Today is a rest day for me. I follow a similar protocol to the Crossfit.com main site, a three (3) days on one (1) day off approach. So this will give me some time to talk to you about a protocol that I follow called Intermittent Fasting or IF. IF has rose in popularity over the past couple years, especially in the primal communities. IF takes one more step towards living like our hunter gatherer ancestors.
In its basic principles, IF is a protocol where you go for periods without eating, i.e. fast. There are many different ways that you can implement this. Some protocols like Lean Gains calls for a 16 hour fast every day. In this program you will give yourself an 8 hour window of eating, say from 1pm to 9pm, then fast again until the next day at 1pm. Some other programs such as Eat, Stop, Eat call for every other day fasts while others just call for a once a week 24 hours fast.
For me personally, I practice IF on my rest days. I will wake up, will not eat breakfast, go about my day and then in the evening I will eat one large meal in order that I have fuel for my workout in the morning. Following this protocol also allows me to eat more on my workout days. This way I can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. This is because our bodies use calories over a weekly period instead of day-by-day.
IF can also free you from the Bro Science of having to eat every 2-3 hours. I personally fell victim to this mentality and I was constantly stressed over where my next meal would come from and would get weird looks from constantly hauling around tupperware. What matters the most is that you get in your nutrients for the day. Whether you eat (3) 1,000 calorie meals or (6) 500 calorie meals, it doesn’t matter. It can also teach you the difference between physiological hunger and psychological hunger. How many times have you eaten a meal simply because it was “lunch time”, or because you saw some donuts? With IF you will quickly learn when your body is really hungry.
Fasting can also help decrease your risk for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). According to the article by Krista A Vary and Marc K Hellerstein, alternative day fasting helped increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and decrease concentrations of triacylglcerol. This study also showed that fat oxidation increased an average of 15 g/d over the course of the study.
IF can also help with the aging process because it helps lower insulin and release growth hormone (HGH). In our bodies we have approximately 75 trillion cells and each cells have a nucleus with 2 chromosomal arms. Each arm has 100 million protein bases which has a telomere and each end of the chromosome. At conception each telomere is about 15,000 bases long but while in development in the womb, we lose about 5,000 so that by the time we are born we are down to 10,000. According to recent research the length of your telomere will dictate your aging process. With normal cell division, the average lifespan is approximated at 120 years, but if cells divide at an unusually high rate, the telomere shortening process will accelerate and we age faster. Hormones such as insulin and (HGH) play a key role in aging. Elevated insulin increases cellular division and because IF helps lower insulin, your cells divide at a slower rate. Also, researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that men that performed a 24 hour fast had a 2000% increase in circulating HGH and women had a 1300% increase. HGH is directly involved in tissue repair and anti-inflammatory immune activity. This is why life style factors are so important because they contribute to 70% of the telomere shortening process. If you are constantly eating a high carb diet, then your insulin levels are always going to be high and thus your telomere shortening will be sped up.
If you want to read more on IF, here are some great articles that go into more depth:
Today I also went to the movies and saw Red 2. It was pretty good. I have been looking forward to seeing it for a while because I really enjoyed the first one. Also, I want to take this time to talk about how to maintain healthy eating while at a restaurant. It is not as hard as people think. Yes you will have to do a little more research, but it will be worth it. Today I went to a BBQ place in Danada named Dickey’s. It was great. I had a rack of ribs with some brisket and green beans. They were delicious and I stuck to a primal diet.
Final thoughts for today. I am currently watching the show Extreme Weight Loss. The women currently in the show was attempting to perform workouts but was always having to take breaks because of the constant need to purge because her body is trying to eliminate the poison she put in her body. This is why proper nutrition is SOOOOOOO important. In order to perform at your optimal level you need to put in the right fuel. If you owned a Ferrari, would you put in
the 87 octane fuel? Hell no! Do not treat your body like a garbage can. You are what you eat.
That is it for today. Hope to catch up with you tomorrow.