What is intermittent fasting?
I learned about intermittent fasting from reading about Hugh Jackman… or should I say Huge Jacked-man… otherwise known as the Wolverine. Apparently my brother was doing it too for a while, but I never really paid attention until I found out that Hugh Jackman did this.
So what exactly is intermittent fasting?
It’s when you are fasting (not eating food) for most of the day. People usually promote breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and dinner in the evening. So throughout the entire day you are eating. Some people even snack in between. You are not giving your stomach a rest. Intermittent fasting promotes putting all your meals closely together.
WARNING – Don’t try this if your diet is unhealthy. While some people do this, the reason I don’t recommend doing this with an unhealthy diet is because when you eat unhealthy your body takes a long time to digest. So adding new food to your body before your last meal has left your stomach is a bad idea. By the time I implemented intermittent fasting I was already pooping three times a day. One for each meal. The raw diet is great like that, because digestion time is so quick.
I’m a Huge fan Hugh.
His acting is incredible and versatile. He can go from snarling like a monster to singing like a showman.
Now you cannot think about the Wolverine without thinking about Hugh Jackman. A great part of his success is his dedication to diet and exercise. I mean look at him from the first X-Men movie compared to when he did Days of Future Past. He was getting older, but looking better.
Hugh Jackman and many other celebrities will tell you that the kitchen is actually more important than the workout. Obviously you need to exercise, but most of the battle is won in the diet
So back to intermittent fasting… Many people do it in different ways. My brother has 1 meal a day. Others have 6. I have tried both. But ultimately I found that 3 meals worked just fine.
Another type of intermittent fasting is to fast for an entire 24 hour period, giving your digestion a day of rest. When I heard that, I was like “Whoa!” Isn’t the body amazing? I mean the Bible talks a lot about rest. Taking a day of rest from work on the Sabbath; giving the land rest every seventh year; getting rest from debt every seventh year; and spiritual rest from working for your salvation. Taking a day off eating (especially when your diet isn’t the best) feels so good. Many times I take Saturday off from eating.
It’s interesting how the Bible talks about fasting quite a bit. Now the primary purpose of fasting in the Bible is for the purpose of having extra time to pray while having a clear mind. It’s not primarily about diet and health. But it’s fascinating how science shows the health benefits of fasting.
So what’s my eating schedule while I’m intermittent fasting?
First meal: 12 noon
Second meal: 3 pm
Last meal: 6 pm
This has worked great for me. This provides me with 3 hours of digestion between meals. Then I have 18 hours of not eating after my last meal. Some people space it out a little more and have an 8 hour eating window, with 16 hours of rest. Any less wouldn’t really be classified as intermittent fasting.
Some people find it easier to do this with two meals, one at 7 am and the other at 12:30 pm. This gives them plenty of digestion time.
When should you start implementing this?
I know this may sound counter-productive… but don’t start today. This is advanced stuff. Again if your diet isn’t healthy, you want to change what you eat first before you focus on when you eat. You could however implement the one day off method. That’s what I recommend to people who aren’t fully committed to a healthy diet yet.
So when can I start doing intermittent fasting?
I think it’s best used when you hit a plateau in your fat loss. This will help you break through that wall. When I first did a long stretch on a raw diet, I was shedding fat every week or two. I watched as my body fat got lower and lower, but then it stopped, hovering over 7% (caliper measurements for body fat percentage). The solution wasn't to eat less, but to change the times that I ate. That’s when I read about intermittent fasting. I found out that Hugh Jackman was doing this with a clean diet. So I gave it a try and I was finally able to get under 7% body fat. Eventually I went under 6% (more on how I did that in later post).
So I recommend changing your diet to healthier foods. You don’t have to go drastic, especially when you start off. When you are above 10% body fat, simple changes in the diet will be enough to shed the fat. If you eat meat, switch over to a vegetarian diet. If you are already vegetarian, then switch to vegan. If you are vegan, than try going all raw. Whatever you do, try doing it for 300 days within a year’s time. That will give you one cheat day a week, plus holidays.
Then, whenever you hit a plateau (3 weeks where there is no change), implement an intermittent fasting cycle. Hopefully you are regular with your trips to the bathroom. If not, then hold off on intermittent fasting and increase your water intake as well as your fiber.
If you are ready to start intermittent fasting or have already been doing it, I would love to hear from you.