by Paige Romanowski
The change in season is always so refreshing, especially when it’s warmer weather on the horizon. People seem to have a renewed sense of purpose about...all kinds of things. The parking lots of Home Depot and Lowe’s are packed with cars like clockwork the first warm weekend of spring. Traffic picks up on both Forks and people just seem to be busier! Sitting back, I observe the determination, passion and commitment in peoples’ faces and wonder how different our world would be if this kind of brouhaha was over our health instead of flowers!
The change of season is a great time to try something new and different when it comes to our health and fitness. Changing our routines is a terrific way to alter patterned thinking, behaviors and eating habits. Our bodies are smart and can adapt to the many kinds of stresses that we place on it – good or bad. I’d like to challenge both your brains and your belly to the concept of daily fasting to help get you lean into spring!
Martin Berkhan, nutrition consultant, writer and trainer, seems to have perfected the art and lifestyle of daily fasting. His program is called “Leangains,” and for a good reason. Google his name – right now – and check out his perfect, lean physique! This guy is drug-free (does not use, performance enhancing drugs), he can deadlift 600 lbs. and eats in a very unconventional way.
Berkhan only eats 2-3 times per day and gets his fitness on in a fasted state. His bigger meals promptly follow his workouts and he only eats within an 8-hour time period. For 16 hours he drinks water, plain tea or black coffee and does not consume calories of any kind. This period of time is considered fasting. The primary source of calories recommended for consumption during the 8-hour window of eating would be from high quality protein, fats and plants. Carbohydrates come from natural sources like sweet potatoes, squashes, nuts etc. and are added into meals on days that you are extremely active or train.
I suggest eating between the hours of 10 am to 6 pm or from 12 pm to 8 pm. Practice this eating schedule for six consecutive days with the seventh day to eat whenever you want – not whatever you want. Meal prepping is strongly advised because you will be hungry for the first meal of your day so be ready! Following this regime to the letter of the law is strongly advised. For instance, the evening hours got away from me one day while at work and I missed my dinner…boy was I sorry! I had to wait 19 hours until my next meal; it was terrible! Great things happen in the body during an extended state of caloric deprivation. Insulin sensitivity improves, metabolic rate goes up, blood flow to fat cells increase, mental clarity improves tenfold and the list of benefits go on and on.
Couple of quick tips before I go. Be sure to take a before picture or yourself in minimal clothing on the first day of your 31-day journey and then again on the last day. I highly recommend abstaining from alcohol during this time period as well. When exercising, do it with an empty stomach before your first meal of the day. Consider using a BCAA powdered supplement, which is calorie free, combining it with water and drinking it during or after your workout. Stay focused, stay away from snacking and just stick to three meals per day within an 8-hour window. This is a terrific way to burn up excess body fat and strengthen your mental capacities.
Discipline is an important habit to practice in life. Change up your routine, try a new challenge and jump into spring LEAN!