Maybe if you were INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF), focus and clarity would improve and you wouldn’t be looking at that squirrel out the window, the lint under your computer or the latest development in the Jussie Smollet story as you read this.
As a long time trainer and nutrition expert, there have been a few eating plans I’ve tried personally and that I’ve prescribed successfully to clients (South Beach, Keto, etc.). Most have worked when adhered to and combined with my tortu—aah, workouts as prescribed or with tweaks according to individual needs. To my knowledge, from both formal, wide-spread studies and anecdotally, in my own body for the last 30 days IF may be the best route to go for weight loss, muscle retention, mental clarity and longevity. Sure, many of you readers are 30 and under and may not think past Friday happy hour or tonight’s dinner. But that will change – faster than you think. I was YOU a blink ago and now I’m ___ years old.
Here’s how it works. During the “fasted state,” your body will draw from the fat stored in it for energy (as it’s the only energy source). Intermittent fasting teaches your body to use food more efficiently and your body learns to burn fat as fuel. The most popular protocol is a 16/8. An eight-hour window is chosen to eat and no food is eaten for 16 hours.
Studies show IF promotes strong insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone, crucial for weight loss and muscle gain. It has helped me focus for longer periods of time because my blood sugar stays stable. I don’t get carb crash shakes in the afternoon (the bulk of my diet is protein and healthy fats) or ravenous. In fact, my overall appetite has decreased. Most of my days are 17-18 hours long - not a complaint, I love training, teaching and writing so I do as much of all three as I can every day. I’ve found over the last 30 days I’m even more productive and NEVER tired. Read that last sentence again>> Lastly, there are hundreds of studies in both mice and humans where the results are clearly beneficial and, while mice and humans aren’t exact DNA matches, reducing calories and stress on your digestive system has proven to increase longevity in both.
Intermittent fasting is NOT for people with histories of eating disorders and it is not permitted to eat horrible food within your window of intake. You need to take in a lot of water and fiber in your eating window and some supplementation may be required depending on how you eat and if you have any pre-existing conditions. But, if mental clarity, improved body composition (I’ve gone from 12.8% body fat to 9.9), and increased energy are things you seek, check with your doctor and climb through the (eating) window to discover a more optimal YOU.
This is my first blog for Nohoartsdistrict.com. Each blog going forward we’ll answer two fitness questions from our readers, and I’ll write about an area of fitness in greater depth – keeping it fun, informative, and uh, digestible.