In this episode of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast, host Gin Stephens speaks to Paul Hunter, who lives in Nashville and works in food sales. Paul admits he was what some might call a “fat kid,” so he’s been aware of his weight most of his life. When he began putting on muscle as a teenager, he got involved in wrestling, which introduced him to the concept of manipulating his weight through diet/exercise. During his 20’s and 30’s, he did numerous diets and even became a distance runner. He recalls that he would lose 30 pounds, then regain it, eventually putting on a few extra with each yo-yo. As he approached his 50th birthday, his weight was at an all-time high of 227 pounds, and he challenged himself to something called “Fittest by 50.”
One early step of his Fittest by 50 challenge was joining a gym and doing intense, rigorous workouts. Though he went on to replace that exercise with his current passion for Brazilian jujitsu, Paul credits the gym experience with one thing – meeting a healthy, super-fit guy named Ryan who shared the words “intermittent fasting.” Because he was so impressed by Ryan, he researched and began doing a 16:8 that he admits was not a clean fast at first. Even with diet drinks, he was able to “eat like a King” during his 8 hours and excess pounds fell away. In a matter of months, he was back in the 170s.
Eventually, Paul felt he was getting lax and researched some more. He found Delay, Don’t Deny, tightened his eating window, and eliminated diet drinks to create a truly clean fast. This made a significant difference in his energy and his mental clarity. He now says he cannot believe he ever ate any other way. He does not crave carbs, but does prefer whole, unprocessed foods, especially veggies and meat. He enjoys bananas on a regular basis. His eyesight has improved as evidenced by his contact lens prescription.
At this point, he generally does a 21:3 because it feels right for his work schedule and his life. He also adds a weekly 28 hour fast Sunday into Monday and describes his sense of well-being during deep fasting as “amazing.”
Paul has a supportive family and his college-age daughter has even taken up intermittent fasting. He says there is no doubt that this is something he will do forever because it feels so right, like the way life is meant to be. His advice for others who are contemplating IF is to “stop thinking about it – just do it!”
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