Lyell’s “12 Week Challenge” Update & My Experiment With Intermittent Fasting

I stopped updating my weekly progress with the 12 Week Challenge because honestly it became redundant. Seriously, how many times can you explain that eating the same meals over and over can get old fast and the work outs are really hard? Well guess what?? Eating the same meals every day, five times a day gets old and the work outs are still super hard. 

With 9 weeks in the books it’s time to do some updatin: 

–  I’ve lost a total of 23 pounds. Thats an average of 2.55 per week. Weight loss has slowed significantly as I get closer to my goal of 215.

– Honestly, I have kinda stopped worrying about how much I weigh (as long as I stay in the 220’s). I know I’m gaining muscle and losing fat. So, all I want is to continue to trim my belly fat and love handles and I’ll stay happy.

– Note on the meals: It became routine just as fast as it got old. It’s amazing how fast you can get use to eating the same thing 5 times a day.

– After I lost the first 20 lbs I decided to add in a cheat meal on either Friday or Saturday night. Well, once you open Pandora’s box it’s really hard to close it. That one cheat meal has turned in to 2…3…4. But my wife is pregnant and so I’ll blame my cheats on her cravings, M’kay?

– I’VE LOST 23 LBS WHILE MY WIFE HAS BEEN PREGO. You guys have no idea how hard that’s been.

– To be really honest I stopped following the daily workout plan after about 7 weeks. The guy who you are supposed to follow goes out-of-town a lot and changes up the routine too much. My daily week is very consistent so I needed my workouts to mirror my life. For instance:

  • Monday is an off day. I may run at night. I may rest. Just depends on how my body feels.
  • Tuesday- Chest and Tri’s
  • Wednesday- Back and Bi
  • Thursday- Rest (similar to Monday)
  • Friday- Shoulders (Abs if I have time)
  • Saturday- Legs and two sets of Biceps
  • Sunday- Timed Cardio circuit of Jump Rope (1 min), Mountain Climbers (20), Up downs (10), Crunches (20), Leg Lifts (10), Hanging leg lifts (10). I can do that complete circuit in 2 mins 50 seconds. Finish with some Jump rope and punching bag. 

To help with my cheat meals and help with fat loss I’m going to be experimenting with Intermittent Fasting or IF. I’m doing this for two main reasons. 1) My body sucks. Sure I can lose 3 lbs in a day but I can also gain 4. My metabolism is faster than ever but I just don’t have the genetic makeup to afford a cheat without gaining weight. 2) I need my body to target stored fat and that’s exactly what Intermittent Fasting does.

So what is Intermittent Fasting? Well, IF is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water only) and non-fasting. The split between fasting and non-fasting can be as much as 5 to 1. Meaning some people will fast for 20 hours and only eat for 4. That seems dramatic so I shoot for a 16/8 split. Once the fast is over you eat your normal (healthy) meals for the designated 6 – 8 hours. So instead of eating 3000 calories over a span of 6 meals, you’ll eat that same amount in just 4.

Why try IF?

– Due to my genetic make up (I can store fat at an alarming rate) I need something to change-up my eating routine to keep my body burning fat. Simply put I use IF for it’s “shock” value.

– Fasting for up to 16 hours will force my body to seek stored fat, or newly consumed fat right after a cheat, for energy. Thus I won’t be storing those extra calories as fat.

– Other benefits of IF are:

  • Reducing blood glucose and insulin levels (improving the state of the overall glucose metabolism)
  • Increasing fatty acid oxidation with increased FFAs (through increasing lipolysis hormones GH, glucagon and adrenaline)
  • Sparing and preserving muscle tissue (lean mass)
  • Increasing various health factors (lower inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress, increased protection against neuro-degenerative diseases, and more)
  • Keeping the metabolism strong/healthy [1]

Some things to consider if trying IF:

– If you eat something (anything) during your fast, you’ve ruined your fast. The idea is to give the body nothing (besides water) and force it to seek alternative sources (stored fat) for energy.  This is why I choose to fast from 8 pm – 12 pm the next day. Makes the time I’m awake and fasting much shorter.

– Some people workout during their fast. I don’t suggest this but it is possible. My workouts are done in a very hot garage and I literally fear I would pass out. Instead, if I’m going to exercise while on a fast, it will be running sprints or any HIIT routine. The important part to remember is know your body and know your limitations.

Again, IF is only something I am trying just a few days a week. It is not a lifestyle change but a way to shock my body. If you plan on trying IF, do your research and start slow.

Be blessed,

[1] http://www.theiflife.com/intermittent-fasting-101-how-to-start-part-i/

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