The last dog I owned lived in the backyard. We fed it him once a day, a huge bowl of dog food and water was available to him all day long.
My current dog, an Akita with the charming personality of a 15 years old teenager boy going through a complex puberty, eats all day long. If we catch his bowl empty, we refill it. Everytime some family member gets home, after jumping his enourmous body into us (and that includes a 69 years old woman), he runs to his bowl and eats out of stress, LOL.
My point being, some dogs eat just once a day, and they not die out of starvation. And you shouldn’t either, since you are also an animal. OK, sure, we have a soul and when we die we go to heaven… or hell… or end up here back again… or just disappear… whateva is what you believe. But your body, your meatsuit, it’s just a mammal. A fancy ape, nothing else!
The intermittent fasting approach says that you skip breakfast and lunch, and after a 16 hours fast, you get to eat the breakfast and the lunch and all your meals and calories in that 8-hours window, from 4 PM to 12 AM. You can have just one big meal, or three, or eight, or twenty; no one cares. Really, we won’t be looking. As long as you eat ALL your calories planned, you should be allright. You can do it low-cal to lose weight, high-cal to put on some mass, or just mantain your weight.
When you think about it, if you track your meals on one of those websites that counts calories and macronutrients and the like, and if you eat all your calories in the 8-hours window, guess what – all your stats remain the same.
But the big thing, the greatest thing about this approach is the freedom. Freedom, baby! Because, let’s face it. If you are reading this, your life probably revolves around food. You read about food, you might blog about food, and think about food, food, FOOD all day long!! After dinner, you need to plan your meals for the next day. Pack lunches, get some idea for breakfast, thow something out of the freezer for tomorrow, pack healthy snacks for work so you don’t end up eating candy from the vending machine… all of that while still manage to do the things from that extra-large to-do list of yours. It’s demanding. So maybe you should try this other, more relaxed way.
My day starts with coffee. I had said before that I’m not a breakfast guy, so I’m happy that I’m not shoving down my throath a 4-egged ground beef &veggies frittata that early just for protein’s sake (and even happier about not having to cook it the night before!). Mornings are usually filled with work, so I don’t get time to get hungry. If I do, more coffee or white/green tea or even just plain water does the trick. I don’t encourage smoking, but yeah that helps too.
Now, lunch time. I’m used to eat at this hour, so I get hungry sometimes. But it’s not a OMG-I’m-starving hunger. It’s more like it to be in my head, like I’m suppose to be munching at this time so I felt some ritual missing. But you know what’s better than eating on your lunch hour? Napping on your lunch hour =) Power naps FTW!
After the nap, all feelings of hunger are gone. Drink some more tea during the afternoon, and before I know it, it’s 4 PM. Time to eat! Sometimes is just a convenient, double serving protein shake, other times is a sausage and 4 scrambled eggs… it varies. This breakfast I’ll eat while still at work.
After I get home, I eat something light because I usually workout at this time. So a cup of whole milk and maybe some deviled eggs are devoured, and to the gym I go.
After I got back, and that PWO hot shower had me all relaxed and stuff, it’s time to sit at the table and get serious about it. I probably need to eat like 1,200 calories still. All of them, free of guilt. Good.
I’m trying to stick to low carb/paleo/primal, so I might had an avocado for an entree, then lots of dead animals with buttered veggies, mayo, you name it. And fruits like bananas, pears, kiwis, etc. At this point I’m pretty stuffed, so I drink some mint tea to help my belly. And before going to bed, I might attack the deviled eggs once again. Then sleep, rinse ad repeat.
During the 16 hours fast, I do feel more energetic. I call it the “low-carb peppy time”. People on Atkins reported it, sure as hell people on Paleo/primal reported it, and intermittent fasters also reported it. I think is the low-carbish time. Anyway, you feel more awake.
When I think of the animal world, every critter needs to relax during and after they eat. Sometimes hunters make a kill but don’t eat it right away. Nope, they take their prey somewhere else, where they will not be bothered by other animals who might try to steal it or kill them while they eat. And to nap after they fed! Ever felt sleepy after lunch? I think that food in the belly triggers a napping switch. That makes sense, since you’re not suppose to engage in physical activity during digestion (wait a full hour after a meal before going for a swim!).
Now, for the bad part. You might get the carb flu at first. The wha? Flu-like symptoms people get the first days when going low carb. You might do normal carb intermittent fasts, but you’ll be low carb for 16 hours anyway. I didn’t get any, but I ditched sugars long ago and starches during the August primal challenge. If you do eat starches and the ocassional daily treat, you’ll might go throught an adjusting fase. Maybe you will not. Who knows, right? There’s only one way to found out 😉
This thing doesn’t ask anything hard on you. It might look like something really hard, even horrible, but really, it’s just wait until 4 PM to eat. You don’t need to infiltrate the mafia as a double agent here – now that would be a hard thing to do. It doesn’t requiere a lot of planning, actually you’ll find yourself planning less.
Some branches of this intermittent fast community will say that you don’t even need to count calories or watch macronutrients ratios, because everything just falls in place. Me? Do I still count calories and watch macros ratios?
Well of course I do!!! I mean, I don’t eat like I’m some kind of hippie!!!