THE ART OF STARVING YOURSELF: TWO INTERMITTENT FASTING PROTOCOLS FOR A LEAN BODY | Dylan Conrad Fitness | Personal Trainer in West Los Angeles

Fasting

It’s 12pm and I’m having my first meal. Not because I’m too busy to eat, hate breakfast, or I want to slow down my metabolism. It’s all part of the master plan I used to drop the most weight I EVER HAVE while maintaining the same body fat in only 30 days. Why did I do it? Because I’m a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, that’s why! I told one of my old (young) college professors I would beat her in a half marathon, and in order to increase my speed I had to be lighter on my feet, which means dropping some serious LBS. I also wanted to stay healthy, keep my energy levels high, and look good while doing this, all of which are proposed benefits of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a fasting protocol defined by going extended periods of time without eating. The effects fasting has on the body have been researched extensively, but no correlation has been made to the fitness field. The correlation was made clear for me almost a year ago, when I received an email from nutrition expert Dr. John Berardi with the subject: “Experiments with Intermittent Fasting.” My first thought was his email got hacked by some religious organization, but then I realized Ramadan and Yom Kippur were nowhere near, so I opened it. I found that research shows IF might help extend life, regulate blood glucose, control blood lipids, manage body weight, gain (or maintain) lean mass.   However, there are two problems with the research on IF. First, they haven’t used a large amount of human test subjects. Our bodies do not respond the same as a monkey or rats would. Second, we tend to eat in a caloric surplus (intake more than we burn), so any swing in the other direction of energy balance may have similar benefits as IF.

So, doing what any other nutrition geek would do, I eventually tried out IF. The results speak for themselves, and here’s a breakdown of how you can do it, and which protocol is right for you.

Starving

 

PROTOCOLS

 

“The 24 Hour Fast”

 

10 PM Saturday:

Eat your last meal of the day

Drink 500 mL (2 cups) of water

10 AM Sunday:

Drink 1 L (4 cups) of water + 1 serving greens powder

Drink 250 mL (1 cup) of green tea

Take 5 grams BCAA (branched chain amino acids) powder (or take 5 capsules)

3 PM Sunday:

Drink 1 L (4 cups) of water + 1 serving greens powder

Drink 250 mL (1 cup) green tea

Take 5 grams BCAA (branched chain amino acids) powder (or take 5 capsules)

10 PM Sunday:

Eat a small snack before bed

Drink 500 mL (2 cups) of water

Monday:

Eat normally

 

“The Half Day Fast”

 

8:00 AM Wake up, drink 500 mL (2 cups) water

9:00 AM Drink 1 L (4 cups) water with 1 serving greens+, 250 mL (1 cup) green tea

11:00 AM 250 mL (1 cup) green tea

12:00 PM Workout session with 10 g BCAA during session

1:30 PM Eat first meal, largest of the day

4:30 PM Eat second meal, moderate sized meal

8:30 PM Eat third meal, moderate sized meal

 

HOW DOES I.F. WORK?

Decreases total caloric intake – As I’ve stated in previous writings, the foundation for any good weight loss program is decreasing total caloric intake.

Eat clean – When a lot of your focus is directed towards nutrition such as in this program

Still “feeding” your body but not “eating” – Supplementing with branched chain amino acids, which are 3 of 9 essential amino acids (your body doesn’t produce them), helps prevent your body from going  into catabolism and degrading lean body mass. The greens supplement gives you all your vitamins and nutrients, and the green tea keeps curbs your hunger and fires up your metabolism.

Fasted exercise – This is CRUCIAL to the IF protocol because it speeds up your metabolism, which slows down a lot when you are not eating.

“Feel” real hunger – Sometimes we eat just to eat, without feeling hungry. I’ll admit I enjoy the texture of food and act of chewing more so than the actual flavor. Feeling real hunger helps me understand when my body needs to be fed for function, not for pleasure.

WHO IS I.F. RIGHT FOR?

Although considered an advanced dieting strategy, each IF protocol can work for anyone. Now, that doesn’t mean dive right into a 24 hour fast, but rather work your way up. For example, if you’re new to fasting, try the half day fast one day in July. Then you can try it twice in August, and if you’re feeling like you’ve got the hang of it try once a week. Use the 10% rule, in that you increase in increments of 10%. Start off fasting once every 10 days, then increase again by 10%. Keep doing this until you reach your desired leanness.

As with any dieting protocol, check with your doctor first. The best thing to do is get your doctor involved and have her/him do period blood work throughout the fast to monitor your progress. Objective measures are great because you can track results and are more likely to stick with the program.

I do not believe IF is the best way to get lean, it’s just a tool you can put in your dieting toolbox. Eating a well-balanced diet of good fats, lean proteins, vegetables, along with exercise are extremely important if you want to have any success in modifying body composition. If you don’t have eating clean down already, I don’t think IF is right for you, but it can be with some simple nutrition manipulations and exercise program.

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