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December 01, 2007



It's definitely an interesting concept with many benefits other than weight loss alone. I like the fact that you're taking a very balanced, common sense approach to it.

Ron the Former Donut Junkie


I'm reading a book that was recommended by Scott at The Modern Forager. Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. The authors make an interesting argument that a lot of regular cardio type exercise might have the opposite effect of what people think will happen (weight loss), because a lot of regular running, cycling, etc., stimulates a fight or flight response, raising cortisol levels, which raises blood glucose, which stimulates an insulin response, which, of course, is the fat storage hormone. Hmmm, could too much cardio make us fatter or prevent weight loss? Perhaps. It's an intriguing thought. While our ancient ancesters might have had to run from a predator now and then, they probably didn't do it several times a week for hours and hours, especially at night in artificial lights of a gym (they would have been sleeping). Modern hunter gatherers are noted for the conservation of energy in their activities, with more walking than running, etc. So I don't think that ancient HGs ran after their prey as we might imagine.

Anyway, something to think about. Also, staying up late, not sleeping enough, eating out of season, and especially, messing too much with natural seasonal light rhythms thereby throwing our hormonal concerto off-key is an interesting concept, too.

Kate Welch

Thanks Ron! I'm excited about potential other benefits too.

Kate Welch

I've heard of that book a few times now. As someone who generally wakes up with the sun, the idea appeals to me. I also have a slump in energy once it gets dark - not good here when that happens at 4pm!

As for the cardio, I feel like I'm doing just enough to counteract an extremely sedentary lifestyle. Apart from walking to school and back, I spend most of my time reading, writing, or in front of a computer.

I don't kill myself running. I actually hate running. I just do 30-40mins on the elliptical about 4 times a week. I think I probably end up doing less exercise than Paleo humans, and I always do it in the morning.

What's also puzzling to me is that any time I've gone to the gym in the past, I've dropped pounds like crazy. I'll keep your theory in mind! Thanks.

Bryan Rankin


There is a lot of good information on Intermittent Fasting at Chris's blog...

I would recommend that you also look into what he has to say about the Tabata interval protocol. I have found it to be far more motivating and effective than steady state cardio.

Also, Art's ideas are highly compelling.


Kate Welch

Thanks Bryan!

Awesome info there. It'll be nice reading while I'm not eating!

Joe Matasic


I've been kinda stuck in the same situation. I had double hernia surgery and now am just getting back into working out. While recovering for 2 months, I actually lost about 2 pounds. Granted nothing to write home about, but I consciously didn't alter my eating habits and stayed low carb for the most part. That difference was that I wasn't riding 100+ miles a week on my road bike. You would think that would make me gain. Here's the kicker once I increased my riding to that much I quit losing weight about 6 months prior and couldn't figure it out.

Now that I'm allowed to work out. I'm going to only ride 2 or 3 days a week (making some of that interval training) and the start off with body weight exercising till I feel good enough about the hernia surgery to start lifting again. Haven't quite decided what to do about food intake. I'm going to calculate rather closely my caloric intake and maybe just cut back some. Not sure. Have considered the IF.

I know Mark Sisson at Mark's Daily Apple had some posts about a lot of cardio being bad for you. Good posts. Scott at Modern Forager also has a bunch of good posts on the benefits of weight training. Cassandra Forsythe helped with a new book about the weight lifting for women.


Kate Welch


That's really interesting you managed to lose weight while being (I assume) sedentary in recovery.

I'm fascinated by these comments about cardio. I'm in the middle of reading Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and I know he's had some fairly damning things to say about cardio exercise in the past.

Here's the kicker...

I didn't do any cardio this week.
I lifted weights.
I ate on an IF schedule (I'll be posting more details on what I did soon).

And I lost 4lbs in the last four days.

Thanks for the pointer to check out the Daily Apple; I love that site. I'll be doing some more research and experimenting on cardio. I like the endorphin high after working out, so if I do decide it's not for me, I'll have to replace it with something.

Thanks again!


I have fasted before for 24 - 48 hours. I am starting to fast every Friday in 2 weeks - I just started doing Atkins again and I am in the first 2 weeks. if I don't commit in these 2 weeks i'm in trouble! But after that I am going to fast every Friday - I've never heard of doing it like you wrote about but its very interesting - good luck!

James Atkinson

Hi Kate,
I had heard about intermittent dieting several years ago when i first read some articles on it from Ori Hofmekler, he was a editor of a short lived fitness magazine, among other things, and then he wrote a book on it around 2001 called the Warrior Diet, based on what you pointed out that traditionally, Warriors tended to march, hunt fight etc. All day long, on water, maybe some fruit or a small protein snack, and have one big meal at night. One of the things he goes into is the whole benefits of the undereating phase and overeating phase, and how it keeps you sharper mentally during the day while you're working, and then having the bigger meal later in the evening when you want to relax.So i was wondering with your situation, if having your main meal in the middle of the day effects you one way or the other?

Kate Welch

I think combining Atkins and even a once a week fast will do wonders for you. The benefits of fasting can be achieved with one or two fasts a week, I just think the more you fast (without going longer than 48 hours) the faster results you'll see.

Good luck with your plan and let me know how it goes!

Kate Welch


From my discussions with other IFers, a later eating window seems to suit most people pretty well. I am trying to push mine later in the day, since I believe that would be the most beneficial. I do believe in the mental sharpness being heightened while fasting, and I have experienced the first signs of this. I'm aiming to have a dinner time eating window by the time I go away for Christmas, so I can eat with the family, but I'm getting there gradually.

Thanks for the info!



Great blog! (and I'm mostly a vegetarian LOL)

I've been alternate day fasting since the end of November and I love it! I'm constantly researching information on intermittent fasting and alternate day fasting lifestyles. I started a blog tracking my progress here:


Your readers might also want to read about Jason's successful weight loss using ADF:


Keep up the great blog and I'll keep coming back to read it!

Kate Welch

Thanks for the link to your blog. I'm impressed with the daily tracking - way to go!

I'm going to be trying a longer fast this week, so I'll let you know how it goes. I'm still enjoying it immensely, and the side effects (apart from weight loss) are incredible.


Why do people think they need a schedule when fasting...every other day, a day a week...etc.? If it is intermittent maybe it should be more random. Just a thought.

Frank Taeger

Hey Kate!

In fact high intensity interval training and lifting weights increase your basal metabolic rate. This leads to an increase in your total caloric consumption needs. Steady state cardio burns WHILE you exercise while those kinds of high intensity weight and interval regimens burn while you DON'T exercise anymore.

As well both kinds of exercise combined are far more efficient. I will tell you something I have experienced as an amateur fighter with extreme needs for conditioning : There is no need for anyone other than endurance athletes like marathon runners to spend a long time running. Do a sprint interval of maybe 8x100m and 5x400m and you will be in better shape, waste less time and feel terrific.

If you do intermittent fasting and have high intensity exercise in between, it has been shown beneficial to have very small recovery meals 30 minutes after the workout.



i just did a 24 hour fast because i'm trying a detox/cleanse where you fast for 48 hours only consuming distilled water or herbal tea then for the next 7 days you only eat certain things (rice products, organic fruits and vegetables). but as i approached the 24 hour mark i started feeling extremely sick and puked up foam from my stomach. i thought that eating should help so i had a rice cake and some rice chips and after drinking a glass of water about two hours later i puked again, this time much more violently. my boyfriend demanded that i ate something more substantial so i had a bagel with cream cheese and felt fine. i was just wondering if you had any information as to why i got so sick? he is doing the fast with me and was fine, the whole 24 hours maintaining a good amount of energy. he even had a hard time falling asleep at 10pm that night. As far as i know, he'll make it the whole 48 hours. i've never done anything like this before, but intermittent fasting sounds way better then this.


I've now been on an intermittent fasting diet for five months, and everything is going well:



I have been using Intermittent fasting to reduce body fat, and I have to say, It is the easiest thing I have ever done to reduce my weight.

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