How 16-hour fasts give me energy throughout the day.

**Before I start I must make clear that I am not a clinical dietician or energy specialist. Please talk to a medical professional before attempting any kind of radical diets or fasting techniques.**

Since secondary school, I struggled with consistent energy levels throughout the day. Later in my 20’s, whilst working as a recruiter, I found my head nodding off around 1500ish most days. Not a great look on a busy sales floor.

My remedy at the time was triple espressos; something I picked up from the film Swordfish. John Travolta’s character asks Hugh Jackman’s character what he is drinking – “Triple espresso” HJ’s character replies. This worked for a while but one day I had one too many and had to cut down considerably. Needless to say, my days as a recruiter were not the healthiest.

A solution for low energy discovered by accident.

The real solution I discovered by mistake whilst working as Sales Director for LDN Apprenticeships. I slept through my alarm and was late for work. So I forgo my usual breakfast and headed to work. Later because of heavy rain, I skipped leaving the office for lunch. I didn’t want to risk ruining my hair.

That day I was super productive; my energy levels were high and I felt as though I was in a flow-state. In the evening, I still had a full meal. Following the previous day’s performance, I replicated again and again. I had fixed my energy issues!

I drunk a black coffee in the morning and another in the afternoon whilst drinking plenty of water. But that was it super simple and I was on fire. The only issues came when after work. If I needed to attend a networking event before getting the chance to eat a big meal. That first glass of wine went straight to my head!

Low energy as a new Dad.

This worked for a few years. However, the arrival of Noah, my son, meant that any planning around eating went out of the window. Advice for any expecting parents – everything changes!

Now Noah is 15 months old and I am getting back into serious action taking. So I have again experimented with new fasting regime. And what I have found most effective is black coffee for breakfast with Noah. Working through to lunch and having a proper lunch. I am eating at 1900/2000 most evenings then waiting until 1200/1300 for lunch I am actually in fast for 16-hours. My energy levels are still high and I am not hungry.

Was this a prehistoric diet?

The habit of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the way that most of us do is industrial era thinking. It’s not based on any kind of evolutionary science. If we look at our hunter-gather roots, for example, the way we eat would look very different. We would get up in the morning and head off to hunt. Throughout the day we would eat little if anything as we tracked and hunted the big kill. Hopefully, after a successful hunt, we would bring the kill back to the tribe. And then all eat together as a big social meal. So rather than 3 square meals a day we evolved to have one big meal a day.

Secondly, some long-distance athletes practice this kind of eating strategy. They find it increases their metabolism, fat burning and energy levels.

As I said please don’t take this as any kind of scientific or medical advice. This is based on a control group of 1. Simply me exploring what works best for me and sharing the results. Contact me if you have experienced the same or have experimented with other regimes.

Please reach out to me on Twitter. I would love to hear what you do to increase your energy levels throughout the day.


James O'Donnell
James O'Donnell

James is on a mission to put the Social back into Social Media!