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R.J. Robinson
R.J. Robinson

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How Intermittent Fasting Improved My Productivity and Other Helpful Tips

I became a developer a few years ago. I would say around 2014/15 is when I really went for it and signed up for a coding boot camp. I was in pretty good shape. I would work out frequently, and I could easily squat 225, and run a few miles without stopping. My clothes fit fine, and I didn't feel bad about taking off my shirt. Then of course... I started sit/standing in front of a computer for 8-10 hours a day. Fast forward past the long days of being a junior developer, and way past my divorce, and I had gained almost 45 pounds ( and not the good gain ) while almost doubling my body fat percentage.

I was depressed. It was not a fun time in my life. Then the depression started to affect my work, and it was a wake-up call. I had already gone through a lot and I couldn't lose my job on top of it. Luckily for me, I caught that issue early. So, I did what any normal warm-blooded American would do and I started new diets. Several of them. Keto, Atkins, meal prepping. But... it was the cheating on my diet that affected me. Diets were not working. But due to the long term meal prepping ( almost 18 months ), I knew how to measure calories quickly; That was the real trick.

I have been a productivity fiend for a few months. I didn't want to get bogged down with being unproductive. That was only adding to my depression. I felt good when I accomplished tasks. It was like a little dopamine was released, so I wanted to be able to maximize that feeling, so productivity became the goal. How can I do more work, with less time?

It all came down to thinking about what had to be done. I read a book called Get $hiT Done (GTS), and the main point of that process was to write things down so that you didn't have to think about them all the time. I didn't realize how much I just forgot to do things. Writing things down on paper ( or iPad in my case) got me programmed to doing so, and then I could just cross something off the list. Boom. Dopamine! All the feels.

So how could I apply this to my diet? Well, as I mentioned earlier, I had been meal prepping to control how many calories I should take in. The what was answered. What never dawned on me was the when. I had heard about IF (Intermittent Fasting) from some friends, and I thought... that's 2 fewer things to think about for the day. I'm sold. IF, for the everyday reader, is basically a feeding window. You pick a block of time where you can eat, and then you fast for the remainder of the day. Say for instance that you fast between sundown and sunrise, that is called a 13hour fast. One you should start with. The health benefits of IF are seen throughout all of history which is why I suppose that a lot of religions participate in it.

Over the past few months, I have migrated to an 18 hour fast. I only eat between 1 pm and 7 pm, sleep for 8hours, have black coffee in the morning, and I lost almost 22 pounds the first month. I slept better. I was clearer in my mind. I was grumpy AF around 12. But I got more work done. I got more everything done. Because of meal prep, and IF I had time to go to the gym more. Work on side projects. Long walks with my dog.

As developers, we think about a lot of things. Another fun thing that we do is automate it. Automate your calorie intake. Stop fighting with people which food truck you should go to. IF helped me. hope it helps you.

Discussion (1)

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daniel villarreal

interesting, I'm thinking about it, im a skinny calorie needed gym enthusiat too, so I would need my 2000+ calories intake in a 12hour break? damm... that might be hard, and possibly good... pending to start..