Monthly Archives: July 2015

Week 1 – 6 of Intermittent Fasting

So, do you guys remember through the past few posts of mine I’ve mentioned a change in my diet?  Yeah.  I’ve been fasting for the past 11 weeks, however my blog post was getting quite long so I decided to break it up.

This is part one

I’ve been looking at changes to my diet, not faddy changes or “Do this for xx weeks & drop x dress size”, no.  Something that is right for me. For life. Probably….hopefully.  I did Dukan a few years ago,but it wasn’t feasible to do something like that long term; even though everything I read about it said that you could – I personally felt that it wasn’t.  I looked in to IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) but, still being a n00b to all things macro it sounded epically complicated.  A colleague of mine told me about Lean Gains, so I looked in to it….It also didn’t feel 100% right, but I pursued this path & finally (after discussing it with Andy) settled on Intermittent Fasting.  I chose to eat between 2pm & 10pm – meaning my 7:30am gym sessions would be fasted.

May the fourth.  Day 1 of IF.

I have my BCAA, prepped 4 days worth of food stuffs & Omega 3 supplements.  I’ve read countless articles on-line about it & have sought the advice of Andy, my PT as well as a colleague who has been on an IFplan for some time.

I. AM. READY.

Well, sort of.  I’ve read that IF can whack female hormones out of balance & if you’re completely ravenous you SHOULD eat because that’s your body’s way of alerting you to something being really wrong. (something to do with the instinct to be able to carry life & whathaveyou) also, I’ve decided to learn my macros as I go. I know what they should be, but I don’t have that kind of relationship with food that I instantly know whether I need more protein or more carbs, etc.

I got a little peckish around 11am, but didn’t give in. I got myself a huge cup of water & chugged those til it got to 2pm…..the start of my eating window!!  I easily blasted through 1,000 calories at lunch & felt quite, quite stuffed.  Returned home after work & ate some Greek yoghurt with nuts/seeds/oats and had my dinner an hour later.

I’m below my calorie intake for the day, but not by much.  I could quite easily only eat 1,000 calories in a day before, so being at 2,000+ today is a pretty big deal.  I still feel full.

Measurements:

  • Underbust: 29
  • Waist 32.5
  • high hip 37
  • hip 41
  • thigh 20.5
  • calf 15
  • bicep 10.5

*******************************

Day 2 – quick update.  Still felt full when I went to bed, woke up & wasn’t hungry.  However, slept longer than I’d have liked to. Not sure if I was too tired or whether it was a weird side effect of LG.

Day 6 -weighed myself in the gym yesterday, showing a 3kg (6lb) loss.

Week 2:

Hunger still kicking in at around the 11:30am, however most days I have stayed strong – only nibbling on a smidge of protein if I felt like my stomach was gonna eat itself.

I’ve not used My Fitness Pal this week to track macros, I’ve not used anything & I know I need to rectify this.  MFP has been too inaccurate due to needing different levels of calories on training and non-training days.

I did go to the gym one morning without previously having BCAA’s – which I will never do again!  I had to admit defeat and stop training because everything just felt too heavy.

Eating seems to be falling in to a slight pattern:

Training:

2pm Breakfast

4pm Lunch

6:30pm Snack

8pm Dinner

Non Training:

2pm: Lunch

5pm: Snack

7pm: Dinner

Week 3:

My hunger pangs have gradually started to take longer to appear, ranging to mostly after 12pm now.  Tiredness subsiding & training getting back to normal in the gym.

ended up ravenous one morning, so ate when I woke & then didn’t touch food for about 9 hours.

Week 4:

Towards the end of the week I’ve started to get tired again, I’ve not tracked my macros this week (oops) which I know I should have, however I know the tiredness is due to not eating properly, so from tomorrow (start of week 5) I’ll be on more structure (hopefully)

Week 5:

The weeks seem to be flying though. This week – tracking macros a little better than I have been, I’ve lost about 10lb since I started too!  Strength training is starting to normalise as well – not back up to weights on a few moves but not as bad as it has been, sought advice from a different PT as I wondered if it was psychosomatic but he said it’s most likely to be the lack of calories on a morning; which I guess makes sense.

Week 6:

Macro counting religiously didn’t last long, I still check it from time to time, but I tend to focus on what I’m eating – I weigh my foods out when portioning for work & ensure to include good carbs in every meal.

Weight training is/was getting back to normal – I seem to be balancing out now my body is getting used to training fasted….mostly.  i have a new programme as well.  This week has not been good for training though, I’ve not had as much training time as I’d have liked, but it’s almost a new week!

*****

I told a few people what I was doing & I got some really, really mixed reactions.  Some were supportive but a lot were confused as to why I was doing it.  I don’t need to justify my eating habits to anyone, & I definitely do not need the opinions of others thrust down my throat about why I shouldn’t do it, cos “I don’t need to lose weight” it’s not about weight loss & it never has been.  I struggled to get up early enough to eat a decent breakfast prior to going to the gym on a morning.  This way I can grab an extra half hour’s sleep, drink my BCAA while I cycle & then drink my bodyweight in coffee/water until my feeding window.

The science behind IF is just:

 Fasting can accelerate fat loss by creating a favourable metabolic environment for the mobilisation and burning of fatty acids. Such environment is characterised by lower insulin (the “storage” hormone) and higher growth hormone levels. In addition, exercising in a fasted state can further enhance the fat-burning effect.  A favourable metabolic environment means you have the potential to burn fat. The degree to which you actually do depends on a number of factors, including your body’s ability to run on fat rather that “sugar” (or glucose, the preferred source of energy).

**Weeks 7-12 will be published in early August, due to having minor spinal surgery next week.**

A mild image spam for you with special thanks to Andy for the deadlift pic (taken between May 5th & end of June)

*I’m aware most images are of my back – however, that’s been my main focus for strength, so shut up!*

If you would like to know more about IF,  http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting is a great start

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Let’s Talk About Food

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, food!  Glorious food.  There’s so much to choose from, not just the different flavours but different lifestyles too.  It’s no wonder people can get confused about what to eat & where to shop to get the best value/quality products.

However, my intro has very little to do with the rest of this post.  I merely wanted to illustrate that we have more choices now than ever before on what fuel we put into our bodies.

So, kids.  Who has them?  I DO!  both my boys are tall and very lean, they eat good, wholesome foods with the occasional treat; cos let’s face it….who doesn’t want a treat?!  Aaaaaaaanyhoo, if they’re at the table & tell us that they’re finished – even if there is food left on the plate, what is the response from the parent:

A:  Tell them that they can leave their plate & they’re hungry later, the food will still be there. (up to an hour-ish)

B: Force them to finish their meal, by saying they get nothing else/no dessert.

C: Just give them the dessert because it’s easier

I don’t want to know your answer, I am not here to lecture & judge you on what you eat & how to raise your children, however let me tell you a story:

As a child,if my mother left food on her plate/said she was full before clearing her plate, she’d be reminded that there were starving children in Africa who would LOVE the food that she was refusing to eat. I too remember being told this by my grandmother when I was eating at her house during the brief time I lived in the UK as a child.

Now, it takes approximately twenty minutes AFTER eating for your brain to register that you are full – so if, you feel full whilst you still have food on your plate imagine how you’re going to feel twenty minutes later.  Team that with essentially being forced by guilt in to finishing the food on your plate…..how will you feel then?!

Ordering your child to finish their food, despite them telling you they’re full is borderline abuse!  Their brain/stomach is telling them they no longer need to eat food – yet you are telling them to finish it.  Would you do that to yourself?  You feel full.  You still have food on your plate.  You eat it? No.Why would you do that?  You box it & refrigerate it for later, or maybe give it to the dog but I cannot see that any adult would willingly force more food into their face.

Both my mother & grandmother now have type 2 Diabetes. Coincidence?  Type 2 can be brought on by being overweight, along with other factors; such as age, genetics & ethnicity. Your risk of developing it increases if (as a woman) you have a waist measuring over 31.5″ – this is due to the fat around the abdomen area releases chemicals that can upset your cardiovascular & metabolic systems.  My mother & grandmother are not thin ladies – their Diabetes diagnosis’ concerned me – before I began training my waist was 33″, I’m now at 30.5″

Still don’t believe me that what you do to your children can affect their adult lifestyles?

Exhibit A:

I’m not saying every kid who is forced to finish their food will have a heart attack at 32, but the pattern is usually an overweight child equals an overweight/obese adult. Do you want to outlive your children? Do you want to have a “we need a bigger coffin” conversation with a funeral director, or contact the local zoo to have them cremated?  (This is due to normal crematorium not being able to burn the body due to its size/fat percentage) Do you want them to arrive at the funeral home on a flatbed truck due to hearses not being reinforced to hold their weight?

If my words have scared you, for you or for your kids then good because I have made my point. MAKE THE CHANGE, before it’s too late.


I’m As Mad As Hell……

Another post I’ve pondered for a few days.

“It’s so easy for you. You’re thin already….”

“I bet you hardly have to work at all”

Sound familiar?

Well……let’s discuss why you should never, ever, ever, EVER say these to someone who trains.  (Even if you think it’s a compliment, it isn’t; you’re disregarding EVERYTHING they’ve done, so NO. Stop it. Now.)

Point one:

You may see me as thin.

You may have even thought the same a year ago when I weighed over a stone more than I do now. I carry my weight relatively well (I’m 5 foot 10 too), but that doesn’t mean I’m “thin”. Up until recently, my BMI (even though I loathe it) said I was overweight. My body fat percentage, again has only recently come down to a normal range.

It’s easy for me?  It’s EASY for me?  It’s easy for ME?! 

How dare you assume these things! Have you seen me train? do you know how far I’ve come in 8 months? Do you know how many times I’ve woken up & not wanted to go to the gym? Do you understand how disheartening it is not being able to lift more/do more reps/cycle faster one week to the next? You don’t see the struggle, you don’t see me willing myself to do that last rep, to pedal past the overwhelming quad soreness.

You don’t see me spend my Sunday’s cooking food for the week, or making sure I’ve packed protein shakes/snacks/spare socks etc. You don’t see me compare myself to others & look at how much our progress varies & how much I want to be better/stronger/more defined.  You don’t know how many times I’ve struggled to walk down stairs or get changed because muscles on me have screamed at them being used for the slightest of tasks.  (Can I get a Whoop-Whoop for DOMS???)

Point two: See point one’s reply, oh and……