by Will Schreiber

Bierstadt and breakfast

Mt. Bierstadt is the closest 14’er to Denver. It’s also one of the easiest to climb.

The parking lot was full at 9am. Cars were spilling out, parked on both sides of the road for a quarter mile in each direction.

The trailhead sits at 11,600 feet. From there, it’s four miles and 2,460 feet of elevation to the top.

We passed college kids, retirees, babies in backpacks, and lots of dogs along the wide and busy trail. There’s only a little bit of rock scrambling at the very end.

As we drank water at the top, I decided to join Elizabeth in her goal to climb all 53 Colorado 14’ers. I’ve got 51 to go.

The best part about the hike was that I didn’t get hungry.

I’ve been intermittent fasting for three weeks. After I eat dinner, I wait until noon the next day to eat again.

When I wake up, I chug water and drink black coffee. Sometimes I start prepping my muesli bowl at 11am in eager anticipation, but usually I don’t notice any hunger.

An empty stomach keeps me focused while writing and programming. It also gives me more energy. Back in high school, during debate tournaments, I’d go full days without eating. I knew if I ate, I’d struggle to focus during the next round’s speeches.

It never occurred to me to make intermittent fasting part of my daily life. I used to roll my eyes when life-hack-salespeople talked about optimizing their eating schedules. But Elizabeth just finished reading The Obesity Code. The science behind insulin and digestion makes sense.1 So I decided to give it a go.

Since I started fasting, I’ve avoided running in the morning. I didn’t think I’d be able to wait until noon to eat. But I also thought hiking up to 14,060 on an empty stomach might cause me to feel faint or dizzy or light-headed or empty.


At 14,060ft

  1. James Clear has a simple breakdown of the science: The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting