Became the fat-burning machine
The exercise was fun, but the diet was the actual heavy lifting. Throughout the years I’ve tried numerous nutrition plans. At one point I sustained from any sugars or cheese. Sugar, I could get over, but the cheese was killing me softly.
Throughout the day, I’d feel good, and that was what mattered. I would go to sleep satisfied. I felt like I was doing something good for my overall well-being. “Mens Santa in Corpore Sano” — as they say.
Years have passed, and I taught myself to enjoy any kind of food. The plain stewed chicken became a wonderful meal. I didn’t care about the flavors as much s I cared about reaching my fitness goals. The sacrifice paid off.
But — in every story there is a ‘but’ — Around my 22nd birthday, I started to discover my wanderlust. I would pack my bags and leave for foreign lands at least ten times throughout the year. I’d do it every year. Sometimes, I would leave for the weekend. Other times, I’d submerge myself in exciting new cultures for months on end.
If you ever had the opportunity to enjoy traveling — a short vacation or overseas work — you know how hard it is to keep the proper diet. It’s almost impossible. You are entirely out of your comfort zone. Home is hundreds of miles away. Your groceries and your kitchen are idle, waiting for your return.
Almost two years ago I was preparing to travel through Southeast Asia. Trip was going to last for the whole month of October. I worked the whole summer to save the money. My first backpacking trip East. And one of the biggest concerns on my mind was, ‘what will I eat?’
I had no money to eat in good-quality restaurants most of the time. I was going to be on the road for 30 days.
I knew all of that, and I still wanted to feel great. I still wanted to look healthy. And I wanted all the extra energy I could harvest.
When you put yourself against a challeng, your life changes for the better. I made one of the best decisions for my overall health before the trip. It single-handedly gave me a new perspective.
I knew I wouldn’t have any real control over my diet, but I could always choose when to eat.
I decided to start the time-restricting die. You can also call it intermittent fasting.
I knew bits and pieces from friends and aquantances — enough to peak my intrest. I educated myself reading online articles and watching professional podcasts on the subject. Joe Rogan is funny and knows how to deliver knowledge. I highly recommend watching his podcast on the Intermetted fasting.
The diet offers different options to choose from. I thought 16/8 method could work great. It means that you have an eight-hour window to eat, after that period you should sustain yourself from eating or drinking anything besides water.
I’d usually start eating around noon and finish before eight p.m. I’d love to share the merits of a painful process trying to sustain the new lifestyle, but I can’t. This was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. New routine clicked right in.
I’d skip breakfast and wait till launch hours. The best part was, the window wasn’t hard-set. I could start eating at any time past 16hours. I could adjust the feeding time to suit the day at hand. If I wanted to eat late or have a few drinks, I’d start the next day’s first meal later.
I felt better in the matter of days. My mind would feel clear during mornings. Energy would be off the rails. I can’t remember if I was more satisfied with a diet plan ever before. Best part was, I didn’t have to cherry pick what to eat.
With fasting I became the better version of myself. There are loads of factors which make you who you are and your energy, wits and looks are some of the mayor ones.
The science behind the fast
The modern human being would not be here if we had no way to deal with hunger. Throughout history, food supplies were scarce. Most people ate once a day, sometimes not even that. People had to survive with what they had — and they did. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here today. Our bodies are designed to deal with this type of situation.
While you eat and sometime after, your body has a supply of glycogen (Storage of glucose your body burns to fuel itself). After your last meal, your body starts depleting the glycogen. After the glycogen is gone, the body starts burning your stored fat as a source of energy. This is when you start losing weight. The window for depleting glycogen depends on your physical activity — usually up to twelve hours, but much sooner if you hit the gym.
The next thing which makes this a significant investment in your overall health is Insulin sensitivity. Insulin spikes almost every time you eat. Worst spikes occur while eating sugary treats. The best way to maintain your Insulin levels at bay is not to eat anything. Healthy insulin sensitivity is associated with longevity. Hundreds of studies and documentaries talk about it — look it up.
When you don’t eat for approximately 13 hours, your body tries to protect the muscle by secreting HGH (Human Growth Hormone). This hormone is associated with youthful looks, tighter skin, and overall regeneration. Your wounds will start healing faster. There is a reason why wounded animals don’t eat.
One more thing I have to mention is mental clarity. My whole human experience felt lighter, especially during mornings. There is less energy wasted fueling the complex digestive system. My focus is better than ever before. I get more things done.
To put everything in perspective, I’ve been fasting for almost two years. I’m also content with my travels. Diet is not hard to maintain most of the time, expect Holidays around my family — you can’t say no to their food. I fast almost every day of the year, suited to my daily goals and activities. Usually, I don’t eat for at least 18 hours.
When it comes to nutrition, nothing is an exact science in this field. We don’t understand our diets as much as we think we do. I can’t say Intermittent fasting is the right choice for everyone. I know it works wonders for me and I’m sure there are many others capable of enjoying this way of life. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t; you move on. There is a vast sea of options when it comes to diet. You’ll eventually find what suits you best.