I've wanted to try intermittent fasting, but skipping breakfast has always made me feel terrible, and certainly not athletically capable. I usually eat meat and green veggies at 9am,3pm,and 9pm, about 850 calories/meal.
For the last three days, I skipped my 3pm meal, and just ate double the amount at my 9pm meal, making daily calories the same. The first day, a non workout day, at 3pm, my hormonal adjustment told me I was starving. By 5pm, I was no longer hungry and cruising nicely.
Yesterday, I did my intense kettlebell workout after breakfast as usual, then in the afternoon I climbed in the bouldering gym for 3 hours until 8pm, then ate my double sized 9pm meal. Felt STRONG and never ran out of power or got hungry.
Today, another non workout day, I went to work all day and while my stomach was growling, I was functional. I must say it was easier, and I felt less hungry, on my workout day. I've always been hungrier when I'm not exercising. Frankly fasting for me seems more doable on workout days, as if I'm mobilizing/utilizing energy/bodyfat/food more efficiently.
So, I'm eating every 12 hours. Will this reap the benefits of IFing? Is this IFing?
I'm aiming for mass gain now. Is this counterproductive? Is the point of IFing to eat fewer calories, or just be empty for some time and end up with the same net calories?
It sure is liberating to not have to think about food all day!
You know how you hate those people that answer a question with another question...Apologies...
Does it matter?
From my point of view, good things to achieve are: . less reliance on food / thinking about food . the ABILITY to go without food for an "extended" period of time, whether this ability is actually exercised regularly or not . eating at times that suit your body, your circadian rhythm, your work habits and your exercise schedule
On these points, the only major "hack" I would look at in your case is the very large meal so late in the evening. Jack Kruse would likely argue that is not aligned to circadian rhythm and should probably be modified.
But ultimately, whether what you do "qualifies" against a theoretical standard of an IF definition is irrelevant. What's relevant is whether it works.
You don't need to eat fewer calories, and you will get some benefits from eating twice in 12 hour blocks. And if you're mostly eating meat then you'll be reaching glycogen depletion again quicker. Really though, and particularly if they are big meals as you say, then you're spending the first 4 hours or so digesting anyway, so it's only really an 8 hour fast. It's really the time after that where most of the gains are. And even if that's not convenient, it's definitely a good test of your adaptation to know you have the option of extending the fast.
It's not a bad way to eat though, if you're looking for benefits you might want to consider trying to add in a whole day of fasting once every week (or even once a month). Again it's an option which is good to have.