The Power of Intermittent Fasting

It’s funny how the world works, where the right people and things are attracted to you at the right time.

 


Just these two weeks, I’m trialing a new programme called Intermittent Fasting. I have journalled my experience in the previous posts. The first Trial Day last week had left me with a nagging headache throughout the day.

And as I was surfing and doing my work tonight, I chanced upon this article from BBC News, on the Power of Intermittent Fasting! Is this coincidental or what? It was an interesting read because I learnt new scientific evidences for the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

I just completed Trial Day 2 a few hours ago. It was another 15 hour fast which began the night before.I was pleasantly surprised that the experience today was vastly different from that of the first day.
1. I did not have bad cravings for food throughout.
2. No sign of any headache
3. I did not binge on food at the end of the fast.

Trial day 2 went by smoothly for 15 hours!!

If you would like to understand more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting, go ahead and understand more from BBC News here!

 

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Intermittent Fasting – Plunging into the Deep

Yeah I’d say I plunged myself right into the deep ocean,because I made up my mind to go for it just over the weekend. I didn’t spend a long time planning for it. Nor did I spend an adequate amount of time reading up more details on the process of it and how I can better prepare for it. Nope, I kind of assume I will be able to handle it and just started doing it!

Like I mentioned in the last post, the chosen day for Trial Fasting was Tuesday, 9th October. So I started my 24 hour fasting cycle at 11pm on the night of Monday, 8th October.

11pm: Full of optimism and anticipation of the Trial

12md – 6am: Sleep

7am: Stomach growling but easy to ignore (busy getting twins and myself ready for school)

9am: Stomach still growling but still easy to ignore (busy at school); Drank 500ml water

11am: Drank 8oz water mixed with 3 teaspooons Greens+ (Definitely prefer eating my real greens!)

1pm: Still going strong ignoring the hunger pangs and drank more water. Started feeling a headache welling up in the head.

2.30pm: Headache still going on. Got unbelievably hungry while doing video editing! Decided to have a snack bar to tie myself over the afternoon rehearsals (wasn’t sure if there is a possibility that I’d faint from hunger later on in the midst of rehearsal)

4pm: Tummy still rumbling, headache still going on. But was still able to ignore due to distraction from rehearsals. Drank water throughout the rehearsal.

6.30pm: Done with rehearsal. Got unbearably hungry and snacked on a tuna bun. Drank more water. Got hungry again in a jiffy.

8.00pm: Snacked on two slices of rock-melon and felt significantly better. Got hungry again soon after.

10.30pm: Made myself a multi-grain chicken breast sandwich (from leftover chicken). Completely satisfied with my meal, though I didn’t feel particularly full.

And my 24-hour Fasting Trial Day ended when the clock struck 11pm.

My Conclusion

Progressive Fasting

I should have started with Intermittent Fasting in a progressive manner. I was perhaps too ambitious to try to achieve a 24-hour stint on the first ever Fasting episode in my life! Perhaps starting with a 15-hour fast once weekly for the first 2 weeks would have been more appropriate for my body to adapt to this new nutritional strategy – which is about right since I surrendered and snacked at about 2.30pm (15.5 hours). After 15, I could then progress to 18, then to 20, then to the final 24-hour goal! The nagging headache might also have been avoided if Fasting was done progressively.

Thank God for the Distractions

This is so true for an amateur in Fasting! The hunger pangs were perpetually present the whole time! If there were no distractions that came in the form of work, activities or the environment, my mind would constantly be reminded of the rumbling tummy and I would need a higher level of persuasive skills and mental strength to rid my mind of the feelings! So yes it was indeed a sound strategy to choose a busy day where it was easier for me to focus on other stuff than my tummy.

Starting Afresh

Though the nagging headache persisted for a good part of the day, it was gone by the time I woke up the next morning! Not only was the headache gone, I was largely aware that I felt exceptionally refreshed the next day! You know how sometimes your head feels clouded and blinded with numerous issues when you are at work? Well, I was feeling this way for the last couple of weeks. And yet I was clearly aware that I felt so different after the Trial Fasting Day – refreshed, light and energetic! I must say I cannot confirm if this feeling can be attributed directly to the Fasting Day, but I’d very much like to think so =0)

Is this what people call Detox? haha

Intermittent Fasting – How did this even Start?

As the name has it, Intermittent Fasting (IF) involves … yes …. Fasting.

Seriously, this is the last dieting/ nutritional strategy to ever cross my mind in my pursuit for a healthy, lean body. Why should I go hungry?

But when Fasting crossed my path recently, it caught my attention.

The Head Coach of Precision Nutrition, Dr John Berardi, experimented with Intermittent Fasting himself and shared his experiences with those who are interested in the topic. You could go to his website and download a free e-resource whereby he documented his experiences to share freely.

As what Coach JB said, he had to try it himself to discover and understand what IF is all about. It is not for everyone, period. But for those who are looking to get a leaner body, this may help achieve your goals. When a great and established coach like Dr JB bothers to put himself to test and experimentation, why shouldn’t I be open to it?

 And I am looking to get leaner anyway!

Also, Brad Pillon, author of Eat Stop Eat, mentioned that Fasting is great for productivity! For one it helps you save time because you don’t need to think about food. That got me sitting right up immediately! Though I love planning for the way I eat now, It’s not quite a bad idea that I do not have to think about food for a day! I can just spend all the time focusing on other stuff! He has a whole list of other benefits to promote fasting, which you can see from his website.

And I am always looking to do more with less!

Based on the above reasons and coupled with the motivation of wanting to be exposed to nutritional strategies that can work for myself, I decided to embark on the challenge of a 24 hour Fasting, in accordance to the plan recommended by Dr JB.

The chosen day was Tuesday, 9 October 2012.

It was a scheduled busy day in school.

There was no scheduled gym workout.

I should be able to complete my trial with the help of the many activities in the day to take my mind off the hunger pangs!

And so I started my Trial Fasting Day at 11pm on Monday, 8 October 2012.

I will be sharing my feelings and experiences on my Trial Fasting Day in the next post!

Look Out for It!

Powerfoods to Shrink your Gut and keep you Healthy for Life!

While I was changing nappies during maternity leave, I chanced upon two books during one of those rare trips to Kinokuniya. The dangerous thing about popping into bookstores is that I will usually come out with at least two books! Yes I love books and the feeling of flipping pages and using bookmarks.

So I was gonna say, I bought this loud, orange coloured book titled “the NEW Abs Diet” by David Zinczenko, Editor-in-chief at Men’s Health. I did not buy it because I wanted to look for the answer to washboard abs. I wanted to read about hs philosophy on the types of foods to take &/ or avoid in the quest for washboard abs. The idea was so that I can gather viewpoints from different subject matter experts, understand the diets they preach and the rationale behind their suggestions, so that you can be sure of the goodness of the super foods I will mention in this blog!

And so, David recommeds the POWER 12 foods which he believes will help you in the quest for a healthier, leaner life!

1. Almonds & other Nuts

2. Beans & Pulses

3. Spinach & Other Green Vegetables

4. Dairy (Skimmed Milk, Fat-free or Low-Fat Yogurt and Cheese)

5. Instant Hot Oat Cereal (Unsweetened & Unflavoured mind you)

6. Eggs

7. Turkey & Other Lean Meats (Lean Steak, Chicken, Fish)

However, I would still like to mention that natural animal fats are actually not harmful to us. If you find it hard to accept, you could still trim off majority of the fats and consume the little fat percentage that remains.

8.  Peanut Butter (Natural, Sugar-Free)

9. Olive Oil

In case you are not aware, olive oil should not be cooked over high temperatures, otherwise its properties will change and consumption wouldbe harmful to you instead.

10. Wholegrain Breads & Cereals

11. Extra-Protein (Whey) Potein

For those of you who work out and want better muscle recovery and fat burning effects

12. Raspberries & Other Berries

As much as possible, try to incorporate two or three of these foods into each of your three major meals and at least one for your snacks.

Adopting a healthier diet may be difficult initially. However, it’s just a matter of changing your taste buds and getting used to new foods and new styles of food preparation that you have not been familiar with. 

Give it a try it before you say you can’t.

 

10 Things you need to know about Losing Weight

I happened to catch this interesting programme on the BBC Channel while I was waiting for the night feed on a Saturday. For those of you who need to to adopt a simple and straightforward programme to shed those excess weight, you can try to follow this.

You’d probably already know some of the stuff they cite. You may want to debate about some of the points. But I say you can take this as some sort of reminder and summary of some top tips put together to help you reach your goal! These points have been researched and experimented by them, as filmed. So the points should be valid to a large extent.

1. 3 meals a day (I’d say 6 small ones to better boost your metabolic rate)

2. Smaller plates

3. Count your calories (but don’t get over depressed over chasing every calorie)

4. Don’t blame your metabolism. (The hormone ghrelin is in fact the real culprit.) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520055519.htm

5. Protein staves off hunger pangs

6. Soup keeps you feeling fuller for longer

7. The wider the choice, the more you eat (so stay away from buffets!)

8. Low Fat Dairy helps you excrete more fat (but beware if you are dairy intolerent)

9. Exercise goes on burning fat while you sleep (Weight training does best in this!)

10. Keep moving and lose weight

You can refer to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ksh7c if you’d like to find out about more information. It’s worth watching!

 

 

The No-Carb Diet

And it has been 4 weeks of NO-CARB DIET!

Well.. more accurately low-carb, since I still treat myself to sinful carbs once a week.

The much-awaited result was definitely worth all the discipline and wait.

The programme required me to eat mainly meat, greens and nuts for my meals. Only a cheat meal is allowed once a week (the first cheat meal is after two weeks of work). You can have anything during the cheat meal, from char kway teow to Ben & Jerry’s. But only once a week, after your protein intake.

During the 4 weeks, exercise programmes was not missed out either, since I need to reach my target in the shortest period of time. So to aid the fat-burning process, sweating it out cannot be given a miss! I mainly work out 4 times a week. On a lucky week when I have extra help with the kids, I can do 5 times. But the bare minimum consists of 2 days of weight-training programme at Genesis Performance and 2 days of high intensity workout at home, doing my own selection of exercises. Since I’m a fan of Bodyrock.tv, I adopt most of my workouts from the site!

And the outcome is a 3.2% decrease in body fats, 1kg increase in lean mass.

Using the caliper test, the best results came from shaving 11mm off my love handles, 17mm off the hamstring, and 1-3mm off the other body parts. With a decrease in 3mm, I would have liked to shave off more on the tummy though.

Not much change in total weight, but it’s a huge success in my fat-reducing  plan!

Knowing that a programme works is so critical in providing the required motivation for sustenance! And yes I will continue with this plan and look forward to the next measurement in 3 weeks!

Review of The Slimming Company

The most important thing to review is the effectiveness of the programme. As long as a programme is effective, I do not quite care too much if its lacking in other areas like service, ambiance etc…

That said, I cannot say for sure that the programme is effective. After a month’s worth of about 20 sessions, almost all the body measurements remain the same. Weight, Fat percentage, muscle percentage, thigh circumference remain similar. Waist measurement did go down an inch. However, I can’t say for sure too that if it is due to their programme or my own workouts.

To look at the various body measurements and not see a change after a month of hard work was rather disappointing. Apparently, the “increase in metabolic rate” has not helped me reduce my body fats percentage. As such, the programme has failed to help me achieve my most important target – fat lost!

Although I mentioned that I was not bothered by five-star service and ambience, I was still disappointed with the service provided by the company. During my 3rd visit, I arrived at the shop to find the door locked and nobody inside to pick up the phone. Apparently, the employee could not make it to work and failed to contact me to inform that nobody would be manning the place. This led me to ponder about the company’s resource management and accountability process. How can a business be completely reliant on just one employee without any back-up person?

Also, it is obvious that the ladies working there are not trained in fitness and basic human physiology relating to the business. Other than the “standard answers memorised from a training manual”, they lack the knowledge of mechanics behind fitness and weight loss. So if you are someone who has a lot of questions and need all of them answered, this is not the right place for you. I went through it because I knew my stuff and wanted to just focus on seeing the results of the infra-red treatment.

I have about 10 more sessions to go but I doubt that will let me see any drastic improvement.