Friday, March 04, 2011

Intermittent Fasting - Update

 It has been two weeks since I opted to try a personal experiment and commenced intermittant fasting. Since then I have completed one 18 hour and three 17 hour fasts. Surprisingly it was easy to do and did not entail the negatives I expected; hunger, irritability and mental fogginess. In fact it had the direct opposite effect in that I felt grounded, strong and alert. My vision seemed sharper and I felt "lighter" even though my weight has remained consistent.

 My approach remains focused upon the Leangains model - a 16/8 split with my feeding window between 2pm-10pm. It has been such a successful start that I have decided to build my WOE around less meals and switch from the concept of "grazing" I have held as gospel for so many years. My new mantra (on non fast days) will be to listen to my body....it will tell me when it is hungry. For too long I ate by the clock and not necessary due to hunger, another legacy of abiding by the grazing WOE.

A humorous view of grazing and why it may not be optimal for health.....
http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/BODY_SOUL_HEALTH/grazing_diet.html

 As a result I will be semi- fasting most days with durations based upon when I get hungry and opt to take food.That said on weekends I may(will) switch back to a more mainstream eating frequency to avoid developing a fasting plateau(is there such a thing?) and to facilitate my athletic activities as weekends tend to be my most active training days. Once Spring arrives and race training begins in earnest I will adjust my meal frequency accordingly if necessary. That is the nice thing about meal frequencies and IFing....the rules are there are basically no rules. Flexibility works as it ultimately comes down to one simple concept........total calories consumed per day.In my case I have switched from grazing to feasting. Total caloric intake and quality of food remains identical.

Here is another informative overview.....
http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2010/01/13/benefits-intermittent-fasting/

While fasting I avoid all calories and will consume water, black coffee and tea. I currently supplement with a supergreen formula from Nova Greens and have that as an option on longer fasts. A serving is relatively low in calories but supplies lots of essential minerals and vitamins. I have not felt the need to use it while fasting but at least the option is there. My trend thus far is to take some intitial norishment(end fasting) between 1-2 pm daily but eating the bulk of my calories between the (at home) hours of 4pm - 7pm. Works well.......I`m usually in the kitchen preparing meals for the family, school lunches, doing dishes and at the laptop so I am in the perfect feasting enviroment.

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