IF Changed

fasting2Intermittent fasting has been going very well. The hunger pangs have not been bad at all. Work was challenging last week, but after posing a question to the Stronglifts Inner Circle, I have now modified my IF based on the Leangains Guide. This was a series of documents I read while investigating fasting, but for reasons unknown forgot all about the information that was provided. What is nice about intermittent fasting is the flexibility you have to modify your program so it fits your lifestyle.

The goal again is to “get as lean and strong as possible” based off the Leangains summary to IF. Since work gets in the way of fasting and training my feeding window has been adjusted. Instead of not eating prior to working out, I now open the feeding window at noon until 1pm and eat approximately 20-25% of my total daily calories. I work out between 3-330pm, lifting weights, which is approximately 90 minutes or run for anywhere between 30-60 minutes (depending on mileage). My largest meals comes right after my work out. So far it consists of a protein shake (Vega Sport) followed by a full meal. About 2-3 hours after dinner I am eating another meal to round out my 3000 calorie day (on days I lift).

Eating 3000 calories on a lifting day is still a challenge.  I have only been successful twice since starting this little experiment. That means I need to get more food in while my window is open or I won’t see the the results I am looking for. On my running days, I still maintain a 2500-2700 calories diet. I have been following each workout up with a great tasting shake I call the Green Glop. Doesn’t that sound tasty?

Much like Martin Berkhan talks about on Leangains, “skipping breakfast keeps hunger away far better than eating in the morning.” Doesn’t sound logical, does it? I can attest to being hungry an hour to 2 hours after my morning cereal or oatmeal. No more! While it might take time for your body to adjust to skipping this meal, the results could be beneficial, depending on what your goals are. You can read more if you are interested.

For me, my goals are to increase the amount of lean body mass and decrease the percentage of body fat. The 4 months leaning up to February, 2012 were good, as I gained 5.5 lb. of muscle, but also added 1 lb. of body fat. That is a trade off I am willing to accept. Next month I have another hydrostatic test and hopefully I can see more positive results with the heavier weight lifting, running and adding the intermittent fasting to my lifestyle.

IF

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.