I never use the same protocol or regiment for the same clients. The human body is so uniquely designed that no 2 people in the world are identical nor need the identical practices. However there are a few things that I do live by and recommend to all aspiring to reach their physical peak- Let’s start with Intermittent fasting. You may have heard it before, but do not think this is some new popular dietary fad. This practice was more a way of life that has evolved over the past millennia.
Since the dawn of recorded time, in fact since before the word “doctor” came into existence, animals and man fasted as a way of life. Whereas modern medical practitioners admit that they have no cures, only drugs that mask the symptoms while causing yet other symptoms to appear.
Let’s for a minute put aside the object of “losing weight”- this may be the goal of many of you; however, understand that this is a side effect of a much deeper and bigger issue.
Each cell of your body is a complete living entity with its own metabolism. It needs a constant supply of oxygen and sufficient nourishment. When due to nutritional deficiencies, sluggish metabolism, sedentary life, overeating and consequent poor digestion and assimilation of food, lack of fresh air and sufficient exercise and rest, our cells are deprived… they start to degenerate… the normal process of cell replacement and rebuilding slows down and your body starts to grow old, its resistance to disease will diminish and you become ‘sick’. The extra pounds are merely a byproduct. In addition, the body’s performance is not at it’s fullest potential. Millions of people walk around daily with this condition and yet may not notice this ailment. However, just because it is a gradual one, do not take it lightly as it certainly can be a fatal one.
The good news is that the human body is the most incredible feat of invention- it is capable of so many, even miraculous, proficiencies that science itself has yet to discover it’s full grasp.
Some of these skills is the ability to heal itself, advance itself, and to channel it’s amazing store of energy.
The practice of intermittent fasting showcases these abilities.
Do not confuse fasting with starving or wasting. Wasting is the end result of prolonged caloric restriction – where your fat reserves are almost completely used up and can no longer supply your body with enough energy to meet its needs. This is when you see abnormal physiology such as muscle wasting (loss) and a slowed metabolism. So ‘wasting’ is the end result of prolonged extreme calorie restriction – occurring after months or even years of a chronically low intake and possible nutrient deficiencies, but not something that happens in a 72-hour period without food.
Let me be clear: the purpose of fasting is not to deprive one’s self, but to give way to some of the many natural system that the body has in place to mend and develop. Intermittent fasting is a process of giving the digestive structure time to rest whilst allowing the body to refocus it’s energy on healing and restoring. When this process is practiced in broken segments of 16-36 hours, it produces highly beneficial results.
This practice has been part of man’s way of life and the body’s function during the hunting and gathering era- a time when we spent the whole day working and foraging for food to survive. Today, as it is so readily available, consumption has turned into a plethora of other customs and habits from entertainment, social routine, and even to the relief of boredom and stress. No wonder the mere act of eating has become the subject of several multi billion dollar enterprises. As a result of this new era of binging, we clutter our bodies with much more than it is used to, blocking neuro pathways and obstructing the body’s natural systems.
The specific type of fasting I am about to describe is not just a tool for weight loss, but rather could be considered a fairly simple (yet effective) lifestyle adjustment that can help you lose weight, increase stamina/energy and improve your performance and health WITHOUT having to resort to special ‘rules of eating’, taking pills or powders or electing for invasive surgery.
Probably the most important reason is that the body uses quite a bit of energy to digest food, and when fasting this energy becomes available for other uses. In the fasting state, the body will scour for dead cells, damaged tissues, fatty deposits, tumors, abscesses, all of which are burned for fuel or expelled as waste. The elimination of these obstructions restores the immune system functionality and metabolic process to an optimum state. Fasting restores good digestion and elimination, and peristaltic action is quickened. Fasting allows a deep, physiological rest of the digestive organs, and the energy saved goes into self-healing and self-repairing. By eliminating obstructions, by cleansing, detoxification, and purifying the intestines, the blood, and the cells, we can overcome many of our physical ills or handicaps as well as getting a boost in energy. Fasting not only removes obstructions and helps the body to heal itself, it is also rejuvenating and life-extending. These resulting benefits can have lasting affects in your mental and emotional health.
There is a remarkable redistribution of nutrients in the fasting body. It hangs on to precious minerals and vitamins while catabolizing on old tissue, toxins and inferior materials.
I don’t have to tell you that when the body is restored to it’s optimum state, there’s no limiting it’s capabilities.
Fasting and Performance on the field
With regard to exercising on a fasted state, this program is of course not with out guidelines.
Let me be clear that as an individual, you are responsible for understanding your body and knowing it’s character and boundaries. Some people with hypoglycemia, diabetes, and the like will of course need to set margins when it comes to competing or performing at high physical activity.
Having said that, if you do have a clean bill of health, I have discovered that after easing myself into the practice, my stamina on the field has improved immeasurably.
Intermittently fasting even once a week reeducates the body to tap into fat stores for energy rather than the limited resources found in the food we have eaten beforehand. The energy in our fat stores have also proven to be over 50 fold of that found in the meals we consume to fuel our performance.
A runner racing at a competitive pace in the boston marathon will burn an average of 3000 calories. These athletes do not consume 3000 calories before their race… the amount of energy it would take to digest that would significantly weaken the competitor’s pace. Instead, the body undergoes a switch in gears during which it refocuses it’s arsenal in its stored energy. This switch happens around that same time when the athlete experiences fatigue right before his second wind. Practicing intermittent fasting bridges that transition and teaches our bodies to become more flexible and dynamic, all the while creating more explosivity in our performance.
Many will contest that this act will decrease muscle mass and strength. However, if one exercises proper nutritional replenishment, muscle deterioration will not be an option. An inside tip on top of a balanced diet is to take amino acids while training- this will support muscle growth and prevent atrophy.
How often should I fast and for how long?
I recommend easing into this regiment when first starting out. Due to difference in hormone levels, men will need more time fasting than women.
I recommend a 24 hour fast once every 10-14 days starting after an early supper (that way you can still have your dinner the next day) and a 16-20 hour fast(women- men respectively) every week.
You may go through an adjustment period in the beginning, but I promise your body will be reaping the benefits all the while. Give it a few weeks and pay attention to how your body starts to react, adjust, and produce results. You’ll be surprised to see what you’re capable of J
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions on specifics. I would be happy to help!
Stay tuned for the sequel that goes hand in hand with this practice- THE DETOX- your key to youth, virility and stamina.