakfast.
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Old 11-27-21, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gym123456 View Post

The easiest way for someone to lose weight is to not eat much and work their butt off and the easiest way to gain weight is to eat fast food and sit on their butt all day/night.
Thanks for imparting your advanced wisdom.
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Old 11-27-21, 03:45 PM
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I Inadvertently started intermittent fasting when I started my 2006 Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hike. I felt like crap in the beginning, because I was taking in far fewer calories than I was burning throughout the day of hiking up and down the Appalachian mountains. I usually hit a town anywhere between 1 & 2 weeks, so I had to carefully ration my meals, since you can carry only so much food.

After a few weeks I was feeling better and better, i.e. stronger and stronger, but my basic diet never changed. This impressed me so much I looked into it after the hike and that's when I learned about intermittent fasting. That's basically what one is forced to do when hiking day-after-day in the mountains, while rationing food.

I now to this purposefully. It's very common for me start on a 40+ mile ride in the morning without eating any food and I don't eat any thing during my rides, including gels and sports drinks -- only water. That would have been unthinkable before and I probably would have hit the wall, because my body was never trained to do that.

I do believe intermittent fasting and eating very healthy home-grown foods are so important to our health, more than most people know.



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