The ‘No Food After 8 PM’ Experiment: The Fourth Self Growth Experiment of 2019 [Details, Results, and Observations]

I continue with my self-improvement experiments.

In April I challenged myself to stop eating every day at 8 pm for 21 out of 30 days in the month.

I have shared the details below but first a short note on why I do these experiments.

Why These Experiments?

All of my growth has come from trying new things in life.

Ideas can be useful and motivate us, but without trying out these ideas we won’t know if they work. Even if ideas are time-tested, without applying them in our lives we won’t see any improvements. That’s why these experiments.

Sharing the results forces me to take the experience seriously. And, by sharing my observations, I hope that you’ll able to try these ideas and experiments yourself.

This is the fourth experiment of 2019.

I usually share the results of the experiments after completing them. But from time to time, I may announce public experiments and invite you to try the experiment with me and others in the community.

I am listing all these experiments with results on this dedicated page.

Read on to learn, why I decided to take up this month’s experiment, my observations and the results below for you to take a look.

Why No Food After 8 PM Experiment?

I had two goals with this experiment – a clear head and a light body.

With an early cut off time, I hoped to tackle both these goals.

A light body is important for health and aesthetic reasons and a clear head helps me think and create better.

By keeping a cut off time for eating, I wanted to reduce the food intake, and also avoid interfering with the body’s natural repair system that starts working at night.

I didn’t worry too much about what I was eating or when I was eating it as long as I was eating before 8 pm.

It Started Sometime Back

After last year’s festive season, I noticed I was eating a lot.

So I decided to consciously cut down on food.

I did it by going from 3 meals a day to 2 meals a day, and then by cutting out evening snacks from my diet.

With ‘no food after 8 pm’ experiment, I extended the same routine and started recording my food cut off time.

Here is what worked and what didn’t?

What Worked?

  • I felt light and clear-headed in the morning on the days when I finished eating early
  • I experienced true hunger in the morning which is a good thing
  • I noticed that body assimilated food faster and better

What Didn’t Work?

It did not work for my ‘get leaner’ goal because,

  • I did not have a timely sleep wakeup routine
  • I drank copious amounts of coffee with milk and sugar (this neutralized any gains that came by reducing food intake)
  • I didn’t follow the plan for 21 days. More on this below.

Result!

This experiment wasn’t a success like the daily writing experiment or show up experiment.

I did ok, but not an all-out success as I wanted.

I managed to follow it for 14 days out of 21 planned. I know I can do 21, so I’ll be at it this month also. The big change I need to do is around sleep. I’ll take a shot at it.

Do you want to try it? Here is how you can do it.

How To Make It Work?

  • Avoid snacking 2 hours before your meal time
  • Make your last meal light. If you can don’t have dinner – try tea or coffee in the afternoon and some light snack and/or milk at night before bed.
  • If you come back from work late. Then keep cut off at 9/9.30 pm.
  • Don’t stay awake later than 11 pm otherwise you will feel hungry and not sleep well

Aim for 21 days in a month. You can achieve this by trying any one of these two variations below.

  • Do weekdays only.
  • Allow yourself any days in a week to eat late, when you are going out with family, friends or colleagues

You don’t need to do much except deciding and then starting with it.

Let me know if you have questions.

If you are going to try it and want to announce then share in comments.

Here is my log from the experiment in case you are curious to see where I slipped and when I did it.

I have already thought about my May experiment. Hope to share updates once it is done.

Meanwhile, I would love to hear about a time when you tried implementing a new idea in your life.

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