For the past few weeks or so, I've been experimenting with "intermittent fasting". I got the idea after a bit of Internet research, where I learned about several supposed benefits of giving your digestive system a rest every once in a while. What got my attention were articles like those of Dr. Mercola that stated, in essence, that during a fasting state, your body produces more HGH (human growth hormone) and stimulates atophagy, a natural "cleansing process"). Though other benefits were often also cited, these were the main ones for me since I suspected they might help with brain function and cubital nerve repair.
There are several different variations to intermittent fasting, but the one that I ended up with was limiting my food intake to fewer hours per day. I started out fasting from 6 pm to 10 am), but going to bed hungry aggravated my sleep disorder. And I learned that's exactly the opposite of what our ancestors did. Apparently, they didn't have refrigerators and 24/7 access to food and spent the beginning of each day "chasing food" (fasting and expending energy) and that left the end of the day for restoration (eating and sleeping). So now I have my first meal some time after noon (unless I get hungry, lol) and stop before 8 pm.
An interesting downside to this "diet" is that I've actually gained a few pounds since starting it. By afternoon, I'm really pretty hungry so I tend to make up for the missed breakfast. At the same time, I can't seem to help wanting to "stock up" at night. So, the end result is that I'm taking in more calories than before.
But once that's under control, I think it will be great. I noticed a substantial improvement in finger coordination after about 4 days. I can't solely attribute it to fasting though, because I have some other things going on lately as well -- my recent sleep therapy, for one, and I've also given up caffeine and alcohol. In addition, I've gotten a lot more serious about my stretching routine and using my elbow brace at night. They're therapies I've implemented before with less improvement, but I can't rule out some sort of synergistic effect.
As excited as I am about all this, I realize I have to be cautious. There have been many other times, when I tried something that seemed to work for a while and then it stopped working. But this really does feel different. I'm playing with a facility that I haven't enjoyed since I was a teenager. And I've often wondered what it would be like if I could combine that facility with the artistry and expressiveness that I've developed over the years. Hopefully, I will soon see.
Having bought into the "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" mantra that's been popular for so long, skipping it is very new to me. But it adds a good, full hour to my day, to that's another reason I'd like to make it work.
Maybe, I'll go with a 12 hour fast rather than 16. After all, it's after 12 hours that the body reportedly starts to produce the HGH. So for me, the extra 4 hours is really just a bonus.
This blog is about music, health, challenges, determination and personal and professional growth. I hope it is useful.