Various forms of intermittent fasting have become all the rage recently. And there's good reason for it - too many of us consume too many calories daily - with 30% of the American population now categorized as clinically obese, the time HAS come for us to make some real changes.
For me, I've done some form of fasting for the last 30+ years, but honestly, I'd rather think of it as TRE, e.g. "time restricted eating."
Whether you prefer that term or like to keep it simpler, the reality is it's a simple concept. You are taking longer periods of time between meals or eating.
Are we losing sight of the bigger picture?
It is very easy to lose sight of what we are trying to do with this fasting thing. There's no one-size-fits all, my friend. After all, there's the whole dealio of someone with a distorted body image or unhealthy relationship with food hearing from an "expert" that they should eat LESS, or even feel like they're starving themselves - that that is a good thing. That's a very bad situation (with potential to get worse in all kinds of nasty ways).
With that being said, let me ask you a question: Is the best possible RESULT FOR YOU, which is to say leaner, healthier, stronger, younger, faster, etc., going to come from restricting eating? Or is it going to come from progressing your training?
Think about that.
At some point in time, every person who looks at micro-fasting, 24 hr fasting, or simply limiting their eating, with the idea that it is the fountain of youth, is going to be majorly disappointed.
Think about these two kinds of people.
- Athletes who are very careful how much they eat and when, but also doing high quality training and have gobs of muscle on their frame.
- Many of the elderly and frail who struggle to move or even survive, NOT EATING very much.
Naturally, those from the 2nd group - we encourage them to eat more! Food is a source of life after all, right?
So let me ask another question: Do we want to be more like the athlete with lots of muscle and also youthful, or do we want to be more like the elderly we see who really struggle to move?
The answer is obvious.
The key is this: The training we do to get stronger and move better is, in actuality, the "secret" to making fasting or TRE work to get us where we want to be.
And the dichotomy that often exists, is that we will have a harder time actually training to the level that we need to, to get stronger, if our primary goal is to eat fewer calories.
It really is a very delicate balance.
So what's the take home for you? GET STRONG. and then... GET STRONGER.
And along with getting stronger, learn how to.....
- extend the time period between meals....
- limit or eliminate (depending upon energy levels and training load of course!) snacking between meals....
- make breakfast simply happen "later" in the day, vs. earlier, most days of the week....
- cycle in and out of periods of less eating, and more eating, depending upon training load...
- FREE YOURSELF from the NEED to take in calories in order to function normally! This is a powerful feeling!
- remember that glycogen (stored sugar in your muscles and liver) is the PRIMARY source of energy for working muscles.
- always listen to your body and don't succumb to CRAVINGS, yet at the same time, remember that without FUEL, you won't be able to train well and in a progressive manner that helps you get what you want most: a body that gets better, looks better, feels better, and performs better, the older you get!
To your success,