First off, I’m stuck at 181 lbs. More on that at another time. Today’s post is about Intermittent Fasting, or IF because I don’t want to type out Intermittent Fasting a hundred times. So you might already be asking yourself, what is IF? Well, what if I told you that we all IF? You just refer to it as something else… sleeping. IF isn’t a new concept nor is it overly complicated or difficult. As a matter of fact it has been around since the dawn of time. As hunters and gatherers, food wasn’t always available to eat every 3-4 hours as many of us do today. How ever did we survive?! Maybe the most famous IF’er, haha, I just laughed out loud after typing that… gonna start using that. Ok, let’s try that again. Maybe the most famous IF’er would be Gandhi. My point is that we can get by ok without having food available 24/7. And as it turns out, it may actually be beneficial. Below are a few of the benefits according to the research out there:
- improved blood profile
- lower blood pressure
- reduction in markers of inflammation (chronic inflammation causes disease)
- decreased risk of developing cancer (see previous bullet point)
- better blood sugar control
- more fat burn due to increased metabolic rate (believed to be due to increases in adrenaline)
- better control over one’s hunger
There are a few more, but I think you are starting to get the picture. So why aren’t we all doing this? Well like I said earlier, we are when we sleep. Unless you’re one of those crazy guys who set their alarm for 2:30 am to have a protein shake (yep, this actually happens). Now let’s take the concept a bit farther. You see, IF isn’t a specific number of hours in which you fast. It can be any really. Some folks will occasionally fast for 24 hours. Others, and this is more kind of the standard way of doing the fast, will have their last meal in the evening around 8 pm or so and then not eat again until 12 or 1 pm the next day. So basically, you don’t eat breakfast. Ah ha, I just heard a few of you out there telling me “for shit sakes, pump your brakes!” That’s right, the age old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day might not be? Who knows, this business is always changing and contradicting itself. As for me and what I advise my clients to do? Eat breakfast. There is far more research out there showing that eating breakfast leads to a slimmer waistline.
Now how does IF lead to a leaner physique? One side of me says it has to do with hormonal responses from the body reacting to the fast. The other side says, well, if you aren’t eating breakfast, you aren’t taking in as many calories, stupid. Of course you’ll lose weight. My gut tells me it’s a combination of the two. But maybe the thing I like most about IF is that it allows us to better to control our hunger. Hey, it’s ok for your stomach to growl and be hungry. It can help us to distinguish between actual hunger and mental hunger (think eating out of boredom, stress, etc). I could really go on and on with this topic, but blogs should only be so long and if you’re still reading this crap, pat yourself on the back. Thanks for hanging around!
Last tidbit here. My next experiment will be to do IF as part of my way to cut back to 175 from 185 (if I ever get there). Here’s how it will play out: first meal of the day is 12 or 1 pm. Next meal is around 4 or so. Last meal is around 8 or so. This will be done where the first meal is the largest and the other 2 meals get subsequently smaller. I’m guessing this will take about 10 or 12 weeks. Depending on how it goes, I might have to wean myself into it and might start by IF’ing (haha, there’s another one) a few times a week before going full bore. What do you guys think?