Monday, October 3, 2011

Intermittent Fasting and Primal Blueprint

I've fallen out of fitness in the last year, due to a variety of reasons, one of which is laziness. So when a friend starting talking about eating "Primal," I followed the link on her FB status and actually stumbled across a blog I'd read before: Mark's Daily Apple. Basically, a primal diet says that traditional foods our "paleo ancestors" (believe whatever you want) would have eaten are acceptable: meat, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit. Some dairy (I will eat raw cheese, raw milk, and raw yogurt), no grains - and that includes rice, all flour, etc. No potatoes. No sugar. I do not intend to cut out brown rice or potatoes, at least not right away. Eventually, I might. We'll see. But no processed foods, no junk food, no soy (ew), etc. I will use xylitol in my coffee, I don't know about baking, only because it's pretty expensive. I might just stop baking, at least in the weight-loss phase of this cycle. Although who knows, I might get to liking the no-sugar thing so much I don't WANT to go back. 

But I digress..I read some of Mark's stuff, followed some links, subscribed to his blog, and read somewhere about IF - or "intermittent fasting."

IF can be undertaken one of two ways, or combined. The first option is where you don't eat past a certain time of the day, and then fast for anywhere from 12-20 hours before breaking your fast and eating pretty much anything you want (within your acceptable diet foods, of course).

The second option is where you fast for 24-hours straight once (or more) a week. Just water.

You can also combine these methods, as I said,. The point to fasting is this (here's a little science-y explanation for everyone):
-your muscles use glycogen for energy
-carbs you eat get converted into glycogen and go into storage until they are used for energy
-when you don't give your body food, there's no glycogen stored for energy, so your body turns to its next best method of energy production - YOUR STORED FAT CELLS.

Get it?

I actually pretty much do the first type of IF anyway, but it was a fairly short fast, compared to some - I'd eat up until midnight, and then only have coffee until around noon.  With sugar and milk. That right there is a no-no, apparently. So now I'll drink my coffee black until I can break my fast. Also, my daily fasting period will run from 10 pm until noon or 1 pm the following day. And then on Tuesdays, I'll stop eating at 6 or 7 pm, and then when on Wednesday, I'll continue the fast until 6 or 7 pm, where I'll have my dinner and whatever else I need or want, and then I won't eat again until noon or 1 pm on Thursday. Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon will continue with eating until 10 pm and then fasting until 12 or 1 pm the next day. Of course, this could change as things evolve, but it seems like the best day to do my 24 hour fast is on Wednesdays because Tuesdays and Fridays are my heavy lift days, and Wednesdays and Thursdays are my rest or casual cardio/exercise days. I don't want to be fasting after a heavy lifting day or a sprinting workout, because my muscles will need protein directly afterward in order to heal and grow.

Here's some info on IF: this dude (Martin Berkhan) is awesome, and runs a blog called LeanGains. Check it out.

So, you might ask, what are my goals? Well, first of all, I want to look good naked. Second, I want to fit into all my clothes again. Third, I want to get my strength back. And fourth, I want to look great IN clothes.

So, this is my declaration of intent. Now all you internet people need to hold me to it. Ask me for updates, and hold me accountable! I know some of my friends will be hanging on the edge of their seats to see if this works.

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