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Fast 5 lifestyle: Eating only within a 5 hour window

Today is the first day of my switch to the Fast 5 lifestyle. Fast 5, a kind of Intermittent Fasting, is a way of eating developed by Dr. Bert Herring. It’s incredibly simple: eat only in a 5 hour window, and fast for the other 19 hours of the day (including time spent sleeping). The lifestyle is modeled after what our bodies evolved to do, which was spend all day hunting and gathering, and eat when we had food at the end of the day. For most days during the past week or so, I’ve been on a sort of “fast 8″ eating schedule, where I only eat between 12:30pm – 8:30pm. I like it a lot, but I’ve been feeling that I’m not really hungry at 12:30pm, so I’m going to shorten the feeding window to 4:30pm – 9:30pm and see how I like that.

Officially, you are allowed to eat whatever you want in the 5 hour window. However, I prefer to eat healthy because it makes me feel better physically and mentally. Here’s a list of things I don’t eat and why:

  • Meat – Heart disease runs strongly in my family, and cutting out meat is the best way to keep your heart healthy, diet-wise. I’ve been vegetarian for about 17 months.
  • Grains (bread, pasta, rice) – These are high carb foods that spike insulin levels in the blood, which is not what you want if you’re trying to shed fat.
  • Refined Sugar – I don’t think this one even needs an explanation!
  • Dairy – Dairy isn’t bad for you, but it makes my skin break out, so I don’t eat it.

Right now I don’t eat fruit either, but I’m planning on adding some low fructose fruits, like berries and melons, back into my diet in a few weeks. I love fruit and I’m missing sweetness, so I’m excited about this upcoming change.

During the 19 hour fast, you are only allowed to drink zero-calorie drinks, such as water, coffee, tea, and diet soda. You are also supposed to exercise during the fast, preferably near the end of the fasting period, which I have been and will continue to do with P90X.

I’m looking forward to this lifestyle because it allows me to continue to have dinner with my boyfriend, or with my family when I visit them, and because it’s the best way to shed stubborn body fat.

If you want to learn more about Intermittent Fasting and Fast 5, I suggest the following resources:

Generally, people find that they begin to lose inches within the first 3 weeks, but they don’t shed any pounds until 4 weeks or more, if ever. I’m looking to shed fat and build muscle, so the number on the scale doesn’t concern me much. I’ll update in a few weeks with a progress report!

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