Hey Todd, Jared, and everybody.
Sorry to be gone so long (I got busy, work stuff, and I get out of the habit of stopping by, yada yada yada) but I've kept the ideas in mind and I'm doing pretty well.
The sardine-diet has evolved into the four-hour/day diet (with occasional lapses, right now doing really well again for several weeks). I don't need to make myself eat sardines first to be able to wait til later in the day to eat, and whenever I start eating I make sure to quit by four hours later. That usually means a meal and a snack later, or sometimes a snack first and then the meal later. I eat anywhere from 12-4:00 PM, or sometimes just cram it in between 3:00 and 4:00. I have more energy at work when I'm not eating, and then enough strength to do weights in the evening after digesting for a couple hours.
Diet composition is pretty good; not totally paleo, but I'm not eating sweets for the most part. I have to make my meals pretty high-quality so as not to get too hungry later or the next morning; something big and filling for the meal, with a lot of protein, and a healthy snack like berries and nuts and yogurt. I tried occasionally to have a candy snack or something like that, but that really makes it too hard. It doesn't last and I'm hungry later on, because it's not a good quality food. However, on Fridays I like to put off eating til after work and stop and get some kind of treat (like hummus and a bag of rice chips or crackers, and eat the whole thing in the car on the way home!). I could probably drink a little less too, and I'm not good about keeping that in my four-hour windows, but somehow I decided straight hard liquor isn't food, only beer or mixed drinks are, so it drinking that doesn't count. Probably not logic working there.
The early AM interval exercising is not going so well. I have a couple weeks on, then several weeks off. I can't seem to get in a good habit. Autumn always kind of sucks for me because I'm hit with allergies, then I take anti-histamines which I blame for making me lazy. But I'm not going to give up; every week I make a new commitment. One of these days maybe it will take. I should get to bed earlier, that would make it easier. I need to do what jared said--it does make me feel better when I do it.
Well anyway I think a limited time period for eating during the day is a pretty effective way to lose or maintain fat, without messing up your exercise. Plus you can get away eating with a few things that you normally wouldn't be able to eat on a strict diet--you just have to figure out how much or what kinds of food are OK for you to eat. I'm sure different people can get away with more or less during the four hours. For me, 6 days of "healthy" food allows me one day of "junk" food (but still that day it's only one meal, so the damage is limited.) You enjoy your food a lot more when you limit it to short period of time, so you don't feel like eating "bad" stuff as much. Also, because it is more flexible in what you can eat, since you are automatically eating less, you can adapt it to eating out or whatever you may need to do--just make that your time to eat for that day. So I like it; I plan on continuing this forever. (Thanks to Martin at Leangains, Brad Pilon, every intermittent fasting thing I've read.)
It's hard at first, but gets easier as time goes by. There is an energy and calmness at the same time when you don't think about eating til it's time. Then you eat, and enjoy it a lot.
No cold showers yet.
Re-reading the Irvine's Guide to the Good Life--good stuff. Good to keep in mind.
Well let me see what else has been going on here since I've been gone!