Self Experimentation: The 10-12 Hour Eating Window

I am not new to the self experimentation bandwagon. I love testing new methods whether its exercise or nutrition.

I love being able to talk with friends and clients about what works FOR ME and what doesn’t. And I don’t know those things unless I try them. Right?

There are so many methods and theories floating about in the health world, that I could probably experiment with a new nutrition program every month for the rest of my life.

But trust me… I’m not that crazy.

So what’s the new experiment?

Starting yesterday, I’m testing out Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s idea of 10-12 hour restricted eating.

This idea is based on our body’s natural circadian rhythm. Once we put anything other than water into our bodies, our hormones wake up and remain active for 10-12 hours of the day.

How is this different than a traditional fast?

Most fasting is done where you don’t eat for a certain amount of time from your last meal of the day to your first meal the following morning. Also, many people drink black coffee or tea while still fasting. With time restricted eating, I can start eating at whatever time I want, but I have to be done eating within 12 hours of breakfast, and the only thing that can be ingested prior to the clock starting is water.

Make sense?

Why would I do such a thing?

Apparently, it’s amazing for body composition AND endurance.
Studies have proven that following a restricted time nutrition plan,
people increase lean body mass (muscle) more easily and decrease body fat.
They also build endurance…  all because of the timing of their food.

Crazy? I don’t know but in Joe Rogan’s Podcast with Dr. Patrick, she stated a TON of research and really made it come to life. If you’re like me and love science, listen to this episode… I want this lady to be my BFF.

Dan initially introduced the idea of trying it (which he NEVER suggests nutrition changes), so I was immediately intrigued. I re-listened to the podcast, did some research of my own and decided, what the heck.

Why not? One month of experimenting won’t kill me.

But here’s the thing…

For someone who wakes up several days each week at 5am, this would mean that if I ate then, I would have my final meal at 5pm. That’s not going to happen, so for me… there is some planning involved.

Oh and I should also mentioned that you’re allowed 2 “cheat” days.

Here’s what my schedule will likely be:

Late nights at the gyms (not home until 8:45pm)

Monday/Wednesday: 1st meal at 9:30am… Final meal done by 9:30pm

Earlier nights leaving (home by 7:45pm)

Tuesday/Thursday: 1st meal at 8:15am… Final meal done by 8:15pm

Other nights:

Friday: 1st meal 7:30am… Final meal by 7:30pm… Dr Patrick does say you can go off track 2x/week. So it’s likely Friday will be one of those nights.

Saturday: Will definitely be one of my “off track” days!

Sunday: 1st meal 8:00am… final meal done by 8:00pm <— This is my IDEAL day if I could do it every day!

Starting Stats

How will I know if this form of eating will have any benefit? By tracking of course. So here are my original stats. I’m also going to take pictures along the way to see the results. I’ll post the first one today (Monday) on Instagram when I get to our studio.

Starting Body Fat: 20.4%
Starting Weight: 120.4 lbs
Starting Picture: Instagram

Are you into self experimentation?
Have you ever tried a fasting nutrition program?


  • Hey there! So you know I like self-experimentation too, and I usually don’t eat my first meal until around lunch or a bit earlier most days, so I’m no stranger to fasting in general. I think I unconsciously eat in 12 hour windows when I stop to think about it.

    This is interesting! Here’s my question: if you just stated your BF and weight, is what you’re trying to see fat loss? Or just to see what happens? I’m curious about your WHY behind it and what your goal is, and if 15 min difference from day to day makes a change or not. Excited to follow along, as I do. 😉 Enjoy and cheers to body composition change or seeing what happens at the very least!

    • So…it took me a while, but I listened to that podcast… after 2.5 hours they started talking about the topic you alluded to! lol! I love rambling podcasts full of good info so it was enjoyable! And a very interesting idea… Crazy that coffee sets it off. So having my morning lemon water and greens powder starts the metabolism – which is crazy! So you’re not having any of those things in the mornings then? It sounds so tough to do… And even tea at night! Much harder to execute in real life, I think. So I’ll be super interested to hear how you do and how it goes – and if you see the muscle gain! Now I know that’s probably your goal (as I asked in the above question), since that what they said changes. Pretty awesome if you can do it! …so no coffee for a while, even on those early morning?! 😉 Can’t wait to hear about it; thanks for sharing such quality info!

      • Glad you listened it! It was also a great reminder that I’ve been wanting to grab some seeds to sprout ourselves. Yes, muscle is definitely the goal! Coffee in the morning is the toughest part, and I’ve been “settling in” each day. Normally I just right in but found myself having to do more of a progression this week. Instead of coffee, I’ve been filling my to go mug with hot water, so that I am at least getting something in my system. I don’t think it would be too bad if I didn’t wake up at 5am and get home until 9pm. but i’m learning the best system. I’ll keep you posted! Tomorrow will be my final progression day.

  • Jr

    I’ve done intermittent fasting for the past two years or so. I generally eat in a eight to ten hour window, with closer to ten hours probably being more typical. I’m not familiar with the circadian rhythm theories for why it’s a beneficial strategy, but I have read about several other theories (incl. by way of peer-reviewed med lit, etc.) that I have found compelling if not persuasive. Interested to hear how it goes! When you recap, I’d also love to hear how you structured your meals. For me, M-F I eat two fairly isocaloric meal/snacks around 1:30pm and 4:30pm and then have my feast whenever I finish my workout after work, which is anywhere between 9:30pm and 11:30pm these days. Weekends I workout in the AM, but because I tend to sleep in and have more caffeine than usual and then longer workouts than usual, my eating schedule is virtually the same.

    • I’ll keep you posted! as far as structuring my meals, M-Th with this program, I plan to eat around 9:15am, lunch at 12pm, snack at 3 and dinner at 9pm. The 3 main meals are all close in calories and focus more on protein and fat. I’m trying to up my fat % each day and decrease carbs. I’ll def focus more on the specifics when I write up!

  • alexander graf

    Today I tried your 30 min interval workout by rowing; it was great and ardous, exatly what I want. What I can suggest you for your next rowing: do 5 – 10 minutes plyometric leg exercise before rowing. Try and Tell me later your impression. And an idea came up to me when watching your wall mt climbers: what do you think would rotanional wall mt climbers challenge you??

    • I wish I could say I would row, but I won’t. We have a rower at the gym and while I know it’s so good for you, I can’t bring myself to do a full workout on it. so boring (to me). SO I solute anyone that can do a 30 minute workout on it! That’s awesome. Rotational climbers… I love them on the wall!

  • zennode

    How were your results?

  • Lee Hamrick

    Would love to hear about the results of this!

  • Mark A Reyes

    Has anyone else tried this and have any results?

  • Margalit Jakob

    This is my first week on a 10 hour eating schedule per day. I started this so that I wouldn’t be looking for vast amounts of junk food late at night, in particular, ice cream. The immediate result has been that I’ve been going to bed earlier, waking earlier, not groggy in the morning- which is most unusual for me, exercising more, eating better, and just generally feeling more motivated and structured in my day. Its very exciting!

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