Fasting, weight loss and the normal person!… Part 1
I have a confession. I really, really like food. Not the foods I should like either. Most of the foods I should like either taste of cardboard, or nothing. And I’m not sure which I like the least. You see, I have a world-class imagination. So, it’s easier to convince myself that ‘nothing’ tastes like something I want to eat. Cardboard is probably reserved for those with jedi-level imagination.
Unflavoured pea protein requires jedi-level imagination.
Being a food lover, I’m always looking for a way to eat more food. Reading that you should eat 6 meals a day to obtain the ‘body beautiful’, seemed like a gift from the gods. My world-class imagination purposely omitted the world ‘small’ from in front of the world ‘meals’, during my detailed research of this diet.
It wouldn’t matter anyway. Eating 6 small, medium or large meals of dry chicken, quinoa and other salt deprived nonsense was not a life I wanted to live. It also made me feel ‘bloated’. As in wind farm in my colon bloated. After 12 months of this grazing ‘diet’, I was sick of eating.
I decided to try fasting. Intermittent fasting
YouTube sealed the deal for me. One video, in particular. The thumbnail was a before and after picture. The before showed a chubby fellow. He was slumped in front of a Tupperware mountain. Overflowing with food. He looked very sad. Childhood pet dieing sad. Grandma passing sad.
The After picture? Boy, that was something. Firstly, this guy was ripped. Secondly, he was happy. Getting laid happy. Getting laid by your childhood crush happy. He was stood erect above a banquet. Full of the foods I could have only dreamt of eating. Pizza, burgers, fries, ice-cream, fairydust and dreams. The description said he only ate once a day. This seemed to be a deal breaker for me. Until I read on. During this one sitting he’d eat ALL his daily calories. Something like 3000 calories, in the space of 4 hours. To look slim, fit and healthy. It seemed too good to be true.
I live by the rule that if something seems too good to be true, then someone, somewhere is lying to me. But I decided to watch the video and read more.
Fasting – it works. Sort of
Fast forward another 12 months and I like ‘Intermittent fasting’. I do have some reservations. The video I watched on the super transformation still doesn’t sit flush with me. It seemed to be one of those having your cake and eating it situations. And having your cake and eating it can mean only one thing. Infinite cake. When the cake never runs out, someone, somewhere is getting fat.
Saying this, there are lots of things I don’t believe on YouTube. I don’t believe a wolf mug will make me $200 a day using drop shipping. I don’t believe a cat can play the piano. I don’t believe a boy yodelling in Walmart (I just don’t believe it). So, I know the format, and I take my guidance from a higher god – Facebook (just kidding).
The 16/8 fast
Fractions were never my strength. Luckily the 16/8 refers to the ratio of ‘fasting’ to ‘feasting’. Fasting is when you can’t eat. Feasting is when you gorge yourself. So, you fast for 16 hours and feast for 8 hours. In the real world this can mean one of two things:
- You start to eat at 12 noon. You stop eating at 8pm – essentially you are skipping breakfast
- You start to eat at 8am. You stop eating at 4pm – bye bye dinner
You don’t have to stick to this. You can eat in any 8-hour window, if you don’t eat for the other 16. If I lived in an all-inclusive hotel, under no circumstances would I miss breakfast. Breakfast in most of those place is off the chart. Dinner is usually decent, lunch is meh. Alas, I don’t and you probably don’t either (if you do – awesome! Any chance of a free vacation?). If you, personally, can’t live without dinner. Eat dinner. Choose a feasting window that suits you.
I would add that It’s a lot easier to fast when you are sleeping. And a lot harder to eat. My advice would be to work around your sleep time. Incorporate that period into your ‘fasting’. You could of course fast from 8am until 12 midnight and eat between midnight and 8am. Whilst sleeping. This would be a YouTube video I would watch. I would believe in this video.
Going Jedi – 20/4 fasting
Remember what I said about Jedi-level imagination? The 20/4 fast is for those with Jedi-level will power. I managed it for about a week. The fast itself wasn’t the problem. Nor were the ravenous volumes of food I’d gorge myself on in that 4-hour window. The problem came from losing too much weight too quickly (gasps from the audience). After a full 20 hours of fasting, remarkably I didn’t feel that hungry. Attempting to eat a full quota of calories in 4 hours left me feeling like an anaconda that had just consumed an elephant. Very full, slightly uncomfortable.
Fasting is a great way to control calorie intake. But, for me this wasn’t my goal. I never wanted to lose lots of weight quickly. The 20/4 just required too much will power. It didn’t work for me. It does work for lots of people though, just not me. 18/6 works well for me. But if you want to sustain ‘fasting’ as part of your lifestyle, chose a protocol you can stick to. And enjoy. For me this has been the 16/8 protocol.
Going, going, gone – 24-hour fasting
If you want to ‘supersize’ your fasting, you might want to starve yourself for more than 20 hours. You might not want to eat at all. The 24-hour fasting protocol is what you need. This isn’t a sustainable protocol. You can slot it into you normal fasting regime. It will give you an extra kickstart to your programme. It also helps heighten some of the effects experienced by the fasting lifestyle. Integrating the 24-hour fast is simple. If you finish eating at 4pm on a Tuesday, you don’t start eating until 4pm Wednesday.
Part 2 – How fasting works. Some affects you could see.