After I finished the Paleo/Primal Challenge on August, I was sure this was a great way of eating. I was getting results. But this last week, another idea came to my mind. After reading about intermittent fasting on LeanGains, MDA and after reading books like “Stop, Eat, Stop” and “The Warrior Diet”, I decided to give it a go.
The short version: muscle catabolism doesn’t really starts after like 48 hours of fasting. So the idea is to fast for 16 hours, and eat during the other 8 hours of the day. During this eating window you should eat all your calories for the day. This is not a low-calorie approach. The same calories, the same food, but you eat all of it during those 8 hours.
The shorter version: drink coffee and tea liberally during the day. Just keep it zero cal. At 4 PM, have your breakfast. Later, the snack; then, lunch; then, snack; and finally, have dinner. You got until midnight to stuff yourself. You might even skip a snack, but have something more, er, “caloric” at dinner. Junk food is not advised, yet it isn’t condemned as a sin if done sparingly.
The longer, yet necessary version: you can’t swim after you eat a meal. A huge amount of your blood is busy in the digesting process, so if you swim after eating you’ll get a cramp and drown. And that’s not healthy. So I can safely state that the digesting process take a big toll on our bodies. Digesting shuts down other process because the necesity of blood there is too high. It’s like when my female friends say that us men become easily manipulated when horny because all the blood that should be in our brain goes to… you know, so we became idiots when… you know (see how I avoided the words ERECTED or PENIS there? Oh wait… *facepalm*).
The same way, if your body isn’t digesting right now, it can use the focus and blood in other process. Keeping insulin low shuts down the storing fat process. And weird enough, at 18 hours of fast glucagon goes high (it takes fat out of fat cells into the bloodstream), and growth hormone goes high. So basically, your body uses this digesting-break to repare it self and make your muscles grow IF you’re doing weight training. But how come, if you’re not getting protein into your body every three hours?
Easy, the food comes into your mouth, and comes out of your… body about 24 hours later. Food might left the stomach after about 3 hours, but it still has a long ride inside your gut. I could state a gross evidence about corn… but I’m not going to. Because I’m a polite blogger.
Anyway, so muscle is spared, fat is being burned for fuel, hormones levels goes great, whole body is repared… what’s not to love? And fasting for health is such an old idea, I couldn’t say this idea is actually “new”. Well, the 18 hours fast – 8 hours eat might be new. The so called “cleanses” might even last days of juice drinking and yoga-hummin’. With this approach, you get the best from both worlds.
So, what has been my take on this intermittent fasting thing? How my experience has being like? That’s for the secuel of this post. Sorry, in case you haven’t noticed it, I have a big case of blogger’s block. I had been doing stuff, but was completely blocked for writing. So, after 15 days, I forced myself to sit here and write this. At least the theory of the thing I’m trying right now. I hope tomorrow I’ll sit my ass again in front of the PC and write again!