Day 6 | 8 hour diet

This morning starts day 6 of the 8 hour diet for us.

So, after 5 days, Todd is down three pounds and I am down one! If I can continue to lose a pound or more each week until I reach my goal I will be very happy.

It’s surprisingly easy and I can tell that my stomach really is shrinking and/or my appetite is diminishing. Even when I feel like I am starving…I fill up very quickly.

This is definitely sustainable for the long-term. Right now we’re doing 7 days a week, but this supposedly works if you follow it as little as 3 days a week. I can see doing that very easily for maintenance once we reach our goals.

There is no calorie counting and there are no food restrictions, though it is obviously best to stick to foods that are nutritious and healthy.

Day 3 | 8 hour diet

So far, so good. Today begins day 3 for us, and so far Todd has lost .2/pound and I’ve stayed the same, but I think it’s far too early to expect huge results.

I found this comment on a website about the 8 hour diet thought it was interesting and insightful:

The only time fat cells can release fat is when there is no glycogen in the bloodstream. The only time that happens is when you haven’t eaten in 4 or more hours. So fasting to allow fat cells to release the fat is smart. Constantly grazing keeps glycogen in the bloodstream–that is our problem–nutritionists have advocated eating 6 or 8 times a day! Evidence: A friend of mine tried a version of this, only eating noon to 6pm and lost 30 pounds in 30 days–no exaggeration–I saw him do it, and he was only 40 pounds overweight. He has kept it off by concentrating his eating to 8 or 9 hours only. Stop grazing! That’s for cows! Stop eating at night–that’s how Sumo wrestlers gain weight!

The 8 hour diet starts today!

As a part of our strategy to get fit and in shape in order to run our first full marathon (26.2 miles), we’ve decided to opt for a new eating plan. We are intrigued by the results from and science behind the 8 hour diet, so we’ve decided to try it. This is the start of a series tracking our progress.

If you’re interested in learning more, we found these FAQs to be very helpful. There is also a hashtag you can follow on Twitter: #8hourdiet, and you may also want to follow @DaveZinczenko, Editor in Chief of Men’s Health Magazine, who has published a book on this diet plan. (We are hoping he’ll agree to do a podcast with Todd!)

Here is an excellent synopsis of the book on Examiner.

Basically, the concept is that you can eat whatever you want – and as much as you want – during any 8 consecutive hour period in a 24 hour day: 9-5, 11-7, 2-10; whatever works for you. And, this does not have to be the same 8-hour period each day; it just needs to be one 8-hour period each day.

The other 16 hours are spent “fasting,” and this approach has been shown to shrink your stomach (and your appetite), increase metabolism, retrain your body to burn fat for energy (no, not muscle), increase your energy level, reduce occurrences of cancer and other life-threatening diseases, and to provide other important health benefits.

To see and feel benefits you don’t have to do this 7 days a week, although, at least in the beginning, we’ve decided that we want to. Our wedding reception is in less than a month and we’d like to see some results before then. :-)

Here is a quote from the FAQs:

Intermittent fasting, however, isn’t based on deprivation. It’s a pattern of eating, not purgatory, and it reinforces to your body that it will get plenty of healthy calories every day so there’s no reason to store fat—in fact, it can start burning fat for energy. Studies show that it also causes a surge in hunger-limiting leptin. So if you really want to ditch the weight, ditch the diet and change your eating schedule instead.”

Read more at Men’s Health:

In addition, we’re both starting running and training again (duh), and I’m going back to the gym on a regular basis for strength training and additional cardio.

I had a very nice surprise when I got on the scale this morning (*ahem* the first time in weeks…) I’m down 6 pounds! A very nice way to start the new year and our new diet + fitness plan. :)