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One meal a day: My sweet spot

As I already mentioned in the chapter on using an eating window approach to intermittent fasting, I started my intermittent fasting journey by using Dr. Bert Herring’s plan called Fast 5. When I first started, I arranged my 5-hour daily eating window so I could maximize the number of eating opportunities in the day. I was fasting for 19 hours each day, but I was eating 2 full meals during my window. Of course, weight loss was s-l-o-w.

Weight loss was so slow, in fact, that I experimented with some extreme calorie restriction within my 5-hour window. You can read about that in my full weight loss story, which is in Appendix A. The extreme calorie restriction did speed up my rate of loss, but I was miserable.

This was also before I read any of Dr. Fung’s work on the dangers of prolonged calorie restriction, and before the Biggest Loser study was released. Thankfully, I didn’t have the discipline to either count or restrict calories for long, so I didn’t do any longterm metabolic damage that I have been able to detect. I do not recommend that you follow my example: NO extreme calorie restriction for you!

At that point, I re-read the Fast 5 book, and suddenly something jumped out at me. Dr. Herring said, more than once, that during your 5-hour window, “you’re only eating one meal a day.” That is a direct quote from his FAQ chapter, in fact. No wonder weight loss was so slow when I crammed in those 2 meals! In late January of 2015, I started officially eating one meal a day with no conscious calorie restriction, and effortlessly reached my goal weight of 135 pounds by mid-March.

As I already mentioned, Dr. Herring (of Fast 5) wrote a second book that I highly recommend, and it is called Appetite Correction. Appetite Correction is the Holy Grail of intermittent fasting, and it is the state you reach when your satiety signals are in tune with an appropriate amount of food for your body.

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