More than 90% of you following my two-week Intermittent Fasting self study will reach the point of massive energy and brain clarity hunter killer mode today. The other 10% have to put up with a weekend (that is, if you started Day 1 on Monday) which is going to be the #1 reason some of you fall off and won’t make it to two weeks. Nothing wrong with that, but I like giving warnings so there’s no disappointment.
Weekends and IF suck.
We stay up later, we wake up later, we eat foods at odd hours because our friends or loved ones are doing the same. We consume alcohol or soda or snack food because they’re a part of social bonding. Weekends cause schedule changes cause us to continue the food schedule entrainment into the work week next week.
If you really love the way you feel today, fasted, and want to feel that way and even better next week, the weekend is going to be your enemy. I’d say that’s better than your brain being your enemy, as it was on days 2 through whenever you first tasted hunter-killer catecholamine mode.
Don’t Sweat Weekends
If you start stressing over a weekend coming up, your cortisol is going to go up. It’s the stress hormone. Stress is usually a reason people snack All. The. Time. So don’t stress about your eating schedule this weekend.
Instead, try to stick to your fasting hours more than your eating window. This means that you really should try to stay fasted the proper number of hours tomorrow, even if you eat for more hours today. The fasted hours are where the magic happens — and the fasted hours are what helps cut down on your brain entrainment and lying.
If you’re a guy on a 16 hours fasted, 8 hours eating window, write down when you last have a bite to eat, or a beer, or a cocktail, or whatever calorie you consume today. Make sure you write it down, especially if you’re drinking. Then, count out 16 hours from that before you eat again. If you stop drinking martinis at 2am tonight, that puts you at 6pm tomorrow before you can eat. Your brain will lie to you crazy style because it wants a dopamine rush, and it’s confused by drinking or late night eating. No different than day 2 and possible other days, depending on when you hit hunter-killer mode.
If you’re a gal on a 14 hour fasted, 10 hours eating window, write down the same information. If you stop drinking or eating at 2am, you shouldn’t eat until 4pm tomorrow. Ouch!
This weekend, caffeine is more than your friend, it might be your battle partner in the war. Black coffee (or black tea) is always approved for consuming during the fasted hours. No sugar, no cream, nothing else. Coffee will also help you get energized enough to burn off any more alcohol that is in your blood. Try a cup of coffee and a slow walk, and you may end up burning through that alcohol better than you had when you “sopped it up with bread for breakfast”.
Mondays Are Salvation
Some people might stay up until 4am on the weekend, forcing their eating window to start as late as 8pm (ouch) the next day. But the great news is that Mondays are universally hated and low productivity for everyone — Intermittent Fasters or not. If you blow your eating schedule on the weekend, Monday is the day to fix things. Stay on your fasted hours over the weekend, and focus on rebooting Monday. Monday will be your usual fasting hours (from Sunday), then your eating hours will be shortened to whatever is necessary to get back on schedule for Tuesday. If you drink White Russians until 4am on Sunday, and follow a 16/8 IF regimen, that means breaking your fast at 8pm on Monday and finishing your eating window at 10pm. 2 whole hours of the day!
But then you’ll be reset again. The brain won’t lie as loudly. And you’ll get through your first weekend, which is normally what makes people throw IF away forever, even though they had a taste of the magic.
Weight loss isn’t my goal
Some of you report back that you’re losing significant weight — in just these few days, your coworkers and family members are noticing.
My goal isn’t to get you skinnier, it’s to get your mind clearer. The food schedule you eat on is based on your food addictions because of your body’s hormones. Stick to this program and you’ll break some of those time-scheduled addictions, and your life may end up becoming a lot better. It has for me, and it has for thousands I’ve spoken with who picked an IF regimen of one kind or another.
Many of us became healthier (fasting supposedly breaks down old white blood cells so that there’s room for new ones to be made), more physically fit, younger looking (the body can and does break down and rebuild skin cells if it isn’t busy constantly digesting food), stronger, mentally clearer headed, etc. The weight loss is just a nice side effect, but it isn’t my reason to get people to do the 2-week Intermittent Fasting self study.
Please continue on to day 6.