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I am a couple of weeks into finishing an intense multi-month phase of intermittent fasting with a four-hour eating period during the day. Now that I am eating more regularly and more often throughout the day, I feel better equipped to reflect and evaluate the experience of intermittent fasting to that degree.

It took me a few days to regain my appetite outside of my usual 2pm – 6pm eating window. I ate breakfast in the morning the first day and noticed just how not hungry I was. In my head, I had been anticipating an early morning meal, but my body didn’t really register it. This same feeling carried on for the first few days, but eventually dissipated.

I miss the simplicity of eating in a 4-hour window. It mean’t that I could pig out in that period, and reserve the eventual food coma for when I would otherwise have recreational time in the evening. Preparing food also became a drag. Instead of doing it all in one-go, it’s split up between breakfast, lunch, and dinner (plus mid-morning and afternoon top-ups). I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to eat food, especially good food, but the 4-hour eating window was just such a useful part of my day. Now that I’m eating more regularly, food is on my mind more often. What should I eat for lunch, dinner, snacks? I know the solution is to plan it all out, but because there are at least 5 times during the day when I eat (instead of one), it is more of a burden.

I noticed that my energy was more uniformly distributed throughout the day. Makes sense of course if I am eating fairly regularly. I would usually slump to my lowest energy-conserving form around 12pm to 2pm waiting for when I could eat. This was often the perfect state for me to read, but now I just feel normal and feel a little guilty when I read when I know I have the energy to focus on something more “productive”.

Perhaps I haven’t been back on a non-intermittent-fasting routine long enough to be able to give an unbiased evaluation, but if I had the choice between the two, I would definitely opt for a 4-hour eating window. My laziness craves the structure and simplicity of it but I know now that I am taking my physical exercise a lot more seriously, I need to eat more regularly and in general far more. It’s not very compatible with intermittent fasting.

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