If you think about it, you’re exactly halfway through the program.
(3 Phases, each lasting 4 weeks…)
Last week, we spoke extensively about the differences between phase1 and phase 2. While this program is presented to you over a period of 3 months, I sometimes worry that people will consider the journey “done” when they get to the end of the 3rd month.
I would far prefer for you to see this as a LIFESTYLE SYSTEM.
Sure, adapting to the new lifestyle will take you about 3 months, but once there, you should carry on with your good habits. Life is a marathon and not a sprint.
You’ve worked hard to set yourself on the path of better health. Your clothes fit better. You’re getting stronger and your energy increases.
Your friends and family have applauded your success in turning things around. – But now the applause has died down. There’s less cheering from the peanut gallery and you find yourself returning to old bad habits, – after all, you can just get back on the wagon.
Theoretically, this is true, but practically your backsliding is just another habit that places you into the category of people who try a thing and then abandon it, and while you experienced some success initially, (you finished the program) but you’re already having to count through more belt holes whilst getting dressed.
I’m going to challenge you now… Stay the course. This is not a program that you start and end. This is a way of living. The first three months will afford a complete turnaround. – I will set you up in a way that you can continue to live within a routine which will ensure that you keep getting better and making progress.
Imagine you could continue making strength and health gains for the next 10 plus years. Maybe they won’t be as dramatic as the first 3 months, but given the increments over let’s say 5 years…
I’ve been practicing what I’m preaching for 5 years and can say that at the age of 52, I’m in the best shape of my life and hope to be making improvements for another 10 years…
If you were my friend (and I hope you are) and we were having a drink at a bar (and I hope we will), I’d slap you on the back, and implore you to stay the course, STICK WITH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED and order you a drink, in celebration of how far you’ve come…
Diet and Food
How did your CHEAT DAY work out for you? Did you have some fun, eating those delicious “MOST WANTED” foods?
Yeah, decadent to the MAX.
Today, I give you 2 choices. You can go hard to the wind, or you can ease into this mode.
I had my cheat day yesterday, and it was glorious. Granny was in town and took us all to Café Roux, where I literally inhaled the breakfast burger, aptly named because of the egg on it. This was accompanied by a large portion of chips and as much ketchup as I could have, without making it look like I’d discovered that it was for free.
When we got back home, I had a Peanut butter sandwich, in case I had not covered the sweet base sufficiently. Heading into supper, I went to the store and came back with a few head-sized honey melons. These were halved and filled with yogurt, honey, and nuts. We ate those outsides and all agreed that it was simply too hot for pizza. After dinner, I headed to the store to pick up something sweet in the form of wine gums for me and the kids. I may have had some peanut butter stuck to my cheeks, because I had me some, just because I love it.
I tell you these things because I’d like you to understand that this is the day that you really can and should have whatever you like. I’ve been doing this for a while, so I don’t look for that point where you’re about to explode anymore. I’m ok with tucking into what I feel like though.
- The effect? When the starch hits my system and the insulin spike comes, I am wired for an hour, but then the inevitable crash happens and I time it so that I’m snoring like a baby… getting ready for Monday.
So let’s talk about Monday…
Over the years I have learned that asking one to do a complete fast day, can be a little scary. I have seen people run away from the course, because the thought of abstinence from food which lasts for 36 hours, makes people nervous. Let me tell you that you can go a whole lot longer without putting a morsel into your mouth. Of course, it takes a little “getting used to” and you may hear your tummy grumbling, but it’s so worth it. You see, when you give your system an extended break, you return back into the eating fold on Tuesday midday, in better shape than ever before. You will have allowed your body to go into a Deep Autophagy. It’s like spring cleaning for the body and it really does remove those waste protein cells that are lurking in the body. Other benefits include your being able to eat more during the week because you’ve omitted 4 meals. You have an additional caloric budget to indulge in.
What happens during hunger? – On a cellular level, your body becomes stronger. Cells that are borne of hardship, are stronger and live longer. Life is like that too.
I urge you to seek the discomfort of hunger. You will notice how your concentration improves. We somehow think more clearly when the tummy is empty. Again, life is like that too…
On a physical level, you will definitely be able to handle the discomfort of not eating. Think of those who skip meals, not because they choose to, but because they just don’t have the food. When you don’t do the knee-jerk “shove another morsel into my cake-face” you break the habitual dependency to the kind of eating that is habitual. The next day, the advent of food is seen more consciously. You will appreciate the food.
What are you to have as your first meal to break the fast? – I would recommend protein and plants and olive oil. In this way, you’re not sending a whiplash of carbs into the system, which will give you an insulin spike. I sometimes treated myself to Sushi after the fast, but found that this spiked my insulin so much, I had to go and lie down for an hour, not being able to keep my eyes open.
And now, I am going to offer you the softer version. You are free to take this road too, since I don’t want to scare you off.
During the first week of phase 2, conduct your Monday as if it were any other Monday. – Just do the IF as usual
During week 2, do the IF as ususal, but have a small meal at night, not more than 500 calories
During Week 3, drop the Monday IF in favor of a single meal at night, not exceeding 500 calories
Then, on the 4th Monday, you’re ready to remove your training wheels and actually abstain from food for the entire Monday.
Your first meal happens on Tuesday midday.
If you’re having sleepless nights about doing this, then I would add that you may have a bulletproof Coffee. This will bolster your energy.
Good luck with this. It’s a mental struggle, more than a physical one, but you’re telling your habits and your tummy whose boss, and this makes you powerful. – Besides, it’s really good for you.
By now you’ve gotten used to recording your food intake.
Keep hitting your macro’s and stay below your caloric intake recommendations. You will see these on the App.
If your weight is no longer dropping, simply cut your food intake by around 200 calories and let me know. You do need to weigh yourself to know that you’re on track.
There was a time when I was very prescriptive about the exact modality of your training regime, but I have eased up in this regard. Different people love to exercise in different ways, and because it’s a mental game as much as it is a physical one, please… do what you enjoy…. But
Yeah, I have a little “but” to add to the mix. If you’re older than 40, then you should be trying to get in some resistance training. Your muscles are waning (atrophy) and the only way to stop this is to subject them to stress, in the form of weights etc. You have to break them down to make them come back stronger.
Get your cardio in, not so much for fat loss, but for the longevity benefits you derive from being out of breath for 10minutes, at least 3 times a week. When you do this, your cells get stronger. Their internal energy (see it as a light that shines brighter) swells and this bodes well for overall health. You want your cells to be strong and adaptable to stress. A well-fed and lazy cell is one that did not need to get stronger and will die sooner when faced with stress or adversity.
Lastly, become aware that we are the sum of all the little things we do. Are you doing things that will sabotage your progress? You can go for the longest runs, but if you’re lighting up at night, then you’re not aligned and while you may extract some benefit, you won’t get the full advantage of this full-frontal attack on the subject of your health and longevity.
Decide that you want to be around for your grandchildren if there is already such pitter-patter in your hallways. Otherwise, make the decisions to do it for yourself… but try not to kid yourself, because you know you and yeah, you should like yourself.
Have a great week ahead