Full Fast: all torture... or fat torcher?
I have been on an intermittent fasting protocol for more than 45 days. As of Sunday the 4th of August, I had earned my very first true cheat day followed by a day of food fasting. For those of you who don't know me, my idea of cardiovascular training is to eat so much that I break a sweat! Going an entire 36 hour period without eating seems like a hair-brained, counter-intuitive and border-line risky move to get some gains in the iron game.
I can't say that this is where I would have predicted my life to end up. As a youthful, exuberant man who enjoys his grass-fed burgers and steaks, this is tantamount to torture. As a CHEK practitioner, who has spent years de-cyphering the word of Paul Chek regarding how to eat, move and be healthy, the idea of fasting may be blasphemy!
After 3 weeks of intermittent fasting, my energy levels skyrocketed, my sleep was better than ever, my focus keen and of some consequence, my abs became sharp as a tin washboard. I'd lost 8lbs and 3 percent body fat. Strange days indeed. The cleanse continued, and as the results have kept coming so has my commitment to the program. The first 30 days are basically strict, clean eating. After that, a cheat day is dropped in every two weeks. I'm not a sweets guy (though I can put just about any kind of food down given time and motivation), so the cheat day was only so appealing. Since I knew I was going to suffer the wrath of 36 hours of no food, I went hog wild. So it was.
The evening before, I could already feel the difference that food planning makes in my night. No Tupperware to stock and pack, no lunchtime workout to plan eating around (I will not likely do an intense workout without being able to eat or get a shake afterward), my night was very quick and quiet, and a little disconcerting.
All day today, I felt pretty well balanced and energized. I really forgot how much I used to look forward to snacks, lunches, and meals during my workday. With no designated eating time or agenda, I felt a little listless when I took my lunch break (I drank coffee to dull the hunger that spiked around 3PM). I rode my bike down to office depot to pick up some things and was fascinated how naturally I tried to plan my route around places to eat or drink. My mind was clearly ready for a formal meal, and my body was going to have to disappoint for one day.
After a rough 3PM stomach protest, my body basically complied with its requests to adhere to the program. I was able to do some work before I walked home, and now am slow cooking a pork shoulder for tomorrow with no unmanageable desire to devour everything in my refrigerator. I am looking forward to eating well tomorrow, and keeping with the tenants of an IF-styled diet. Not eating isn't the most pleasant thing in the world, but it does provide a decent check against the mind, which has cravings and attempts to communicate to you how vitally important nutrients are to your survival. This is true, of course, but it doesn't mean that you can't dictate when and how these nutrients support your smooth running machine.
If you haven't, read my blogpost on how to get started and give it a shot. If it works for you, great! This might just be the low maintenance plan that is sustainable and makes you feel awesome!