Day 10 of “Healthy Habits” and this post will bring to the end of my “Healthy Habits” posting. The previous 9 posts were the everyday habits that I believed people could do “physically” to change their bodies in a more healthy state and lose weight (fat%).
I was a bit on the edge of whether I should put this as my 10th Healthy Habit as I have only been doing it since the new year. Also, it isn’t really a “Habit” but rather an “eating lifestyle change”.
Simplistically speaking, it is not eating for a large period of time, usually 16+ hours.
Some fastings options include:
- 16/8 (16 hours not eating, and 8 hour window of eating)
- 24 hour fasts
- 36 hour fasts
My understanding of the concept is, high level layman’s understanding:
- You have Glucose in your blood which your body uses first
- When that is low, it uses Glycogen stores
- When that is low, it uses fat stores
- When you use fat for energy it is called “Ketosis” and you generate “Ketone bodies” which your brain and body will use for fuel.
Basically, you want to get to a state of Ketosis to burn fat. My understanding is you can’t burn fat on a particular area of your body, you can only build muscle there on purpose. Fat is removed in the reverse order in which it is applied. So for me, the double chin/fat neck goes, and then belly fat. Never got to the stage for man boobs, and my thighs and upper arms never seem to get flabby/fatty.
The problem is with the breakfast/lunch/dinner and snacking in the middle lifestyle is that you never get to go into Ketosis and therefore will find it hard to burn fat.
Carbohydrates, insulin production, and hunger are the other things that make fasting difficult.
I’ve posted before about videos about Intermittent Fasting and will continue to post more about it as I come across them.
After 10 days of Intermittent Fasting this is what I have experienced/what i did:
- I fasted from dinner (6pm to 6:20pm usually) to lunch where i pushed it back to 2pm+
- I therefore fasted for 20 hours and ate in a 4 hour window normally.
- Black coffee was my friend in the morning and early afternoon which didn’t break my fast and suppressed my appetite (caffeine’s effect). A double shot helps suppress appetite better then 2 single shots over the same time.
- Having the knowledge that I was trying to achieve a long stretch of fasting to get into ketosis gave me leverage to not snack after dinner (most of the time, I cheated twice)
- On the weekend I ate breakfast and therefore broke my Intermittent Fast, so not a perfect stretch
- Your body goes through waves of hunger at your “normal” eating times, however, you can change your “norm” and your body will adapt.
- The first few days are the hardest to get used to the hunger.
- When I did get used to it, it is like a low grade 1/10 hunger lingering in the background, there but you can ignore it.
- The “mental clarity” i experienced last year while having my Nutribullet brunch/lunch lifestyle was probably from Ketosis, but didn’t know about it. I always thought it was the veggies, which is probably true also indirectly as well.
- Energy levels are very good in ketosis.
- Mental clarity is very good in ketosis.
- I have been keeping track of my body weight and fat %, and on 1/1/18 at 5:30am i was 77.5kg and 22.7% fat (17.59kg) ,
this morning 10/1/18 at 6:49 I was 75.4kg and 24.4% fat (18.40kg).
Though last night at 8:35pm I was 76.2kg and 18.8% fat (14.32kg).
Now home bathroom scales aren’t the same as thousand dollar+ lab machines. What it registers as “fat” may not be really fat. The more hydrated you are, the more it registers more towards lower fat % probably more than it should, and similarly, the more dehydrated you are the more it registers more fat % than you probably are as well. Also, depends if you have gone to the toilet or not and had your “daily bowel movement”. That drops your fat %. When you wake up from overnight, you are the most dehydrated. After work for me stepping out of the shower and before dinner is the most hydrated. Have a heavy dinner out at a Chinese restaurant with deep fried meat and that will increase your weight and fat % quickly too. So fat % and weight are not all there is. “Love handles”. I have noticed mine are decreasing as the days go on, and independent of that the scales say, that is always a good sign you are going in the right direction. Also how comfortable you are with your belt. Can you tighten it one more notch? But I digress, this is probably content for a separate post.
- Intermittent Fasting also means when you skip breakfast, you have more time in the morning to do other stuff like spend time with the family and make breakfast for others. Or in my case, also make my Nutribullet.
- Intermittent Fast also “shrunk” my stomach. Meaning I needed less fuel to be satisfied for lunch and dinner.
- This then leads to a Ketogenic diet of a high fat, low carb and moderate protein diet, which matches well. I am now refining my lunch to be optimised for ketosis and fuelling myself for building muscle, and improve my cholesterol readings.
- Doing exercise during fasting also accelerates the ketosis process, as it is burning the glucose/glycerol/fat stores.
- Additional sodium (or salt) above the “daily intake” needs to be replenished during the fasting state, so adding salt to water I drink.
- My sleep is going well, though unsure if Intermittent Fasting directly contributes to that. Energy and mental alertness still high throughout the day even on 5.5 to 6.5 hours of sleep some days instead of 8 hours which lead me to say “quality over quantity” in my previous Sleep post. There is a balance somewhere though I do occasionally get a long sleep if I put my daughter to sleep and I’m extra tired.
- You still need to get your daily caloric intake in comprising what is suitable for your lifestyle. Enough vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, etc etc. I am still researching this area, though I know I will be aiming for high omega-3 fat for cholesterol/heath health, moderate protein for repairing muscle, and minimal refined carbodydrates.
Time will only tell how Intermittent Fasting will affect me on the blood work, body fat % and health. Currently looking fairly good 10 days in and I’ll continue to do it as much as possible, especially during weekdays. Will keep you up to date in future posts.
Actionable steps for you if you want to try it out. Again, I am not a medical professional, and please see your trusted medical professional before changing your diet/lifestyle in a dramatic fashion.
- Stop after dinner snacks, and don’t sleep late
- Skip breakfast
- Have black coffee, no milk or sugar
- Drink lots of water
- Have a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water during the fast
- Push your lunch time as late as you can.
That is pretty much what I’m doing plus additional supplements that I’ve previously talked about.