Walk with me as I explore to explain:
I’ve explained before that if you keep your body in a constantly fed state, your body becomes lazy. Mice that have food around them all the time live shorter lives than those that are fed in shorter feeding windows. This is because the cells actually become lazy and there is no need to get stronger. This is why intermittent fasting is so effective because you’re put into survival mode when there isn’t food around for a period of time. When there finally is food around, the body makes the most of it by apportioning it where it belongs.
There’s a chap by the name of Ori Hofmekler, who must be in his 70’s by now. He was an Israeli Special forces operator and even now, in his 70’s he’s a physical specimen to behold. In the army, he would only get to eat once a day, and he noticed that he was never wanton for more. Ori wrote a book, called the Warrior diet, in which he proposed that one needed to abstain from constantly feeding the body and that tremendous health advantages could be obtained from actually going hungry at times. Ori unwittingly was a proponent of what the world and longevity experts are now calling Intermittent Fasting.
To take this concept of pulsing a step further, we should expose ourselves to intermittent and brief periods of stress, so that the system does not get lethargic.
So the trick is to vary the conditions in a healthy way. Fasting can happily be followed by a period of slight over-feeding because our cells are receptive to food. After training, we can feed and re-fill the tank, which is why I recommend taking a protein supplement within half an hour of training… to -re-plenish.
At a cellular level, the feast and famine protocol allows the cells to perceive adversity and then get stronger.
It’s the same with taking supplements.
This is why fasting and exercise should be timed to brief periods of stress, followed by rest for recovery. This keeps the body guessing and getting stronger.
Lastly, this is the reason why I advocate a Cheat day. I have been chided for calling it this, so maybe let’s talk about an overfeed. When you’ve been systematically eating below your caloric maintenance level, your body will smell a rat, and think it’s in some sort of famine. As a result of this, it will begin to save calories in the form of fat, which means that the rate of fat loss will slow down. This is why it’s difficult to lose those last few Kg’s.
So now we introduce an over-feed of a day. You still stick to your IF timing, but then you actually go out and eat whatever you like, and a lot of it. You can and should have a lot of food.
What this does, is that you’re telling your body that it need not be buttoning down the hatches in lieu of famine, that it’s actually getting a lot of food, and that it need not be planning for winter. Some have been reluctant to do this because they were proud of their weightloss and it always slowed down.
Personally, I have been doing a Sunday Cheat day for years now and not only does it ensure that I stay healthy and in shape, but it also gives me a mental reprieve to know that I am never deprived.
So to come a full circle, regarding pulsing… know that it’s vital to switch things up. Said in the most basic way, there should be periods of little, and then periods of a lot… This is a subtle art, but when done correctly, and with longer life in mind, we can strategically strengthen our cells, bodies, and minds to withstand adversity and keep getting stronger, even into old age. – like Ori