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Eating To Hunger and Satiety: Experiments With Feeding Windows

Posted Jun 24 2012 8:17pm

Over the past couple weeks, I experimented with adding a strict feeding window to my current plan to eat to hunger and satiety.  I tried an 8-hour window, from 10 am to 6 pm every day.

In the end, I found that adding the fasting window didn't really add anything of value, and in fact, started to cause problems.  Part of it was a bit psychological.  Sometimes I would inadvertenly load up on food right before 6 pm, subconsciously knowing I wouldn't eat again till 10 the next morning.  Even trying to eat only to satiety, I ended up consuming more than I really needed.

Second, I found that some days the window felt fine, and other days there were times when I really wanted to eat.  One morning I woke up very hungry around 8 am and wanted to eat.  Sitting around foro two hours in a hungry state really wasn't that fun.

I think have a fixed eating window has the potential to be a chronic stressor, as Mark Sisson wrote abotu recently.  It's also interesting that Mark stated he is not big into intermittent fasting himself.

After dropping the fixed eating window, all problems went away.  Some days I still end up eating within an 8-hour window, but it happens naturally, in a non-stressful way. 

I think there are benefits to communicating that there is "food security" (knowing you have steady access to food sources) to the body.  There have actually been a number of studies on the opposite of this "food insecurity" and its negative effects.  For example, a new study just linked food insecurity to higher levels of inflammation.

At any rate, it's back to plain old eating to hunger and satiety for me.

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