Today was another awesome workout. I am really loving life these days in the gym. I hit some personal bests yet again (see log below).
My commentary today might not be popular, but I feel I need to say it. One thing I've noticed about the Shreddersphere that is encouraging and concerning at the same time is the tendency for people to follow what others are doing in search of the magic bullet for fat loss. I'm the first to admit that I enjoy experimenting, but I make sure to stick with something long enough to analyze the results. It concerns me that there are people who are jumping from one thing to another in search of “what works” when the reality is that they won't ever find “what works” if they don't give it a chance to work.
We all have an obligation to explain what we are doing because too many people are reading our posts and trying out our ideas for us to just do things on a whim. I get concerned about the movements that occur within the Shreddersphere at times because I feel that we are influencing other people. This is what lead me to investigate fasting as a nutritional strategy.
When I first heard about fasting I got an immediate red flag because it reminded me of Tom Venuto's comments about eating. First, Tom says that a “diet” is “any severe restriction of food or calories that's temporary.” (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, p. 38). He goes on to say “First, the weight loss from very low calorie dieting almost never lasts; 95% of the people who lose weight on conventional diet programs can’t keep it off. The second problem is that most of the weight you lose from low calorie dieting is muscle, not fat. If permanent fat loss without losing muscle is your goal (it should be), then it would be closer to the truth to say “diets never work.”” (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, p. 38). Tom goes on to talk about the Starvation Response and how it is an awesome genetic miracle programmed to keep us alive in times of food shortage. However, “Your body can't tell the difference between dieting and starvation.” (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, p. 40). Even more scary than that, “This wonderful feature of human evolution is a blessing if you’re stranded out in the wilderness with no food. During periods of starvation, the body slowly begins to feed off itself, burning fat stores, muscle and even internal organs for energy. If you continued to burn calories at your normal rate, your limited reserves of stored energy would be exhausted quickly and you would die very soon after you food supply was cut off. The starvation response keeps you alive longer.” (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, p. 40)
In his book, Everything You Need to Know About Fat Loss, Chris Aceto states “If you’re earning $4000 a month, but your boss suddenly cuts your pay to $2500 a month, you will try to live the same lifestyle on $2500 a month as you did on $4000 a month. After a while, you have to adjust and save money, and change your lifestyle. The same is true with a calorie intake that is simply too low. When calories are cut below basal metabolic needs, the body will accommodate and slow its metabolism, so it becomes difficult to lose fat even on low calories.”
Tom Venuto tells us that very low calorie diets also cause muscle loss, increase the activity of fat-storing enzymes and reduce the activity of fat-burning enzymes.
“When your body goes into starvation mode, this triggers increased appetite and cravings in an attempt to get you to eat more food. The hunger and cravings can be so strong that you become ravenous. It’s virtually impossible stay on a diet when you are voraciously hungry and all you can think about is food. Few people have that much willpower.” (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, p. 43)
Now, I've also read about how fasting can help with rapid weight loss, but not rapid fat loss (http://www.dietwords.com/fasting.shtml).
After all this research, I'm not sold on this method of losing weight at all. Yes, I'm sure it takes off the pounds and I know you can point to people who fast, but have gained muscle mass. However, is that proof that it works? I think not. If I gain 5 pounds of muscle mass in 5 weeks that would be a good thing. If I did it while fasting, it might prove that fasting works. However, what would have happened if I had eaten clean 5 to 6 times a day, cycled my carbs, and added the calories closer to my maintenance level? Perhaps I might have gained 10 pounds of muscle mass in 5 weeks? Where are those studies?
I believe that you should approach fasting with extreme caution. I know for a fact that when I don't eat, I lose pounds, but I don't really lose fat. That's a horrible thing because I'm damaging my body's ability to burn fat by depriving it of muscle it already had. I can't afford that. It takes me too long to put on muscle–I can't afford to fast it away.
|Week Begins 4/13/2008|
|M1 *||5:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||5:30 a.m.|
|M2 *||8:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||8:30 a.m.|
|M3 *||11:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||11:30 a.m.|
|M4 *||2:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||2:30 p.m.|
|M5 *||5:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||5:30 p.m.|
|M6 *||7:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||7:30 p.m.|
|Water *||240 oz||240 oz|
|Post-workout nutrition *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-sleep nutrition *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cals within 5% (+/-) *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Target Ratios (C/P/F)||10/60/30||10/60/30||10/60/30||60/30/10||10/60/30||10/60/30||10/60/30|
|Mission 2 Total Complete||1024||1039||1039||1039||1039||1039||1039|
|Mission 2 Total Possible||1050||1065||1065||1065||1065||1065||1065|
|* = Counts towards total|
|Mission 2: Day 72 of 100|
|Meal/Training Plan: Real-time accountability|
|Day 72: April 14, 2008|
|3:30 a.m.||Meal 1: Protein shake with 1/2 portion oatmeal, and 1/2 portion yogurt and Udo's Oil|
|Monday, 4/14/2008||A4||Start: 4:05 a.m. End: 5:07 a.m.|
|Exercise||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Set 6|
|Squat||300 x 6||350 x 1||310 x 6||370 x 1||280 x 10||270 x 15|
|Bulgarian split squat||50 x 15||50 x 15||50 x 15|
|Step-up||40 x 15||40 x 15||40 x 15|
|Swiss ball crunch||30||35|
This strength training routine has really increased my numbers. My initial set of squats is up 25 pounds from March 17, 2008, the day I started this routine. My final set of squats (the set of 15) is up 45 pounds in the same time period. I expected increases, but this is amazing. Hard work pays off, but so does wave loading!
Thought for the Day:
Time only comes by once, so don't waste it. Unlike money, which can be earned again after it is spent, time is lost forever once it is spent. This is why I don't believe people should waste their time on this earth.
Until tomorrow…GET BACK TO LIFTING!