Intermittent Fasting Seminar Recap

Last week we hosted a seminar at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc on Intermittent Fasting (IF). And while all in attendance said they weren’t familiar with IF it quickly became apparent that they not only had an idea about IF they were all practicing it already.

Since IF means to go brief periods without eating and none of the people attending are in the habit of eating through the night they all practiced IF until morning when they would break ‘fast.

In addition to not eating breakfast there are a variety of different IF protocols which are usually defined by two numbers separated by a slash. For example a protocol might look like 16/8 and refers to 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. So you could see anything such as 12/12, 20/4 or a full day of fasting which would be a 24/0.

And in terms of the number of days per week someone would fast this ranges as well from one day per week to two days per week, alternate days or everyday for part of the day. Depending on which protocol they follow you may hear terms such as the ‘Warrior Diet’, ‘LeanGains’ and ‘Eat-Stop-Eat’ to describe when to eat and when to fast.

Benefits of IF

So why would someone become an IFer?

Well the proposed benefits include reduced bodyweight, reduced bodyfat, increased longevity, reduced chance of certain disease and improved neural function. And these are interesting claims which will draw the attention of almost everyone looking to shed a few pounds and improve their health.

But the reality is there is not a lot of research out there to support these claims. And the studies that do exist tend to be done with animals. For example, when it comes to looking at mice completing a water maze task, the mice experiencing an IF condition were able to perform better than their regularly fed counterparts.

When it comes to cognitive function there appears to be an increase in Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which helps protect the brain and off-set some of the problems associated with mental decline. 1

The rest of the research is coming, just more slowly. It’s hard to motivate food companies to fund studies which look at the benefits of people not eating food.

My own IF experience

However even though the research is lacking I was still curious as to what IF could do for me I wanted to test it out. I went with an approach where I would eat cleanly from Mon-Fri. Sat would be a cheat day until 9 pm and Sun I would skip breakfast and lunch and then have dinner at 5 pm. The table below shows this followed by my training for the week as well.

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Clean Clean Clean Clean Clean Cheat        -9 pm IF – 5pm
Deadlift SprintsChins Rest or Mobility Squat Bench EST Rest

My IF results

So how did it all work for me? From early Sept until end of Nov I lost 9 lbs and 4 cm off my waist. I also noticed better focus and clarity and became more productive on Sundays. Without having to worry about scheduling meals and finding time to eat them left me with a number of hours to do work around the house and get ready for the week.

As far as my training was concerned I shifted from training for the Seattle Tough Mudder on Oct 5 and then went to performing powerlifting. So to be fair there were a couple of factors that changed during the experiment besides adding in a fast day.

If I were to recommend IF to someone I would suggest starting small to test. Guys may respond better than women so they might be able to do a  20/4 one day per week protocol. Women might start with a 16/8 approach. Regardless of which protocol you use it’s important to stay busy when fasting, take photos and tape measures at the start and enjoy the process.

Chris [fb-like]

1. Halagappa et al. Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction ameliorate age-related behavioral deficits in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of Disease 26 (2007) 212–220.

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One Response to Intermittent Fasting Seminar Recap

  1. Janice Bartnick says:

    Hi OPP gang! I’ve read about IF but always thought it was too complicated and confusing but your approach Chris seems quite simple and doable. Perhaps I will give it a try in January.
    As always enjoying reading the blogs.
    Janice B.

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