Fasting is something that I had tried before but with no direction or advice, so in other words I was probably just starving myself. Not necessarily matching my performance to the results I wanted to achieve…huh!
Now fasting isn’t something I would personally recommend for everyone, as I think if someone doesn’t understand good nutrition and hasn’t got their metabolism in check, then it may not lead to the results they desire long term.
So what results have I achieved and what are my thoughts on this subject? Well I’m glad you asked. (Or probably not, but who am I to wait for a question before I delve deep into my opinions)
My metabolism I’m guessing is pretty well adjusted after 6 small meals almost every day for in excess of 4+ years and I’m almost certain my hormones are not ready to call it quits on me just yet. But I was tired, fatigued and had an undying hunger if I didn’t eat every 2-3 hours which made me a ravishing beast. (Ready to eat my own arm off) I didn’t feel like food was fun and it definitely didn’t feel like fuel.
So why did I decide to try fasting protocol in my life? If I’m brutally honest I wanted control. Control over my body, control over my appetite and I felt like I didn’t have much control at work (my workload had spiraled out of control and I couldn’t keep my head above water long enough). Now I’m a control freak at the best of times but I didn’t know what outcome I was going to get and the results are surprising.
Check it! Before and after pic….
The first pic on the left was taken at the beginning of the year. I was eating too much, not matching my nutrition to training and late night carbs were my best friend. When I saw this pic, I was embarrassed at how I had allowed the weight to slowly creep back on – hello mid section! But how on earth I was born with a boys body, who knows? Skinny legs, skinny arms, no hips but a big bust and waist. (I’ve had a breast reduction too, maybe a topic for a later discussion)
The picture on the right is today. (I’m not much of a before and after avid selfie taker this days, just trying to depict the difference and not doing so bad after an indulgent Easter weekend)
Now let me tell you how I feel…
F*ck me do I feel great! Increased energy, lighter around the mid section without a large decrease in muscle mass (i’m guessing). When I do deviate away from my 80% of the time clean, I don’t have massive pangs of guilt and my body responds better. I truly believe giving my body time to actually digest food, has been a key winner for me.
I love Rhonda Patrick, she’s an American biochemist and I took some insights from her on fasting and this definitely allowed me to tighten up even quicker. If you’re still interested then see some of the tips I’ve integrated into my life below:
Fast for 12-13 hours overnight. I haven’t exceeded this by too much purely because I love a coffee to kickstart my day (find out below why coffee breaks a fast). For 8 of these hours you sleep, so it’s an easy ride after the first couple of days. 6.30pm-6.30am is normally where I like my fasting time to sit.
Download the Zero app! This is free and a great way to track your times. I have enough going on in my life and this is easy to use, track and keep me on the straight and narrow.
When you fast you can only drink water. Tea, coffee or anything with flavor will trigger the microbiome in your gut to be active (As they start the digestive process) Your microbiome have a stopwatch and as soon as that delicious concoction of liquid caffeine hits your mouth, they’re at work and on the clock for the day. The longer you are eating the more overworked they become.
Eat whole nutritious and delicious foods. I still love all the foods I did before but in a smaller window. This means my food choices need to be pretty damn tasty as I want to get the most out of what I choose to fuel myself with for that day. All in all, I don’t impulse eat… like I used to.
So there you have it, where my fasting journey is at and my current results and love for this process. I’m not training to be in a comp, I’m not lifting heavy loads, I’m not counting calories, weighing my foods. I’m just using what I know and fine tuning this well oiled machine to what works for me. As I refuse to feel like I’m turning 34 this year and am chasing that youthful feeling once again.
Stay humble, stay grateful, stay grinding.