First Effects of Intermittent Fasting

Jeff Winkler described his first weeks of intermittent fasting:

Annual physical July 2nd [2013], HDL 46, cholesterol 243, LDL 177. Doc pushing for statins. I’ve been taking 5000 IU D3, some zinc, eating vaguely low carb. Had a kid a couple years ago. Watched Eat Fast, Live Longer. Was blown away.

Decided to try intermittent fasting and use $500 USB ultrasound device (BodyMetrix) for feedback. Conclusions after three weeks:

  • It’s not hard. I’m eating within an 8-hour window. Usually try to eat first food at 9 AM, close the window 8 hours after. I’m hardly ever hungry. Now it’s like “oh, it’s 9, guess I should eat”. I’m not eating specially or restricting my intake.
  • Losing weight. About 237->231 in 20 days.

For me, the novelty was his BodyMetrix data (mm of subcutaneous fat). Here it is:

This shows fat loss from the thigh and waist; the chest measurements vary too much to see a trend. The BodyMetrix data and the weight data (237–>231) confirm each other. He also used an Omron measurement device that uses impedence to measure body fat. You hold it in your hands. Its data were too noisy to conclude anything.

All in all, Winkler’s scale did a good job of detecting weight loss, the BodyMetrix device added a bit (confirmed the weight loss was due at least partly to fat loss), and the Omron device added nothing. The BodyMetrix device is advertised with the claim “no embarrassing pinching” but I’m sure pinching (with calipers) to measure skinfold thickness would have been more accurate.

3 Replies to “First Effects of Intermittent Fasting”

  1. Seth, what happened to the very interesting links you had posted this AM (re kvas, teetotaling, etc.)?

    Seth: I posted them too early. They will re-appear tomorrow.

  2. Wow!

    I’m fascinated by the BodyMetrix device. It looks like it can also do 2D imaging. Have you played around with that? I also wonder if it can do any sort of cardiovascular imaging (e.g. heart or carotid arteries). I’m guessing they are not FDA approved for that and therefore can’t talk about it.

    BodyMetrix says the device can distinguish between superficial and deep visceral fat. Have you looked into that? It would be very nice to see whether different diets favor loss of one vs. the other.

    Seth: I’ve never used BodyMetrix device. This data does not make me want to, either

  3. Have not tried reading the scans, but you could… example images at I’ve been using waist measurement as a proxy for visceral fat.

    This fellow —
    (a trainer) gets more consistent results than I…. see the video @3:57; very little variation.

    I’m sure there’s a practice effect with either calipers or the bodymetrix. Not so simple as stepping on a scale.

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