A Fast-er way to lose bodyfat?


See what I did there?

Ok, so it was a bad pun.

Sorry.

A few days a go I tweeted that I’d just been sent some info regarding the health benefits of Fasting by my old mate over at Simple Strength. It’s something he uses, and advocates, and if it’s good enough for Rannnoch, it’s worth a road test by myself.
So Tuesday just gone was the my first ever voluntary day of fasting, so how did it go?

I approached the concept with some trepidation but also excitement, I’ve grown up in the martial arts world and know of many systems and styles that actually encourage fasting on a regular basis. I’ve travelled in the Middle East and Asia where fasts are not uncommon. But it’s never been something I’d been willing to try out, or something that I thought would hold much in the way of health benefit.
Then in a conversation with Rannoch via Facebook, he let it slip that he fasts and since he started, he feels better than ever.
I got the book he recommended, Eat Stop Eat, and immediately read it cover to cover. It all sounded pretty convincing, here are a couple of bullet points from the book:

  • Decreased Insulin Levels & Increased Insulin Sensitivity
  • Increased Lipolysis and Fat Burning
  • Increased Glucagon Levels
  • Increased Epinephrine and Norepinephrine levels
  • Increased Growth Hormone Levels
  • Increased Weight Loss and Increased Fat Loss

Not a bad list, all good so far.
The concept is simple, take a 24 hour period and don’t eat anything. Drink plenty of fluids, but otherwise run a normal day.
So thats what I did, after rising on Tuesday morning I had a good breakfast and that was it till Wednesday morning.

The whole day was easier than expected, I had plenty of running around to do, so was kept busy. This helped in the times where the hunger set in.
What really got me was how quickly the hunger pangs would disappear again. I was expecting to be chewing the furniture by dinner time, but as the day went on it actually became easier.
in the afternoon/evening I get busy with personal training and classes. I usually train with the Tuesday evening class, but numbers on this day prevented me from doing so, but I still do the warm up with them, and joined in with the finisher.
I really expected a slump in energy levels after this, but again, once I made sure I stayed hydrated, I was fine. A little tired but all good, in fact my mood was very positive.

The night time came, and here I was worried, going to sleep on an empty stomach, would hunger wake me in the night?
Again no, all was good and i slept like a baby.
Up early the following morning for my first Personal Training client, then sort myself out with a proper Break-Fast. This was a simple smoothie made with frozen berries, porridge oats, milk and a scoop of protein. It went down a charm.

Throughout Wednesday I felt mildly hungry, but I ate as normal. A friend was coming over to train with me and we spent a good while playing with various kettlebell drills, my energy and strength levels were fine, so no hunger hang over.

All in all I’d say the Eat Stop Eat, fasting day wasn’t too bad, I’m going to continue to fast each Tuesday, to see how the long term effects work out.

Check back or contact me for further updates, or beter yet, give it a go yourself.

Dave

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3 thoughts on “A Fast-er way to lose bodyfat?

  1. Dave,

    I’ve been intrigued by fasting for a while. If you haven’t already, pick up The Warrior Diet. I’m going to pick up the book you mentioned.

    With the concept of intermittent fasting becoming, I feel, more mainstream, I’ve been very interested lately in how it compares (or how people feel it compares) to the “old wisdom” of smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. What’s your take?

    -Chris

  2. Hi Chris,

    The Warrior Diet has been on my (extensive) wish list for a while now and it is referenced in the Eat Stop Eat manual.

    If you also go over to http://www.mikemahler.com and have a read over some of his work you will find that he also advocates infrequent meals, closer to the classic 3 squares a day, rather than the current trend of 5-7 smaller meals. Mahlers work is all based around optimising the hormone profile within the body, which he feels is harmed with eating too frequently.

    Who is right and who is wrong? I don’t know, but as the weeks roll by and I gain more knowledge of how the intermittent fasting affects my own body, I’ll certainly be posting up more opinions and experiences here. I’m no nutritionist and usually advocate small frequent meals to clients, however as I gain experience with the fast, this may change…

    Let me know your own experiences.

    Dave

  3. Dave,

    I’ve read a lot of Mike Mahler’s work. His stuff on optimizing hormones is very interesting.

    I’ve had some success with both intermittent fasting methods and traditional frequent meals. Honestly I’ve always felt that what makes the biggest difference is WHAT you eat, not necessarily how or when you eat it.

    Keep us posted on how the fasting works out for you.

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