Thursday, 10 May 2012

Intermittent Fasting or IF

I have seen information on this recirculating the web just recently, and have never really taken much time to share my experience of it.  So better late than never!

I first discovered the principles of IF a few years ago through Bjorn Granum's blog: Muscle and IF.  The idea that you would essentially starve yourself for intermittent periods, either each day or on selected days of the week, seemed to go against all the misinformation I had built up from reading fitness magazines many years prior.  So it was difficult to initially accept the idea and thus I began researching it, finding anything I could about it and how it works or doesn't.  I found a number of sources, but mostly were biased sources with no scientific study.  I had to go on the opinion of body-builders and fitness experts who claimed to use the philosophy and who made huge claims about its success in fat loss or control.

It was in its absolute infancy all those years ago, more so than today.  Because of this, I decided adapt my eating habits to this fasting protocol and test just how good it could be and how detrimental to gaining muscle it might be.  However, my own research was short lived, though I don't really recall why I stopped.  I think I just slowly slipped out of the protocol, since one of the weird things about it, is that it doesn't feel like a fad diet regime that requires constant motivation.  You find after a month or so, it becomes second nature to not eat after a certain time or before a certain time.  You become at one with the feeling of hunger and it almost becomes a challenge to push yourself a little further each day, maybe half an hour or an hour longer before breaking the fast.  It was at this point I think I began to slip out, having conquered various different periods of fasting.  Because the protocol was being followed for so long, I also forgot why I started and totally lost track of my progress.  Looking back, I remember I did get my fat percentage down below anything I had previously been before, while still maintaining all my strength.  The fat loss was extremely visible, so I actually didn't need a set of scales to monitor it.

With the recent surge in IF, it seems there is a lot more information about now than previously.  One I would recommend is this article by John Berardi.  For the first time, someone qualified to put a scientific face on the idea has taken up the philosophy and applied himself to the IF protocol over a six month period to test its impact.  There is also a downloadable e-book on the research.

I don't want to regurgitate or plagiarize this or any other new information on IF, so I will end here.  But before I sign off, I will say is that there is no substitute for trying something like this yourself and building your own conclusions.  Like everything, what works for me may not work for you. Try it yourself, write about it and share your story.

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