Good morning to all you wonderful people out there. It's Tuesday morning and I'm tickled pink. - No I did not win the lottery, even though I nearly might as well have done so. Right now, I have one workout to get through, and then I am allowed to "stuff my cake-hole" as my girlfriend so eloquently puts it. You see, my last meal was on Sunday evening and my first real meal since then, is due on Tuesday at midday. Yes, I'll admit that it's not easy to do and there's something a little masochistic about nearly digesting yourself in pursuit of living longer and getting stronger (the Throfit motto) I'm talking about a full fast that lasts a good few hours (don't make me count the hours please) - Not everybody is up to the task, but I am able to eat a small horse on my Sunday cheat day and need to balance this form of excess with something equally as extreme in the fasting department. If this kind of punishment is not up your alley or digestive tract, I would like to suggest that you take a look at intermittent fasting.
The most accurate definition is the simplest one. - it is merely alternating intervals of not eating with times when you’re allowed to eat.
Yes, - I can hear you thinking right now….”What, I need to starve? What about my metabolism? won’t it slow down? I won’t have energy and I can’t build any muscle…
Let’s take a look and you will realize that this concept is not so “otherworldly” in the first place. You see, everyone practices fasting to a degree already. When you sleep, you fast and when you’re awake, you eat. That’s intermittent fasting. - not so bad, right?!
You may be swept up in a day and have not had time to eat. That’s fasting too, but it’s haphazard fasting, not intermittent fasting.
I’m going to show you how to expand your fasting window so you can reap the benefits of burning more fat, building more muscle, improving aging, boosting your sex drive, fighting off disease, and strengthening your overall health. And you’re in control.
It’s actually an approach to eating that simplifies things greatly. Yes, there are detailed approaches to it, but the easy to follow principle is that you eat by the clock. You set the hours that you eat. This will give you enhanced food freedom as you’ve never had before.
The fasting window you can use can range anywhere from sixteen hours all the way up to thirty-six hours and each of these has their own specific benefits. I am going to show you how to make this new form of eating seem effortless.
Intermittent fasting is indeed the answer
Well, if it’s the answer, what is the question, you might ask. It’s really the only answer to the question on everyone’s mind…
“Is there an eating approach that puts me in control, that actually works…"
If you look at all the research and compare high-fat diets to low-fat diets, the high carb programs to low carb keto programs to the high protein ones you will discover that many of these do work to elicit an initial period of weight loss. There is no “killer food” that ruins your eating plans. What causes diets to fail, are psychological and social limitations that we don’t deal with, like booze, late-night eating etc.
You need something with rules that work for your lifestyle, something that gives you the flexibility to still have a life you can enjoy, whilst still having a body that you can enjoy looking at.
On the most basic level, only 2 things matter: the calories you eat and taking in a balance of macro’s - proteins, carbs, and fats. The manipulation of these 2 factors will see you progress through the phases of the Thorfit approach.
So why do people struggle with their diets? It’s because the system is broken. People are taught that eating can only be done one way and this creates a system that is always hungry and anticipating the next snack. They burn less fat because they spend too much time eating. They miss the foods they are not meant to be eating and binge on those in moments of weakness because it's hard to resist the foods you love.
This is why intermittent fasting is so successful. It eliminates all the problems that cause us to fail.
Diet Fix #1
Don't’ we need to eat breakfast?
Most people who fast intermittently will eliminate breakfast. Their first meal will be in the afternoon. This is exactly the opposite advice you’re given by dieticians and doctors alike. For years, we’re been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, people are scolded when they skip breakfast, especially those embarking on a weight loss plan. If we follow the calories in vs calories out, then the pro breakfast crowd are suggesting that you will be fuller and will thus eat less during the day. The only real argument here revolves around insulin sensitivity. The more sensitive your body is to insulin, the more you will burn fat and lose muscle. Increasing this sensitivity leads to more efficient dieting. The pro-breakfast crowd declares that insulin sensitivity is higher in the mornings. Eating a carb-rich meal early in the day is their way of taking in energy without weight gain.
The problem here, is that insulin sensitivity is NOT higher in the wee hours of the morning. It’s higher after a minimum of 8 hours of fasting. It just so happens that you’re fasting while you’re asleep. More specifically, your insulin sensitivity is highest when your glycogen levels are low, which is at the end of your 8 hour fast.
Intermittent fasting takes things a step further and turns your body into a fat-burning muscle-building machine. You see, when you skip brekkie and extend the fasting period, even more, you’re increasing insulin sensitivity even more. There’s another plus, - your insulin sensitivity is increased even more when you exercise in a fasted state. Your body is set to maximize its fat-burning ability even more.
When you do finally have food, you turn what you do put into your system into super fuel. Insulin will make sure that all the macros are placed where they belong. ie protein is going straight to the areas that you worked out.
Diet Fix #2
You choose how often you eat
There is so much confusion about what you can and can’t eat, when it comes to other diets. Caloric restrictive diets like Weightwatchers create confusion when it comes to the frequency of meals you can eat. We’ve all read somewhere that in order to lose weight, you need to keep the metabolism primed and running by eating 6 small low-fat meals a day. This form of eating has been used by bodybuilders and dieticians so long, it’s been taken as fact, BUT IT’S NOT GREAT... - here's why:
While it’s true that your bodily functions require some food for energy, don’t forget that the leftovers are transported to your adipose tissue and gives you love handles. Protein is the most metabolically expensive food. Up to 30% of the calories you eat from protein are burned up during digestion. Carbs are less metabolically active, burning between 6 to 8% of your intake. Fats, require about 4%.
The multiple meals per day strategy was based on the energy expended to digest the food, but as you can see, it only forms a small part of energy expended and in reality, your body doesn’t care about how many meals you eat. Read that again… You can choose how many meals you want to eat every day. - calories in vs calories out. The thermic effect of food is directly proportional to caloric intake, so there’s no difference between 3 meals a day or 6 meals a day. You can eat 10 meals or you can eat 1 meal. - same same as long as the calories remain the same.
At the end of the day, you should choose the approach that best suits your lifestyle. - the one that is most sustainable. I have experimented with both ways of eating, and the higher meal frequency plan has me thinking of food all day long. When it’s time to eat, the meal portions are small and I’m left feeling hungry. Less meals allow me to eat larger portions and this satiates more, creating a feeling of fullness.
When there are fewer meals, you have more control over the composition of these and fewer opportunities to mess up, by adding a slice of bread when you think nobody’s watching.
THE HEALTHIEST, MOST SCIENTIFICALLY SUPPORTED DIET EVER CREATED…
The main reason I want you to follow the intermittent fasting protocol is that there are no downsides, and it’s the only eating strategy that helps you to optimize hormones. For starters, there’s your improved insulin sensitivity which is increased even more when paired with exercise. Fasting also increases the production of GH (growth hormone), it offsets the production of cortisol, helps control leptin and gherkin levels to keep you satiated and facilitates an optimal environment for testosterone production.
- For all these benefits to become part of your life, all you have to do, is define a window of time during which you will not be eating. The window can shift according to your lifestyle requirements. You won’t find a diet that’s healthy, that has fewer rules. With the right approach, you can have alcohol, you can eat the dessert on cheat days.
All you have to do, is shrink the number of hours during which you eat. It’s an adjustment, but it comes with so many health benefits that I would urge you to try it out before you decide that it’s not your thing. Some people are hesitant because they feel that they will be starving and running out of energy during the fasting periods. I assure you that you will not starve during your 16-hour window. The fact that ghrelin production is lower, means that you won’t have hunger pangs. Many of our tribe have noted that they had often surpassed the fasting window and actually did not feel hungry.
In the end, I want you to look and feel great. If you’re looking to drop weight, fasting can make you drop your food intake by 30% without increasing hunger. In the absence of food, your body will go looking in other places, which encourages cellular repair. A cell will turn to its own damaged cells for energy. While this is not good when maintained indefinitely, the periods are small enough for your body to benefit greatly from this form of clean-up, also known as autophagy. This form of housecleaning helps curb the spread of disease by getting rid of the “rubbish” that is accumulating.
The university of Utha conducted extensive tests in a survey based on 500 participants who had their regular habits assessed. These habits covered eating schedules, the choice to smoke or not, consumption of alcohol and coffee. - Only one trait - fasting - was correlated with lower rates of heart disease. Even when adjusted for age, weight, cholesterol etc the differences between fasters that those who did not, still remained.
THE EASY GUIDE TO INTERMITTENT FASTING
I’ve just shared a whole lot of information on why intermittent fasting is an incredibly effective way to eat and has more health benefits than any other diet plan. It seems like we were designed to eat this way. And while it’s quite hard to believe, your body will adapt in less than a week, and your hunger pangs will disappear and will be replaced with freedom and control
Just to recap, if you’re feeling a bit confused…
Fast - Go without eating for an amount of time… most days, this will be 16 hours.
Eat - Select an 8-hour window and use that as your eating time.
Be flexible - If you have a late dinner planned with friends, just start your meals for the day a bit later, as long as they fall into the eating window.
Even if you don’t exercise. Even if you have looked at the MyPlate app and have decided that knowing calories is for the birds, the single biggest change you can make to your lifestyle, is found in beginning to intermittently fast. Needless to say, a healthy exercise plan will ad to the effect of creating an optimal hormonal environment for your body.