I don’t really diet. I love eating. I really love eating. I often joke that the only reason I run so much is because I love food. I like to dip my fries in mayonnaise. I’ve never really had a sweet tooth; it’s all the fatty food that entices me.

I tell you all this, because I’m sidelined right now. The stress fracture that I thought was healed last year, was not healed, and in May I had surgery to install a tension plate on the front of my tibia. I haven’t run since sometime in April, and I probably won’t run till sometime in July. The last time I took a hiatus from running I gained 15 pounds in a couple months, I hated my body (I’m short, 15 pounds is a lot). I was determined that I would not put on weight during this time of inactivity. But it is sooooo hard to limit my calories. As an FYI, most calorie calculators tell me that I can consume 1400 calories a day to maintain weight – if you’re consuming alcohol too, that leaves very little room for real food, and let’s face it, I can’t give up running AND alcohol.

Alright, so what’s a girl to do. I started researching intermittent fasting. I had heard or read about this a couple years ago, and at that time, people were talking about 12 hour windows of fasting – cynical jess was like “that’s not really fasting, it just means don’t snack after dinner.” Well, with continued reading, it seems that 12 hours of fasting really isn’t too beneficial anyway. The entire point of IF is to stress your body by putting it in a fasted state. This forces it to use energy differently, and much like low or no carb diets, IF gets you into ketogenic state. Also some people combine the two. I just love carbs too much!

OK, what’s a fasted state? Obviously, when you eat you’re in a fed state, and then your body digests the food, and that can take a couple hours. Then you body enters a post-absorptive state, and that ends about 12 hours after your last meal. So, it will take you 12 hours to get to the fasted state. Also here’s a good run-down of intermittent fasting.

So, what does this look like for me? starting back in the beginning of May, before my surgery, but after I stopped running, I started with a 16/8 schedule. I only eat in an 8 hour window between noon and 8 pm. I am allowed to drink coffee and water while I’m fasting. And I’ve had cheat days – mostly to drink past 8 pm – and that’s really only once every other week. So, I wake up, have coffee, work or lounge around the house in my boot/aircast, and then around noon, I eat my first meal of the day. I do find that the hour leading up to my first meal can be difficult. Sometimes I’ll have a midday snack, and then I’ll eat dinner around 6:30 or 7, have a post dinner drink, bourbon or beer, and then I’m done. Overall, I don’t feel deprived. I’m not low on energy. I feel pretty much the same when I was eating throughout the day.

What outcomes have I seen? I’ve lost weight. I could have just been losing muscle mass, and that has to be part of it, but I feel like I’m losing fat too. I didn’t take body shots before I started this — I’m not really a body shot kind of person. But you can see in the graph below that my weight is trending downward. And, I haven’t tipped below 115 since before I was initially diagnosed with a stress fracture. FYI – my surgery was May 11, and I spend a week and half totally non-weight bearing.


What’s my bottom line here – IF is working for me. I’m not sure that I will continue it as I bring activities back into my life. Mainly because I feel like I want to fuel my body properly, and physical activity needs fuel. I may do intermittent IF – maybe a couple days a week, but not everyday like now.

Would you try IF? Are you doing it now? What do you think?