Last week was my third week of intermittent fasting and although not really struggling, I found that week a quite a bit harder (and hungrier!)
Previously I split my calories over two meals, with about one third for lunch and the rest for dinner. Last week, however, I split them over three meals, with about 150 calories for both breakfast and lunch and the remainder for dinner.
Thinking back to the second day of fasting and I was definitely feeling much hungrier than both when I had only one meal a day and two meals a day. I am sure that this is because my blood sugar is less stable – it rises on eating and then falls afterwards. I normally don’t experience this because I rarely eat breakfast - I have noticed on the rare occasions in the past when I do have breakfast that I often feel hungrier later in the day. I am sure this is very dependent on the individual and that my experience will not be the same for others, but for myself, I wanted to know what routine would be easiest.
On Monday I got the result of my IGF-1 test from the start of my intermittent fasting. Because I had been eating and drinking with abandon over the holidays, it had gone up from a previous reading of 15.2nmol/l to 24.3nmol/l. Provided when I get a blood test at the end of my six weeks my IGF-1 level has dropped back to where it was previously, or perhaps below, it will at least show that for me, it is possible to lower my IGF-1 by having a variable fasting routine.
Having put on weight over the holidays with the aim of increasing my IGF-1 level, I obviously want not only to reduce my IGF-1, but also my weight. Clearly if I ate normally on my 5 days this should happen. However, what I have noticed is that I have become far more conscious of my daily calorie intake even when I am not measuring it. Consequently, I have not been having the between-meal snacks and after-dinner chocolate that I usually do. I am very active so do require a quite large number of calories. Although I don’t tend to snack on junk, I do eat my fair share of high calorie snacks, mixed fruit and nuts being a favorite and of course that after dinner chocolate, packed with calories and enjoyment!
So the upshot of this is that the weight is coming down nicely. One more week and I think I will be back to normal. The problem then will be that on those 5 normal days I will have to consume more calories if I am to maintain a healthy weight. Yes you can be under weight too.