My “Magical” Fat and Weight Loss (with bonus video)

A typical Early Time Restricted Feeding (eTRF) window meal

This is an expanded version of an early-access post on Patreon and SubscribeStar. Now that my recent easy loss is in excess of 10 kilo (22 pounds), I’m going to focus a lot more on this because so many people just really need it. Tomorrow I’ll begin a 20-post series about The Fat Loss Blueprint, in review format. Yes, right up front, this is a program for purchase and it’s not cheap.

Let’s get that out of the way in the first paragraph. It’s also the most in-depth, comprehensive program by leaps and miles I’ve ever come across. First, what are my own practicalities, or, practices?

I’m being asked quite a lot what I’m doing, specifically, and especially in terms of exercise.

The Status

In a nutshell, I’ve meandered between 190 and 200 pounds for years, but more usually, between 195 and 205. That continued once I moved to Thailand. It began to change once I moved within Thailand to a very rural country area of southern Sisaket province not far from Cambodia. I was at 92 kilos, 202.5 pounds. This morning, 3 months later, 84 kilos, 180.5 pounds. 8 kilo, 17.5 pounds lost (now just over 10 since this was written). 8.6% of body mass, lost. Let’s zero-point-zero in.

This is from the app which is the best fasting app I’ve tried and the free version is adequate for me. So, from arrival in mid-May at 92 kilo, I naturally shed 5 kilo in the first 2 1/2 months. But, that was high physical activity in terms of overseeing the building of my house (more on that in the video). In the next 3 weeks and change, I’ve shed an additional 3 kilo. That’s an increase in my rate-of-loss of 100% (0.5 kilo per week to 1 kilo per week).

The “magic” is that this doubling came at almost zero cost in terms of pain. In some senses, it’s more enjoyable and easy.

The first week is low because it wasn’t a complete 7 days. From 5 August to now is a full three weeks exactly and far from doing worse and worse, I’m doing more and better. I haven’t missed the 18 hour minimum since 9 August (15.5 hours only), 17 days ago. Most days are 19+ hours. SO, it’s 18:6 minimum, to 19:5, 20:4, or 21:3 at the most. I’m increasingly finding that just eating over 2-3 hours, whatever I want, within reason, keeps the progress easy and fast. At this point, 18-21 fasted hours daily doesn’t even hurt, anymore.

Rarely am I tempted—even when Yui puts an Original Lays chip to my lips, then proceeds to eat it, maximizing crunch sounds.

Here’s The New Thing. Those who’ve been around me since 2008 know that I was an early adopter of fasting, losing the brunt of my initial 60 pounds in about a year through Paleo-ish eating and 30 hour fasts, 2 per week. I tried the 18:6 thing for a while but didn’t like it better than the full-day fasts, probably because the pain was only twice per week.

Now it’s different and as I’ve acclimated, have found something even more powerful. it’s called Early Time Restricted Feeding.

Here’s the study. Not long, not many subjects, but enough to try it for yourself. Shifting the window to earlier has been the magic bullet.

Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is a form of intermittent fasting that involves having a longer daily fasting period. Preliminary studies report that TRF improves cardiometabolic health in rodents and humans. Here, we performed the first study to determine how TRF affects gene expression, circulating hormones, and diurnal patterns in cardiometabolic risk factors in humans. Eleven overweight adults participated in a 4-day randomized crossover study where they ate between 8 am and 2 pm (early TRF (eTRF)) and between 8 am and 8 pm (control schedule). Participants underwent continuous glucose monitoring, and blood was drawn to assess cardiometabolic risk factors, hormones, and gene expression in whole blood cells. Relative to the control schedule, eTRF decreased mean 24-hour glucose levels by 4 ± 1 mg/dl (p = 0.0003) and glycemic excursions by 12 ± 3 mg/dl (p = 0.001). In the morning before breakfast, eTRF increased ketones, cholesterol, and the expression of the stress response and aging gene SIRT1 and the autophagy gene LC3A (all p < 0.04), while in the evening, it tended to increase brain-derived neurotropic factor (BNDF; p = 0.10) and also increased the expression of MTOR (p = 0.007), a major nutrient-sensing protein that regulates cell growth. eTRF also altered the diurnal patterns in cortisol and the expression of several circadian clock genes (p < 0.05). eTRF improves 24-hour glucose levels, alters lipid metabolism and circadian clock gene expression, and may also increase autophagy and have anti-aging effects in humans.

Looks pretty good.

Exercise:  resistance bands, standard body weight, and my Big Trick. I got a 40 kilo (88 pound) bag of cement and covered and taped it so it won’t break. I carry it 100 feet or so on one shoulder, shift shoulders and come back. Then, I cradle carry it for a round trip. Like deadlifts, carrying heavy enlists lots of muscles. Fantastic, primal, and actually useful and practical, unlike much in the exercise world where movement is divorced from any practical use.

Here’s the video.

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  1. james mooney on October 17, 2020 at 08:24

    The cool thing, is that it doesn’t take but a few days to see and feel a difference.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 17, 2020 at 16:20

      Correct, James.

      Since writing this post, I’ve modified things a bit. Basically, an hour or two after rising, 7-8am timeframe, I’m eating, and I try to eat big. Then, I shut it off after lunch, noon to 1, then I’m done. Seems very inconvenient since society is so geared to dinner. But damn if the results and feelings—which I describe as great sleep, sex, digestive calm, and energy—just don’t lie.

      Check this out:

      NYT: “The Case for a Breakfast Feast”

  2. John on November 17, 2020 at 11:46

    Are you still doing the eTRF? Ive experimented with it and enjoyed it but for some reason I’ve stopped.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 18, 2020 at 01:10

      Flexibly. Most days are stop by 2pm or earlier. But, some days with the GF and family, I’ll skip lunch instead and eat light in the late afternoon or evening, trying for early as possible. 80/20.

  3. Teddy on December 16, 2020 at 00:14

    Richard, I’ve noticed that I feel better when I stop eating early too. Inconvenience in terms of eating with family is the only impediment.
    Do you avoid any foods, except for junk food of course? What do you think about keto/low carb?

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