IF: Week 1

fasting_trainingIt’s called a “feeding window” for a reason. During this 8 hour period you will eat your daily allowance of food. The other 16 hours of the day you are fasting or not eating any food, but can supplement your eating with liquids, such as water with lemon or coffee (not that I will). I have been looking into the advantages of ‘IF’ for the past few weeks. Reading quite a few articles from different authors and hearing success stories from other individuals, as well as results that didn’t go as planned.

I feel this is a good time to give it a test run, so to speak as I have a physical on Wednesday for life insurance I am considering. Going back to Monday, my last meal was prior to 7PM. During my last meal I consumed about 1500 calories. Today, Tuesday it means I skip breakfast. Yes, I know you have heard the adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Consider this thinking outside the box and if I really want to, I could eat breakfast when my feeding window opens later today. As Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat explains, “you have 144 hours  of eating that you can play with  every week…there are no incorrect ways to eat.”

So now you are asking yourself, “what do you expect to gain from not eating for 16 hours. Let’s look at how I am organizing this. First the feeding window I decided upon is open from noon until 8PM at night. Right there, is usually when I get a bulk of my calories anyway. Sure in the morning hours I will miss out on  my cereal and oatmeal, possibly even a very early lunch if I am at work. From 8PM until 4AM I am sleeping (give or take 2-3 hours in the PM). That means there are only 8 hours while I am awake that I won’t eat. This isn’t “starving myself” nor is it to lose weight, but being my first time into this experiment I might drop a few pounds, but the intention it to lose fat while building lean muscle.

Since there are no hard and fast rules I will give this first round of IF a shot. As of May 1 I have started tracking my calorie intake again and it’s no surprise to see my diet dominated by carbohydrates (66%) with protein at 14% and fat at 8%. It will probably be 2-4 weeks following this plan, which will see me fast 3 times a week in conjunction with the days I lift weights. So let the experiment begin!


fastingI have been pleased with the gains I have made over the course of the last 16 months as it relates to my health. After learning plant-based nutrition I have made many positive steps in a new lifestyle, one that I have embraced but tried not to push on others. No one wants to feel pressured when faced with change. I accepted the guidelines and made a conscious decision to improve my life, as relying on the medical establishment and Big Pharma was not how I wanted to live the rest of my days.

The addition of exercise has been awesome! There is really no other word to describe how I feel after I finish running or rack my weights for the final time. While my body is usually tired that is a clarity followed by what can only be identified as a jolt of energy, read to tackle what obstacle comes my way.

I subscribe to a few different web site including Dr. McDougall, Vegan Body Building and Stronglifts Inner Circle. Since changing my diet Dr. Mc Dougall’s discussion boards allowed me to gain quite a bit of insight into a plant-based lifestyle, along with gaining a further understand of nutrition thanks in part of Jeff Novick. Vegan Body Building is the newest discussion board I have joined after being frustrated with responses from the Stronglifts discussion board. In defense of the Stronglifts, all the users I have communicated with have been respective of my point of view, as it’s the minority when it comes to how to eat when lifting weights. Many support a Paleo type of diet, favoring meat and fat over carbohydrates. The common ground of both of these diets are the whole foods and vegetables.

I have learned quite a bit, not only about lifting weights, but about nutrition. One of the more interesting topics I have started reading about IF of intermittent fasting. “Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water and sometimes low-calorie drinks such as black coffee) and non-fasting” (source). Many Stronglifts users talk about IF and Leangains as ways to introduce fasting to the weight lifting regime in order to burn fat and build muscle.

I have been reading fasting information from Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat from his website, but haven’t bought the ebook…yet. I continue to read comments and topics about IF and if it’s something that I could benefit from. It was actually information from Lani Muelrath who wrote a few topics on fasting after 4 months of “mini fasts” (her report).

I started looking into IF after being a bit frustrated with the returns I am see as it relates to lifting weight. I figured after 6 months I would have some bigger gains and better results, based on a the photographic record I am keeping. That does not mean I am unhappy with what I have achieved. I guess I expected more but regardless of what decision I come to I will continue to lift weights and run for my health. Diet is the easy part, as I am already at my desired weight.

Goals for attempting intermittent fasting? Decrease my body fat, something that has been occurring regularly while following Stronglifts. Continue to lift heavy weights in order to gain strength. Have increased energy on days I fast. Avoid overeating, while enjoying food more.