Weekend Update: Intermittent Fasting, Netflix

Intermittent Fasting

I started experimenting with intermittent fasting about three weeks ago. Four or five days per week, I use the eight-hour window method, which for me means squeezing my meals into the period between noon and 8:00 PM. A few times I’ve forgotten to eat a snack at 8:00 PM, so the between-meal fast was extended by two or three hours. I’ve also been picking one day per week — Saturday or Sunday — to go without eating at all. As I noted in a couple of posts, it’s easier than I would’ve suspected.Ā 

I ended up doing a 22-hour fast a couple of days ago without really intending to. Tom Monahan (the composer for Fat Head) and I are working on a music project together, and my old second-hand guitar isn’t up to snuff for recording. So in the early afternoon — after skipping breakfast, which I often do — I set out for Guitar Center in Nashville, planning to buy a particular acoustic/electric combo guitar, based on some positive reviews. I figured I’d be home an hour later.

The good news is that Guitar Center had that particular guitar in stock. The bad news is that when I played it, I wasn’t impressed with the sound. Rather than let budget-consciousness seduce me into buying one guitar that would serve as a mediocre acoustic and a mediocre electric, I accepted that I’d need to buy one of each.

So my one-hour shopping trip ended up lasting four hours, as I tried out several acoustics, then several electrics, narrowing down the choices until I was satisfied with the final two. That put me in rush-hour traffic on the way home. Rush hour in Nashville isn’t anything like rush hour in Los Angeles, but nonetheless it after 5:00 PM by the time I got home. My last meal had been at 7:00 PM the previous evening. It wasn’t exactly a total fast because I’d had coffee with cream in the morning, but still pretty close.Ā  I was only aware of feeling truly hungry for the last hour.

I weighed 200 pounds when I began the intermittent fasting experiment. Yesterday at the gym (we don’t have a scale at home), I was at 194. I wouldn’t label that as rapid weight loss, but considering that I eat quite heartily during my non-fasting periods, I’m pleased.

Netflix

I just received word yesterday that thanks in part to the popularity of Fat Head on Hulu, our internet distributor was able to strike a deal with Netflix to offer the film in the Instant Play lineup. I’ll make an announcement when it’s actually available. A sincere thanks to all of you who helped Fat Head make a splash on Hulu.


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62 thoughts on “Weekend Update: Intermittent Fasting, Netflix

  1. Mary

    Do you have any links for sites with more information about the fasting?
    All my life I’ve eaten only from noon-8pm because eating in the morning makes me nauseous and put up with everyone telling me “Oh no, breakfast is the most important meal of the day…you must eat it.” I used to force down breakfast and deal with an upset tummy in the name of health so I’d love to research this more.

    The EatStopEat.com web site would be a good place to start.

    Reply
  2. RobR

    Congratulations on both Tom šŸ™‚

    Do you have any way of tracking how many views you have gotten on Hulu?

    None that I know of. The internet distributor tracks those numbers with great interest … it’s how they calculate royalties.

    Reply
  3. Richard Tamesis, M.D.

    I had a similar experience during a recent trip to Hawaii to attend a meeting. I would go without eating breakfast and sometimes lunch too during the meeting except for coffee, and even though I would stuff myself at dinner with meat and fat during dinner, I lost 4 lbs after the week long meeting.

    You may have been the only attendee who left the meeting weighing less.

    Reply
  4. John Clements

    I’ve gone without breakfast for almost a year and a half now, barring the off-day when breakfast of decent quality is on offer. Sometimes at the work cafeteria I eat eggs and meat (it’s the better deal for protein, lunch entrees tend to be carb-heavy) around 9-10 am (getting up at 5:30 am) and don’t eat again until dinner. I get to hear the “most important meal” spiel every other week from grain-eating folk. I once argued this, pretending to be a hunter-gatherer: “Whoops, no food this morning, looks like I won’t have the energy to hunt all day for some food. Looks like I’m dead. Or I can go gather berries off bushes that are close at hand. Out of season? Out of luck. End of this species.” I drink coffee with heavy cream every morning, and about once a week I go without breakfast or lunch. I think this helps a lot, keeping my pre-low-carb weight of 200-205 (5’11”) down to 185ish now, and along with a general low-carb diet, allows me to go off res and drink a few beers on the weekend or eat the odd pastry. Congrats on the netflix deal – I first watched Fat Head back when it was offered on disc, before it got pulled.

    The “most important meal of the day” nonsense about breakfast never made sense to me. Why eat if you’re not hungry?

    Reply
  5. John Clements

    Oh, and what axes did you get? I play a strat mostly, with a Fender acoustic bought new in 1996 that sounds pretty good.

    Taylor acoustic, Fender strat.

    Reply
  6. Auntie M

    Congrats!. I’ve bought something like four copies of Fat Head, and two I lent out haven’t come back yet. I still tell people to check Hulu. I can’t wait to recommend Netflix, too.

    I suppose people who borrow copies and don’t return them are doing me me a favor if it means you’re re-stocking. I of course appreciate having you as a customer.

    Reply
  7. Char

    My husband loves his Taylor. And now he is dying to know which one you purchased.
    I enjoy your blog and your sense of humor. Great news on Netflix!

    There’s no name on it other than Taylor, but I believe the Guitar Center guy said it’s called a Taylor Baby … something like that. Much richer sound than the guitar I originally planned to buy.

    Reply
  8. Mary

    Do you have any links for sites with more information about the fasting?
    All my life I’ve eaten only from noon-8pm because eating in the morning makes me nauseous and put up with everyone telling me “Oh no, breakfast is the most important meal of the day…you must eat it.” I used to force down breakfast and deal with an upset tummy in the name of health so I’d love to research this more.

    The EatStopEat.com web site would be a good place to start.

    Reply
  9. RobR

    Congratulations on both Tom šŸ™‚

    Do you have any way of tracking how many views you have gotten on Hulu?

    None that I know of. The internet distributor tracks those numbers with great interest … it’s how they calculate royalties.

    Reply
  10. Richard Tamesis, M.D.

    I had a similar experience during a recent trip to Hawaii to attend a meeting. I would go without eating breakfast and sometimes lunch too during the meeting except for coffee, and even though I would stuff myself at dinner with meat and fat during dinner, I lost 4 lbs after the week long meeting.

    You may have been the only attendee who left the meeting weighing less.

    Reply
  11. John Clements

    I’ve gone without breakfast for almost a year and a half now, barring the off-day when breakfast of decent quality is on offer. Sometimes at the work cafeteria I eat eggs and meat (it’s the better deal for protein, lunch entrees tend to be carb-heavy) around 9-10 am (getting up at 5:30 am) and don’t eat again until dinner. I get to hear the “most important meal” spiel every other week from grain-eating folk. I once argued this, pretending to be a hunter-gatherer: “Whoops, no food this morning, looks like I won’t have the energy to hunt all day for some food. Looks like I’m dead. Or I can go gather berries off bushes that are close at hand. Out of season? Out of luck. End of this species.” I drink coffee with heavy cream every morning, and about once a week I go without breakfast or lunch. I think this helps a lot, keeping my pre-low-carb weight of 200-205 (5’11”) down to 185ish now, and along with a general low-carb diet, allows me to go off res and drink a few beers on the weekend or eat the odd pastry. Congrats on the netflix deal – I first watched Fat Head back when it was offered on disc, before it got pulled.

    The “most important meal of the day” nonsense about breakfast never made sense to me. Why eat if you’re not hungry?

    Reply
  12. John Clements

    Oh, and what axes did you get? I play a strat mostly, with a Fender acoustic bought new in 1996 that sounds pretty good.

    Taylor acoustic, Fender strat.

    Reply
  13. J. Stanton - gnolls.org

    I have found that going low-carb, high-animal-fat paleo does indeed increase one’s ability to fast without becoming grumpy.

    The other day I fasted all day, and did a hard workout at about 4 PM, without becoming grumpy, irritable, or even thinking about food much. My mother swears she voluntarily eats one less meal a day now that she’s gone high-fat, low-carb, and mostly gluten-free.

    I suspect that a diet high in fatty red meats and low in carbohydrates trains the body to better extract energy from human fat, which is of similar composition to ruminant fat.

    Human body fat is quite close in composition to lard. I think the moral of the story is that we’re meant to eat bacon.

    Reply
  14. Auntie M

    Congrats!. I’ve bought something like four copies of Fat Head, and two I lent out haven’t come back yet. I still tell people to check Hulu. I can’t wait to recommend Netflix, too.

    I suppose people who borrow copies and don’t return them are doing me me a favor if it means you’re re-stocking. I of course appreciate having you as a customer.

    Reply
  15. Jo

    Wow – well done on the IF. I’ve heard lots of people have successfully lost weight doing it. I like to skip breakfast. I’ve been stalled for 10 months despite being very good on my low carb WOE (I enjoy it!) and doing IF, so I’m going to experiment with a few carb refeeds mixed in with IF. This is based on the theory that over time a low carb diet can lead to low levels of leptin in some people. This seems to be more common in women than men. Men tend to find low carb and IF very successful in terms of weight loss. Good for women too, but women seem to struggle more with it even when they have high adherence (or maybe because of?). Maybe the odd cheat is helpful, which would fit in with the intermittent nature of food availability in our hunter gatherer ancestors. Not every day though of course, and maybe not face down in a plate of donuts (to quote Dr Mike Eades)!

    I wish you continued success.

    Thank you. I don’t call my re-feeds by that term, but I have occasional whatever-I-want days, which probably serves the same purpose.

    Reply
  16. Char

    My husband loves his Taylor. And now he is dying to know which one you purchased.
    I enjoy your blog and your sense of humor. Great news on Netflix!

    There’s no name on it other than Taylor, but I believe the Guitar Center guy said it’s called a Taylor Baby … something like that. Much richer sound than the guitar I originally planned to buy.

    Reply
  17. Steve Parker, M.D.

    Man, I can just imagine the great pre-owned guitars available in Nashville! Think of all the starry-eyed young pickers that come there seeking fame and fortune: so few make the cut.

    Yup, just like going to L.A. to become a movie star.

    Reply
  18. J. Stanton - gnolls.org

    I have found that going low-carb, high-animal-fat paleo does indeed increase one’s ability to fast without becoming grumpy.

    The other day I fasted all day, and did a hard workout at about 4 PM, without becoming grumpy, irritable, or even thinking about food much. My mother swears she voluntarily eats one less meal a day now that she’s gone high-fat, low-carb, and mostly gluten-free.

    I suspect that a diet high in fatty red meats and low in carbohydrates trains the body to better extract energy from human fat, which is of similar composition to ruminant fat.

    Human body fat is quite close in composition to lard. I think the moral of the story is that we’re meant to eat bacon.

    Reply
  19. Jo

    Wow – well done on the IF. I’ve heard lots of people have successfully lost weight doing it. I like to skip breakfast. I’ve been stalled for 10 months despite being very good on my low carb WOE (I enjoy it!) and doing IF, so I’m going to experiment with a few carb refeeds mixed in with IF. This is based on the theory that over time a low carb diet can lead to low levels of leptin in some people. This seems to be more common in women than men. Men tend to find low carb and IF very successful in terms of weight loss. Good for women too, but women seem to struggle more with it even when they have high adherence (or maybe because of?). Maybe the odd cheat is helpful, which would fit in with the intermittent nature of food availability in our hunter gatherer ancestors. Not every day though of course, and maybe not face down in a plate of donuts (to quote Dr Mike Eades)!

    I wish you continued success.

    Thank you. I don’t call my re-feeds by that term, but I have occasional whatever-I-want days, which probably serves the same purpose.

    Reply
  20. Steve Parker, M.D.

    Man, I can just imagine the great pre-owned guitars available in Nashville! Think of all the starry-eyed young pickers that come there seeking fame and fortune: so few make the cut.

    Yup, just like going to L.A. to become a movie star.

    Reply
  21. Galina L.

    I can’t supply you with the links, but I hope you will trust me that I read about some occasions when people had higher then 100 mg/dl BG level while fasting (Peter the Hyperlipid, Dr. Eades while fasting and exercising). What are your thoughts about it? I yet to buy my own Glucosemeter, I tried some fasting 24 h recently in order to get more into ketosis (migraine management) and liked the result. I just don’t feel comfortable having BG levels higher than 85 if it is not short-time after meals.

    I’ve checked my BG while fasting and it’s usually 90-95. I guess that explains why I don’t feel foggy-brained.

    Reply
  22. Mallory

    sounds like IF is working for you! i agree that the window makes life MUCH more productive, i get a lo more accomplished at work and have better energy and overall calmness and happiness!

    also, i like Jo’s point about the downregulation of hormones overtime…im not convinced ‘carb’ refeeds are where it’s at as much as breaking the repetitive cycle of fasting and taking days of eating-all-day type of thing just overall a lot of food, and haha that doesn’t mean face down to donuts either, maybe get out the paleo recipes are starting making some you’ve ‘been meaning to’ but never have

    I heard someone (can’t remember who) describe a diet where the daily intake varied quite a bit, but averaged 1800 per day. So it would be, say, 800 one day, 2500 another, then 1500, then 2400, etc. The idea was to avoid the slowdown in metabolism that can result from a low caloric intake day in and day out. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have to count calories like that, but apparently the diet worked.

    Reply
  23. Hector

    I have been doing a IF for 24 hours and I have been losing muscle strength and tone. But at the same time i’m feeling much better and energetic. Its this good for the muscle? because even though I feel better I still don’t want to lose my hard earned muscle.

    The theory is that you will lose a bit of muscle during the fast, but then your body will produce extra human growth hormone to try to rebuild the lost muscle. That’s the idea behind working out towards the end of the fast.

    Reply
  24. Galina L.

    I can’t supply you with the links, but I hope you will trust me that I read about some occasions when people had higher then 100 mg/dl BG level while fasting (Peter the Hyperlipid, Dr. Eades while fasting and exercising). What are your thoughts about it? I yet to buy my own Glucosemeter, I tried some fasting 24 h recently in order to get more into ketosis (migraine management) and liked the result. I just don’t feel comfortable having BG levels higher than 85 if it is not short-time after meals.

    I’ve checked my BG while fasting and it’s usually 90-95. I guess that explains why I don’t feel foggy-brained.

    Reply
  25. Rebecca Latham

    I have a lot of respect for IFing, and I have done it at times. What I don’t have respect for is some websites I have seen that say as long as you are eating in a five hour window each day, you can eat whatever garbage you want. Processed foods, sugar, flour, junk food.

    One site I saw was a blog by a lovely overweight lady who was doing this every day and had a list of all the garbage she was going to eat during her next window – Twinkies, ice cream, chocolate cake, etc. Not much real food on that list. But she was losing weight and she was ecstatic!

    Using IF in an unhealthy way = just sad!

    Good lord, what is she thinking?

    Reply
  26. Clark

    I wish you the best in getting your documentary uploaded to Netflix. I believe it is important for a documentary like this to have more publicity. I’m glad that the fasting schedule is working for you. Sometimes, not eating for a whole day is good once you have to right hormonal programming set up.

    Reply
  27. Mallory

    sounds like IF is working for you! i agree that the window makes life MUCH more productive, i get a lo more accomplished at work and have better energy and overall calmness and happiness!

    also, i like Jo’s point about the downregulation of hormones overtime…im not convinced ‘carb’ refeeds are where it’s at as much as breaking the repetitive cycle of fasting and taking days of eating-all-day type of thing just overall a lot of food, and haha that doesn’t mean face down to donuts either, maybe get out the paleo recipes are starting making some you’ve ‘been meaning to’ but never have

    I heard someone (can’t remember who) describe a diet where the daily intake varied quite a bit, but averaged 1800 per day. So it would be, say, 800 one day, 2500 another, then 1500, then 2400, etc. The idea was to avoid the slowdown in metabolism that can result from a low caloric intake day in and day out. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have to count calories like that, but apparently the diet worked.

    Reply
  28. dennis

    Cant wait for it on netflix was just looking for it like 2 days ago.

    Website http://www.leangains.com as a bunch on IFing with out losing muscle. He isn’t quite a lowcarb kind a guy but has some other good info, He is more about show and helping people get lean with IF so has a lttle bit of more carbs on work out days which help with leptin to get off those last lbs of fat

    Thanks for the link.

    Reply
  29. Hector

    I have been doing a IF for 24 hours and I have been losing muscle strength and tone. But at the same time i’m feeling much better and energetic. Its this good for the muscle? because even though I feel better I still don’t want to lose my hard earned muscle.

    The theory is that you will lose a bit of muscle during the fast, but then your body will produce extra human growth hormone to try to rebuild the lost muscle. That’s the idea behind working out towards the end of the fast.

    Reply
  30. Amy Dungan

    Glad the IF is working so well! I’ve considered it, but I still have to cook for everyone else, 3 meals a day, so not sure how well I’d do. I may have to try it anyway and see.

    Awesome news about Netflix!!!

    That would make it considerably more difficult. I don’t have to cook meals and then walk away from them without eating.

    Reply
  31. Rebecca Latham

    I have a lot of respect for IFing, and I have done it at times. What I don’t have respect for is some websites I have seen that say as long as you are eating in a five hour window each day, you can eat whatever garbage you want. Processed foods, sugar, flour, junk food.

    One site I saw was a blog by a lovely overweight lady who was doing this every day and had a list of all the garbage she was going to eat during her next window – Twinkies, ice cream, chocolate cake, etc. Not much real food on that list. But she was losing weight and she was ecstatic!

    Using IF in an unhealthy way = just sad!

    Good lord, what is she thinking?

    Reply
  32. Clark

    I wish you the best in getting your documentary uploaded to Netflix. I believe it is important for a documentary like this to have more publicity. I’m glad that the fasting schedule is working for you. Sometimes, not eating for a whole day is good once you have to right hormonal programming set up.

    Reply
  33. dennis

    Cant wait for it on netflix was just looking for it like 2 days ago.

    Website http://www.leangains.com as a bunch on IFing with out losing muscle. He isn’t quite a lowcarb kind a guy but has some other good info, He is more about show and helping people get lean with IF so has a lttle bit of more carbs on work out days which help with leptin to get off those last lbs of fat

    Thanks for the link.

    Reply
  34. Amy Dungan

    Glad the IF is working so well! I’ve considered it, but I still have to cook for everyone else, 3 meals a day, so not sure how well I’d do. I may have to try it anyway and see.

    Awesome news about Netflix!!!

    That would make it considerably more difficult. I don’t have to cook meals and then walk away from them without eating.

    Reply
  35. TonyNZ

    Go the Fender!

    My strat would be one of my most treasured material possessions.

    I recorded two strat tracks for a blues song this weekend, and compared to the cheap hand-me-down electric somebody gave me, it’s like night and day. Used the Taylor acoustic for another song as well … very nice sound.

    Reply
  36. TonyNZ

    Go the Fender!

    My strat would be one of my most treasured material possessions.

    I recorded two strat tracks for a blues song this weekend, and compared to the cheap hand-me-down electric somebody gave me, it’s like night and day. Used the Taylor acoustic for another song as well … very nice sound.

    Reply
  37. David

    I switched some time ago from IF to alternate day caloric restriction. Every other day, I keep calories to 20% to 50% of “normal”. On the other days, I eat to satiety. Recent research indicates this effectively signals turns on the same genes and processes as IF, but unlike IF, I think it is more likely sustainable (for me at least) over the long term.

    I would suspect it works in a similar manner. By eating to satiety on the alternate days — as I do during my 8-hour window — you prevent your body from reacting as if there’s a chronic food shortage.

    Reply
  38. Bullinachinashop

    Concerning Netflix, do you know if it would be available outside the US?

    I’m not sure, but my guess would be no. However, the company that worked out the deals with Hulu and Netflix will probably keep pushing the film into other markets over time.

    Reply
  39. David

    I switched some time ago from IF to alternate day caloric restriction. Every other day, I keep calories to 20% to 50% of “normal”. On the other days, I eat to satiety. Recent research indicates this effectively signals turns on the same genes and processes as IF, but unlike IF, I think it is more likely sustainable (for me at least) over the long term.

    I would suspect it works in a similar manner. By eating to satiety on the alternate days — as I do during my 8-hour window — you prevent your body from reacting as if there’s a chronic food shortage.

    Reply
  40. Jay

    Tom,

    Unless I misunderstood, 2 pounds a week starting at 200 pounds sounds pretty rapid to me!

    Short of sawing off body parts, I’d do almost anything to be able to maintain that rate, I really slowed down around the 200 mark.

    Well, I’m certainly not complaining, mind you.

    Reply
  41. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Congrats! I was so glad to see Fat Head on Hulu… finally convinced my husband to watch it, and you explain things much better than I could have! Excited for netflix too… maybe my brother will finally watch it.
    I’ve been doing IF for several months and noticed more weight loss also. As long as the rest of my diet is focused on good fats, proteins and veggies, I very rarely even notice that I’m fasting for at least 24 hours. Funny how this sparks so much outside comment (just like eating fat) from well-intentioned friends. The conventional idea of eating every few hours has gotten so prominent, that I have actually been told that I was slowing down my metabolism and going into starvation after not eating for 12 hours… funny.

    I fell for that one myself back in the day. Of course back then, I was really hungry if I went more than 4 or 5 hours between meals.

    Reply
  42. Bullinachinashop

    Concerning Netflix, do you know if it would be available outside the US?

    I’m not sure, but my guess would be no. However, the company that worked out the deals with Hulu and Netflix will probably keep pushing the film into other markets over time.

    Reply
  43. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener

    Looking forward to the addition to NetFlix noticed it was not on the DVD list anymore (where I first watched it) and want to have a little refresher course.

    I’m not sure why it’s not available for rent anymore. I’ve emailed our distributor, but nothing has come of it.

    Reply
  44. Jay

    Tom,

    Unless I misunderstood, 2 pounds a week starting at 200 pounds sounds pretty rapid to me!

    Short of sawing off body parts, I’d do almost anything to be able to maintain that rate, I really slowed down around the 200 mark.

    Well, I’m certainly not complaining, mind you.

    Reply
  45. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Congrats! I was so glad to see Fat Head on Hulu… finally convinced my husband to watch it, and you explain things much better than I could have! Excited for netflix too… maybe my brother will finally watch it.
    I’ve been doing IF for several months and noticed more weight loss also. As long as the rest of my diet is focused on good fats, proteins and veggies, I very rarely even notice that I’m fasting for at least 24 hours. Funny how this sparks so much outside comment (just like eating fat) from well-intentioned friends. The conventional idea of eating every few hours has gotten so prominent, that I have actually been told that I was slowing down my metabolism and going into starvation after not eating for 12 hours… funny.

    I fell for that one myself back in the day. Of course back then, I was really hungry if I went more than 4 or 5 hours between meals.

    Reply
  46. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener

    Looking forward to the addition to NetFlix noticed it was not on the DVD list anymore (where I first watched it) and want to have a little refresher course.

    I’m not sure why it’s not available for rent anymore. I’ve emailed our distributor, but nothing has come of it.

    Reply
  47. Ellen

    As most low carbers will tell you, the less carbs I eat, the less hungry I am, and IF just happens.

    I’m not really thinking about doing it on purpose. I got up this morning after only two small meals yesterday (total carbs 14 for the day), and was mildly surprised to not want breakfast. I just was not hungry at all.. and that is a great feeling, after so many years of eating a high carb diet. I used to feel hungry all the time.. I can’t even count how many times I said to myself “How can I be hungry?? I JUST ate!!” Arggh!

    Didn’t eat until 2pm today when I finally felt a hunger pain.

    That’s why I want to tear my hair out (what little is left) when people dismiss low-carb diets by pointing that people end up eating less, so that’s why they lose weight. They’re not asking the crucial question: WHY do people eat less when they cut the carbs? Obviously something in our use of fuel has changed.

    Reply
  48. Jerica Michael

    Yay! Now hopefully I can suggest it to my friends who don’t like to use hulu or don’t have access to it, but do have and use Netflix. šŸ˜€ Although, I highly doubt anyone on my fb friends list ever listen to me when it comes to nutrition, no matter how smart and talented they claim I am.

    Reply

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