Intermittent Fasting Experiment: The Update

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been playing around with extended fasting periods (read the first post here). Here is the breakdown of how everything went down.

Fasting Breakdown

Here is my feeding window and below those are the total hours fasted from day to day.

7/11 – Eating window from 5pm – 10pm
7/13 – Eating window from 1pm – 9:30pm
7/14 – Eating window from 7pm – 10pm
7/16 – Eating window from 9am – 8pm
7/18 – Eating window from 1pm to 10pm
7/20 – Eating from 2pm to 9pm
7/22 – Eating from 3pm to 8pm
7/25 – 1 meal at 10am (non training day)
7/26 – Eating from 4pm to 11pm
 
7/11 to 7/13 = 39 hours
7/13 to 7/14 = 22.5 hours
7/14 – 7/16 = 35 hours
7/16 – 7/18 = 41 hours
7/18 to 7/20 = 4o hours
7/20 to 7/22 = 42 hours
7/22 to 7/25 = 62 hours
7/25 to 7/26 = 30 hours
 

Meals

The goal of this first 2 weeks was to just get through it successfully, so I also used it as a time to eat anything that I wanted, in unlimited quantities, for the sake of convenience and making the transition. This lead me to consuming lots of  of meat, some fruit and plenty of ice cream. For the next 6 weeks though, I’ll be moving into something more balanced now that I have everything locked down, which means lots more fruits and veggies.

Below are a large majority of all the meals I ate during this time, many of them ridiculous for the sake of ridiculousness. Not shown are a lot of bananas, a pint or two of ice cream, 4-5 mini tacos and a few pieces of steak that people gave me from a wedding that I went to.

Random Thoughts

Surprisingly, it’s much easier for me to not eat at all than it is to eat a reduced amount of food. When I go into the day knowing that I have to eat less than I want to, it’s a very different mindset entirely versus when I know I’m just not going to be eating at all, and that mental shift helps a lot. It makes everything very simple – I’m either eating or I’m not.

I’ve also become better at differentiating between mental hunger (for a certain type of food) and real “if I don’t get food now I’m gonna eat a chair” hunger. The latter kind of hunger is rare, and I’ve only experienced it during the 62 hour fast, and I suspect it had something to do with only getting 4-5 hours of sleep the second day into it.

This has also caused me to analyze a lot of my ingrained eating habits because I come face to face with them several times a week. Do I want to eat more when I’m stressed? Yes. What about tired? Yup. Bored? Definitely. Having this this “eating or not eating” dichotomy forces me to deal with these issues, and when I successfully come out on the other

Sleep is SUPER IMPORTANT during longer duration fasts. If I get anything less than 7 hours of sleep I find that my hunger is definitely more noticeable when it does pop up, and it also stays around a lot longer as well. Nothing that isn’t manageable, but  something to make note of. If I get 5 hours or less, I turn into a hungry rage monster and a nice dose of caffeine is the only thing that keeps huge hunger spikes from happening.

Controlling hunger during a fast for me is as simple as getting up and moving. If I sit around and think about food, I want food soon after – the body seems to follow the mind in this respect. Drinking a ton of water also helps (you can get freaky and add some sugar free crystal light or Hawaiian Punch to it if you want a sweet taste).

Energy is way up on days that I’m fasting, even during longer one and I find myself being able to focus and lock into tasks much easier. Libido and general all-around happiness is also up as well – high five! On the flip side, the lows are low, and if something manages to get to me during this time it seems to cause a deeper funk than normal and is harder to bounce back from as quickly.

My training is done with 10g of branch chain amino acids and 1-2 scoops of Tier 1 pre-workout powder, so all of my calories are consumed post workout. I’ve felt a noticeable increase in my recovery between sessions as well (at least for for my upper body). Even if I pump up the volume for upper body sessions, I’m good to go by the next time I train, but if I do the same with lower body lifts I’m usually still recovering for a few days later, depending on how much I killed myself.

I’ve managed to hit a PR so far during this phase with a 405 front squat, and I hit an easy 225 on the military press that same day. I’m not saying that the fasting protocol has made me stronger, but I haven’t lost any strength or muscle, and I’m happy with that.

On off days, I either sit around like a sloth or go out for an hour walk in the Massachusetts sun. Nothing else for cardio.

As far as meal composition goes, it ends up being a mix of moderate protein/high fat/low carb or high protein/high fat/high carb, all depending on how I feel that day after training. I estimate that I get anywhere between 160 and 250g of protein per day. Assuming I hit the high end 4 days a week (I don’t), that’s 1,000g per week, 400g less than I would usually be getting if I ate every day.

Social events are easy to navigate as well. If I’m going out to dinner or something, I usually know about it in advance and just adjust my fasting/training accordingly. Worst case scenario, I just go and enjoy the company of the people I’m with – the reason for getting together in the first place – and have a ton of water.

Pics/Stats

Weight – 189 lbs (down 7lbs)
Right Arm - 14 inches
Left Arm - 13.5 inches
Left Quad - 24 inches
Right Quad -  24.5 inches
Waist - 32.5 inches (down .5 inches)
Booty - 39.5  inches (up .5 inches

I’m going to continue this for the full 60 days because I like it so much. For the next 2 weeks I’ll continue keeping things super loose and not tracking my calories/intake other than with pictures, but for the final 30 days I’ll track macros just for the sake of comparison.

Any questions?

Anything you’d like to see me keep track of better in future updates?

Lemme know in the comment section below!

Intermittent Fasting: The Great Experiment

Courtesy of flickr4jazz

I’ve been all over the intermittent fasting lifestyle for almost 2 years now. After coming from a background where I ate 5-7 meals a day while trying to keep meticulous track of everything, it was a completely new and enlightening way of eating that completely meshed with my natural tendency for dietary hedonism and debauchery.

Recently though, I’ve felt stifled by both my training and eating. I was getting caught up in a rigid mindset regarding both, doing things because I felt that I had to, not necessarily because I enjoyed doing them. Should I train 3 or 4 days a week? Do I need to deadlift? What kind of feeding window should I adhere to? Should I eat higher fat or higher carb? What about muscle loss?

To bring some fun and excitement back into my training, I’ve  overhauled it completely, only doing exercises that I love or LOVE A TON, cutting everything else out of the picture (so pretty much booty, arms and upper back training all the time). Now I’ve decided it’s time to do the same for my nutrition, all for the sake of experimentation.

Gone are strictly timed feeding windows – I’ll eat whenever I want.

Gone are the days of keeping track of my calories and macros – I’ll eat whatever I want.

I love intermittent and how it fits into my life, so I want to do away with any self imposed rules and boundaries I’ve placed on myself, take it to the extreme in order to find out what really matters for my goals and reincorporate it in a less extreme manner once this is all over.

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.” – Bruce Lee

Objective: To fast for 3-4 days out of the week (only eating on training days) for the next 30-60 days without keeping track of calories (using only meal pics). I will also be monitoring the effects on my mood, body composition, strength and general well-being.

Updates will be posted every 2 weeks, including pics of myself, meals, workouts and detailed notes on all the above.

So, what’s the point of all this? Honestly, I just want to try something completely different and see what happens. If I lose a bunch of muscle and strength in the process I won’t be overly concerned since I know I can get it back later (and if I look like a badass despite that I DEFINITELY won’t care). I want to explore the role of true hunger, how I respond to it and the effect it has on me.

As much as I love science and all it has done for the advancement of this field, I feel that at times it can get in the way and make people frightened, myself included, to try different things just for the sake of seeing what will happen, so I’m just using my own body as an experiment to document & learn as much as I can along the way to pass on to you all, my Sexified readers.

Date - 7/11/2012

Weight - 196lbs
Right Arm - 14 inches
Left Arm - 13.5 inches
Left Quad - 24 inches
Right Quad -  24.5 inches
Waist - 33 inches
Booty - 39 inches

Front Squat 1 rep max – 385 lbs
Barbell Push Press 1 rep max – 215 lbs
Trap Bar Deadlift 1 rep max – 495  lbs (not sure if I’ll be including deadlifts in my lifting just yet)

What Do You Want Me To Explore?

If there’s anything you have questions about or want me to cover/look into during this experiment, leave it in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to include it if possible – this is your chance to live vicariously through me!