Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Intermittent Fasting - Are you ready to try it?

I'd known about the Intermittent Fasting for about 4 months before I decided I wanted to give it a go.

My biggest fear was that I would lose all my weight-training gains for the year.

I'd also decided at the beginning of 2012 to train throughout the year without overly restricting my diet.

Once the year was nearly over I felt I'd gained a bit too much fat. So I was prepared to lose weight anyway and see what happened.

When I share with others my findings of the IF diet I can see a variety of reactions.

One of the most common is a repulsion to the idea of a 'DIET'. On top of that a 'whole day' devoted to half-starving seems to scare people away. It seems the idea of suffering for one day outweighs all the benefits received. The word 'FASTING' is also a red flag signal. 

I can see people of this reaction have this look in their faces. Its a bit of a complicated array of expressions. One of the more easily read is 'defensive'.

'Defensive' is usually associated with 'not ready'. I also probably had a similar expression on my face. It was for me a reluctance to lose all my training gains at that time.

One has to be ready, mentally. To be honest I've known of the benefits of 'fasting' or restrictive eating for decades. Which just goes to show how one's goals can affect a trial of a possibly useful and manageable lifestyle of eating.

I didn't really fear that eating less would affect me in any other way negatively, other than make me lose weight and all my muscle gains of a season.

One other reaction is a keenness to try out the one day a week fast. 

What I find often is although one is ready to try it out, it can get postponed for a further 6 weeks or so.

This is common. The brain has a momentum of its routines and beliefs. It requires a lot of convincing, reminders, processing and conscious thought to introduce something like this.

One important consideration is a firm decision to how long you intend to try this out. My delayed decision was in part due to a long term commitment before starting. One of my stronger reasons for trying it out was to do a regular detox once a week. As each decade creeps upon us, without a regular detox we start becoming less able to eliminate our excess toxins. 

So I felt that I wanted to put this in as a long term commitment and lifestyle change. 

I'm a person that makes a decision and then sticks to it, to the extreme. I only break the commitment if it harms me in any way. Like over-training for instance.

This was another reason why it took a while to make the final commitment. There is no point is just dabbling for 2 weeks or even 6. Give it at least 3 months. If you are doing it once a week that's around 13 days!! Around 2 weeks of dieting spaced over 3 months. In a year that's less that 60 days! 

It ticks all the boxes of losing weight slowly but steadily. One should be able to lose a stone(14lbs, 7kg) in a year. More than likely it will be more than that. The exception would be if you are training to gain muscle. But even then it would probably be possible unless one eats a bit more on the other 6 days of normal eating.

I'd love to be able at this stage give a 12 month report but I've only got just over 3 months at this stage to offer. 

I am trying to remain open to the idea of retaining/gaining muscle and losing fat and weight. The ideal is to continue gaining muscle while losing fat. I've never experienced this ability before now. It appears I am achieving this but it's still too early to tell. What I can say is my shirts are still tightish but my trouser waistline is definitely smaller.

Its very exciting really, I have to say.

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