Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
February 26, 2018
So, we have talked about all sorts of ways to eat in this blog. From the time I blogged about the Atkins Diet to the time I described the much maligned Keto Diet (which is the cousin of the Atkins Diet). We have discussed a high carb diet that is rich in rice and beans as well as discussed the Paleo Diet, which essentially restricts the total amount of ingredients you can have in your food. As for me, I am a plant based eater that who has taken on the philosophical and ethical side of the diet known as Veganism, restricting all animal products from my eating regimen for various reasons. Let’s see here, I have rained down praise on the Mediterranean Diet as well, which I think is the only “diet” out there that can still enable most people to have freedom with their food choices. We have talked about calorie restriction (which I stumbled out of ridiculously) and also talked about people that eat eight times a day so they can chuck giant kegs and pull Mack trucks. The trouble with any diet is the fact you can find some good results, seeing the short term changes and be able to boast about it. Well, the trouble is we have discovered that if you take a more restrictive approach to your eating regimen, you may have to stay on the diet indefinitely. Can you live off the Keto or Paleo Diet and make mad gains? Yes you can, but you are pretty much restricted to that lifestyle. For me, Veganism/Plant based eating is no issue for me due to the fact I have such a wide range of food to eat (which is why I recommend it) but even if I was forced back into the old life, my body is going to revolt against me. And there lies the problem with diets, but what if I told you to continue on your regular eating regimen (provided it is not all McDonalds and Doritos….yeesh I sure love putting these guys down).
Pull up a chair and let me tell you about Intermittent Fasting. The first time I really heard about this idea was a couple years ago in the usual way where some ad pops up on a random Youtube video and a well cut, bearded dude tells you he doesn’t work out but maintains the body of an adonis. Well, we know that guy hits the gym so let’s get that lie out of the way, but on the other hand, the other part about intermittent fasting has some legs to it. Here is an intro for you to read! https://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting Anyway, the most popular method of fasting these days is to maintain the same sort of caloric intake you have for a day but condense it into an eight hour period. Sounds easy right? Well, this does take a lot of planning and here is how it works. So you essentially have to figure out an eight hour period where you can eat all of your food. For me, that would be pretty simple, for I could make my period 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and maintain a good eating regimen during that time. The problem of course is when I get overtime and then have to go straight to the gym. Which is why I hate overtime and wish it would end at my job (it’s been six months!!!). So there you have it, you eat at 10 a.m. and then you eat at four or something and then maybe go hit your workout at 6 p.m. You have maintained your standard workout and eating regimen and can maintain something of a regular schedule. If you can maintain the same 16-hour period without food, then you can easily maintain this method of eating. You might be asking “what about breakfast?” That is a good question to ponder. I even wrote about this once a couple years ago (jeez, have I written about everything? Seriously?!). There are a couple strains of thought on this, one where if you do eat in the morning it gets your body working and starts the furnace that is the metabolism. Well, the trouble is you are most likely burning up your food as opposed to fat. You see, under the rules of intermittent fasting, you can drink a bunch of fluids in the morning and force your body to start processing and moving. Since you have no food in your stomach, you have to use up the fat stores in your body to maintain the energy flow and boom!…..fat burn and weight loss begins. You get Keto Diet type results without having to put nasty butter in your coffee and eating tons of avocados (unless that is your thing) and still maintain your usual caloric intake. Truthfully, this sounds almost too good to be true, but there is some good science that indicates intermittent fasting can help prolong your life. https://www.inquisitr.com/4801791/intermittent-fasting-may-increase-your-lifespan-according-to-harvard/ Now this 16-hour daily fast is the most popular of all the types of the fasting, but there are some other types if you wanna check them out. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-do-intermittent-fasting#section6
So in a lot of ways, it sounds like restricting your diet and not eating so often is great…right? Well, there can be some problems with the equation, and it really depends on you and the way your body adjusts to the program. https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/7-fitness-quotes-that-are-so-relatable-they-ll-inspire-you-to-work-out-more.html The biggest problems are obvious…hunger and binge eating. When your body starts getting into this mode that it is hungry all of the time, you are going to run into the typical pitstops that hunger can create. Decreased job performance, irritability and the worst problem is your body might think you are in starvation mode and therefore start automatically saving your fat stores. This means your muscle can degrade in the process. So if you are going to fast be prepared. The other issue is that this hunger leads to the other side of the coin…you might get into a massive binge eating cycle. If you start fasting for a day at a time, you might start eating more calories than you should on the non-fast days, because let’s face it, we have all run into the “reward” based style of eating where you think you deserve it. Skipping a day of eating and not killing anyone in the process is what I would call a good day. LET’S GO GET TWO TTLA SANDWICHES FROM WHOLE FOODS!! Just remember if this is not working for you, then clearly you have to try something else. Also, the long term results could be devastating, for your body’s metabolism might get all screwy and you could pack some of that weight back on.
Truthfully, we are all for trying new stuff and you have to remember, not all the ideas out in the world are meant to be right for you and your body. Intermittent fasting sounds like a good idea (and I will be trying it myself as well) but if you are not getting the results that work for you, it might be time to try something else like maybe a gluten free kinda diet…which ironically is what I will be writing about next week. Anyway, have a good week and take care!
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.