Intermittent Fasting and Judging Hunger

I've noticed something weird as I've been tracking my calories.  I'm getting good at estimating how hungry I am... in calories.

I'm doing a diet where I only take in calories during 9 hours of the day.  One of the typical diets people do is only 8 hours (one third of a day) but 9 seems to work better in my case.  For me, this is between 2pm and 11pm.  It's a form of intermittent fasting which is interesting but doesn't have a huge body of research to back it up.  The important thing is that it's working for me.

I still take in a normal overall calorie intake for the day, just during a compressed window of time.  There are some extreme versions of this like the Warrior Diet but they didn't appeal to me as much.  They're a bit too extreme.

Intermittent Fasting plus tracking calories has had an interesting side effect for me.  I'm learning how to judge my hunger in calories.  I know generally how many calories I need to fulfill different kinds of hunger.  For me they break down like this:
  • Snack: 150-250 calories
  • Small Meal: 400-550 calories
  • Large Meal: 550-750 calories
  • Super Hungry: 750-900 calories
Now I'm able to take my subjective feelings and quantify them with a meal plan.

I have snacks and meals that I know how to make quickly which all fit under one of those categories.

Usually I'm eating small or large meals, so each intake is between 400 and 750 calories.  That seems to be the sweet spot for me.  I've only been super hungry a few times and 750 calories didn't quite cut it, but anytime I've gone over 900 calories I've felt way too full afterwards.

It's also really handy to be able to gauge if a snack will fill me or not.  I can quickly read the packaging info or look up a snack in MyFitnessPal to figure out a good portion to fill me up.  Graze boxes have been a huge help with snacking, since they're wonderful and pre-portioned.  I'll probably write about them in their own post soon.

Overall, my new diet is going well and I'm excited to continue it!  I'm trying to avoid having this be a temporary diet.  I'm attempting to change my lifestyle for the long run.


  1. I do roughly the same thing. I eat between 6 am and 6 pm, and I've found I do a lot better when I don't eat right before bed. I wake up bloated when I eat late. If my schedule permitted, I'd eat in a shorter window like yours, but having a 1:10 commute to and from work means I can't really get dinner in that early. Over the summer, though, I tend to eat earlier and my performance picks up and my weight drops a little. :)


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