I hate dieting. And to be honest, I kinda suck at it. I don’t know if it’s my own willpower, or the fact that it’s really hard to break a sugar addiction (and trust me, I’ve tried), but for whatever reason, I’ve failed at virtually every diet I’ve ever tried.
Except this one. Instead of limiting or trying to change WHAT I eat (like Paleo, Slow Carb, Atkins, etc.), I found a diet that’s proven to be incredibly healthy (see some of the research below) while really only restricting WHEN I can eat.
I find that I have much more willpower in the morning and can basically accomplish anything. However, later in the day, when I’m tired, a little stressed from work, and mentally exhausted from decision-fatigue, I find that my willpower wanes and I start to waver if I see an unhealthy snack in front of me, or if I head over to Chilis because I crave their Buffalo Wings or Loaded Potato Skins.
What I started doing was only allowing myself to eat from 1 PM to 9 PM each day. That means I skip breakfast, have lunch with my work friends, and then eat dinner at home or at one of my favorite restaurants. The name of this type of diet is intermittent fasting, and it actually has a ton of health benefits.
A recent article in the New York Times discusses many of the benefits of fasting diets. They’ve been demonized, similar to fat in the 80s, through a bunch of bad press that originated from bogus studies done by cereal companies about how important breakfast is. But the truth is that breakfast and the adherence to 3 meals a day (or even more) is a recent development. Through most of human history, we followed a feast or famine eating schedule, and even after farming and agriculture was invented, most people ate only two meals a day.
In addition to the benefits discussed in the Times article, I actually LOVE the feeling of hunger before I eat. I know it sounds strange, but food tastes so much better when your hungry and meals are just so much more enjoyable. If you’ve failed at all the diets that tell you WHAT you should eat, then I highly recommend Intermittent Fasting – in my opinion it’s much easier to limit WHEN you eat.