by Jason Kilgore
What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
occurring at irregular intervals; not continuous or steady.
intr.v. fast·ed, fast·ing, fasts
1. To abstain from food.
2. To eat very little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.
Let’s define it like this:
Irregular intervals of time without food.
An example of this practice may be, twice a week, going 14-16 hours between your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day. Drop the notion that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Granny may have been wise, but I think she may have been out of her league on this one. Maybe you fasted three days a week instead of twice. Or you fasted, but still consumed broths and/or a quality oil. Your neighbor told you about a juice fast that you decided to try. There are tons of combinations, but the concept is the same… irregular intervals of time without food.
Some of the reported benefits of IF are weight loss, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, increased longevity, improved insulin sensitivity along with a host of other benefits. It’s a no brainer, huh? Who wants to worry about stuff like that???
The science behind IF is a little shaky as there hasn’t been much in the form of human research. I find that strange because so many people have benefited in more ways than one from adopting this mindset. Not to mention, I haven’t seen anything in the negative when it comes to the animal trials that have been conducted.
“BRO!” You won’t even lose any muscle mass doing this!
Dr. Bojan Kostevski has a pretty solid review concerning the effects of IF on human and animal health.
I know how much weight scientific studies/reviews have when it comes to people making decisions about their nutrition, whether or not they should consume antibiotics/immunizations that wreak havoc on their health, how fast they should be sprinting on rep number six of conditioning day, whether or not the latest multi-level marketing scam is really good for us or not, etc. I get it….completely. Complicate the hell out of something so simple that it was almost thoughtless up until less than a century ago; in a laboratory with rats as subjects, nonetheless. All the while looking right past all of the anthropological evidence we have in front of us showing that sometimes life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows (Rocky plug), but life continued…and thrived. There were occasions in time when people went without food. Some days it was calorie restriction, some days food was bountiful, some days there was no food at all.
Man thrived this way, for thousands of years.
We don’t need a lab coat who needs more sun in his/her life to tell us how we should be living our lives; especially a lab coat whose own health is, more than likely, in question. “Science,” whether good or bad, seems to dictate way too much of our actions these days. Ancel Keys completely changed the world’s conception of nutrition and ended up on the front cover of Time Magazine for demonizing fat.
We’ve spent the last 54 years since then getting fatter and sicker and dying of the same heart disease that he was trying to prevent and it’s happening at an alarming rate. When the lab rats start scurrying, brace yourself. Don’t turn away, but be skeptical. Look over the info…..just don’t forget to look back in time a little. You’d be surprised at how many answers you can find.
Homo sapiens didn’t become the most intelligent and complex movers on the planet crunching numbers in a laboratory. We did it through experience, trial and error, falling down and getting back up. The world was our laboratory and I believe many of our questions were answered many of moons ago.
Is it right for you?
Some say to have your nutrition dialed in first because intermittent Fasting (IF) is a stressor. Adding stress to an already stressed system is the last thing we need when trying to regulate and maintain your health. Sounds good and I totally get it. Apparently, there is a fundamental difference between the controlled IF stress and uncontrolled physiological/psychological stress, however. This is noted in Dr. Kostevski’s review in the above cited link. Either way, it’s probably not going to put you in the hospital.
If you have a medical condition or concern, feel free to contact me and we can troubleshoot.
Here’s the deal….
Twice within the next seven days, take note of what time you eat dinner (I don’t care what time it is). Your next meal will come 14 hours later. If you have a job or something going on that may interfere, plan this accordingly. Take your “brunch” with you if you’re on the run or know you’ll be sitting at your desk or whatever. This may push your lunch back a little later. Breathe….don’t freak out. You came prepared for this. Didn’t you? Eat a light lunch if you have to. Keepin’ it green is always a good idea when looking for something light. Get three meals in on these days; just squeeze them into a smaller window of time.
Twice within the next set of seven days, do the same thing, but only eat two meals per day. The night before each day of fasting, eat a good sized meal (something of quality please) and then do the same the night of fasting.
A week or two later, grab a handful of good juice recipes and go on a three day juicing binge…no solid food.
I know how crazy all of that sounds. That completely flies in the face of what almost every globo gym trainer preaches while he’s eating pizza and pounding beers on the weekends. It also doesn’t fall in line with the meal plans the nutritionists are peddling after conning people into the metabolic assessments that they don’t need. While the unfocused stay busy preaching the misinterpreted benefits of 5-7 meals a day and “starvation modes” that don’t exist, they are completely dismissing all of the digestive stress being created with this mindset. More importantly they are missing out on all of the benefits of intermittent fasting that far outweigh the idea of grazing like a cow (see Dr. Kostevski’s study…again).
All of that being said... we need to cater to our fuel needs if we are training hard and vice versa. Not too sure I’d be murdering metabolic conditioning sessions in the middle of a juice fast. Give it some thought.
This can be a pretty deep rabbit hole and I plan to jump in a little deeper with it in the future. Stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to skip “breakfast” every now and then.
Fuel the tank with supreme and move well my friends!