I've been posting on IF under Challenges, but I'm copying what I wrote in that section and will continue posting about my experience with IF here, since I no longer regard it as a one-time experiment but as a way of life:
After repeated attempts to get to 24 hours without any calories, I kept hitting a wall around the 18 hour mark, so I decided
to just go to the Fast-5 approach, which I had decided I'd like to try. I used to eat this way but when my hypoglycemia was diagnosed,
I was told I should be eating every few hours. Yesterday was my first day of formally embarking on Fast-5, and I'm really
happy with the results. I noticed in my fasting attempts how much I enjoyed the light, focused, energetic
feeling I had during the day, and I like eating at night, so this really seems perfect for me and is adaptable if I need to have a business
lunch. I can just change my eating window for that day. I'm several pounds lighter than when I started my fasting experiment last week and somehow feel more comfortable in my skin. I find my mood is the opposite of what I would have expected. I'm less irritable and reactive to situations that would normally set me off. I feel more laid back. Some of this, I'm sure, is due to giving up caffeine, but when I first gave up caffeine, I still wanted it. Now I don't even think about it, just as I don't think about food during the day. It's already not a mental option, which is amazing. Yesterday I did some cooking during the day and wasn't even tempted to taste what I was making, just packaged it up for evening meals over the next several days. It's really changed the rhythm of my day, and I actually feel like cleaning and doing other chores that I would procrastinate about to fill the extra time. Now the only thing I'm procrastinating about is eating! Definitely eager to continue with this and will check in with my experiences. I know some of the people on the Shangri-la blog had done this but were using oil or other flavorless calories during the day. I'm attempting to be calorie-free during the fasting period.
Day 3: I think this new way of (not) eating is readjusting my sleep cycle. I had a kind of delayed sleep phase problem and would sleep best from 1 a.m. till 9, even though I would prefer to go to bed and wake up much earlier. The only way this ever happened was on the West coast (I'm on the East coast). I've noticed the past couple of nights I feel tired at 10 and am actually in bed by about 10:30. The past two mornings I've been waking up really early, full of energy and eager to start the day. I also don't need as much sleep. I was up around 5, went over to feed some dogs I'm taking care of and am going on a long bike ride soon with a neighbor. I really think Fast-5 is the answer for me. I guess my hormones needed readjusting. I actually don't know the science behind this and need to read up on it to understand what's happening, but I know intuitively that this is right for me. I sensed all kinds of bothersome things regarding mood, food, sleep, focus, etc. were related, but I never discovered the underlying mechanism that would help everything fall into place. This seems to be it.
Day 4: Yesterday I ended my eating window after 4.5 hrs instead of 5. The Fast-5 approach encourages shrinking the eating window/expanding the fasting period from time to time, so I will continue to play around with the 5-hr. eating window. Tomorrow is challenging because I have a business lunch so will make my 5-hr. window from around noon till 5. That means a longer fasting time till I get to the regular eating window the next day. I feel so motivated that I think I'll be able to manage these occasional shifts in my schedule. I'd been avoiding checking my blood glucose levels because I didn't want to feel alarmed by low numbers, but I took a reading at 20 hrs. of fasting with nothing but herbal tea and water and it was 91 (and this was after an hour of swimming and another hour of brisk walking), so I'm really convinced this is the right approach for me.
Day 5: Yesterday and today did 4-hour windows. I had to start the window much earlier today because of a business lunch, so the challenge will be to see how long I can go tomorrow before starting the eating window. I expect it will be somewhere between 3 and 5.
This is day 9 on Fast-5 and I never even question whether I want to continue with this as a way of life. I feel I've discovered what works for me, and the results are so positive that I don't see why I would ever want to do things differently. I'm going to be visiting my family over Labor Day weekend so there will be three days when I won't be able to eat the way I do when I'm on my own, but my plan is to eat low carb during that time, which also keeps my blood sugar on an even keel.