It has been a busy month of reading for me. Always interested in new diet/nutrition ideas, a trainer introduced me to a "new" concept called Intermittent Fasting (IF). While I have heard of cultural reasons for fasting, I haven't heard of people fasting for better health, body composition and/or strength gains. After all, it goes against things I have learnt about healthy eating concepts: breakfast being the most important meal of the day; eating small, balanced meals frequently throughout the day; and that going without food every few hours sends a message to your body to hold onto fat. My colleague showed me before and after pics of himself, and the proof is in the pudding. I was intrigued and full of questions, and given that I try not to take things at face value I decided to do some research myself. Google "intermittent
fasting" and you get a number of websites about different forms of IF. The one I found to be most helpful and least biased was "Experiments with Intermittent Fasting" by Dr John Berardi, a free pdf book on his website. Dr Berardi looks at the benefits and science behind IF, and being a researcher he conducted a 6-month study on himself, testing different IF methods and recording his results. His stats and photos were compelling. I flew through the book and decided to give the Lean Gains Method (16hr fast/8hr feed) a try. Surprisingly, I didn't find it all that hard to fast. If I kept myself occupied I found the feelings of hunger subsided pretty quickly, and when I did eat, I found myself not all that hungry. Interesting...I should note I didn't monitor what foods I ate (although mostly healthy), nor did I binge (phew! a real concern of mine), and I only tried it for 10 days, so I didn't see any composition changes. I just wanted to see if I could do it, so it served its short-term purpose.
SO, given that health/fitness is my passion (my ONE thing), I finally booked some time, turned off all the noise and created an exercise and IF plan to get me closer to my current 3 goals: lose 10lb of body fat, be able to do 10 body weight chin-ups, and increase my strength in my front squat, back squat, and dead lift. I also thought it would be fun (and help keep me accountable) to post my plan and progress for all of you to see. So stay tuned for my next blog where I will be posting my plan and initial stats. I would also love your feedback on any of the concepts or books, so feel free to comment!