Intermittent Fasting, Week 2
A brief recap on intermittent fasting:
The Leangains protocol consists of two phases; 16 hours of fasting, followed by 8 hours of feeding. During this period, three meals are usually eaten. Depending on the day, the composition of those meals varies; on workout days, carbs are prioritized before fat, while on rest days fat intake is higher. Protein remains fairly high on all days. That’s a very basic and general description of the protocol I employ; of course, variables change depending on goals, gender, age, body fat and activity levels, but it would be hard to describe it in greater detail without drifting off too far.
More info here – http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html
After my second week of intermittent fasting I couldn’t wait to take my measurements again. Unfortunately there was no real difference in my body fat; the area I want to try and reduce further past the 12%.
Although frustrating, I haven’t truly worked to the exact format I should be, eating 40% or so of my calorie intake in my first meal, sticking to training before my ‘feed window’ of 8 hours and most importantly eating from my allowed macros or even eating enough!
Training currently is a bit hit and miss although I do regularly get 3 sessions of around 45 minutes in a week, no where near to the standard I used to train due to my current lifestyle of maintaining two jobs and an online business as well as finding time to actually enjoy life with my partner and business partner Lise.
Calorie intake over 8 hours has been extremely difficult especially when I am apparently burning over 3000 calories a day according to my FitBit (TDEE is around 2900 nonetheless). With working multiple jobs and having a role which is predominantly on my feet its hard to find time to sit and eat before limiting the time in which I can. From a reduced calorie intake my training has suffered, mentally feeling the same but physically feeling drained due to a lack of energy and this has definitely affected my ability at work – running daily personal training and classes at Hello Fit.
The main difference I have seen is in my water retention. According to the Tanita scales, I was at the upper bracket of total body water, around 64.5% (65% being the maximum of a healthy amount) when I started and this equated to around 48.9kg (sorry if I am getting to technical!). After two weeks my water retention was below 63% and around 46.5kg, what a difference! It is incredibly noticeable too especially around my abdomen. When reaching the lower levels of body fat (below 12%), work needs to be focused on shifting this water weight covering the abdominals.
According to one source:
A lot of athletes and bodybuilders get very lean, and achieve vascularity in areas such as their arms and legs, yet still cannot get their lower abdominal muscles to appear. This is usually due, not to fat, but to fluid and excess sodium ions being deposited in the lower abdominal region, thereby masking the well-sculpted muscle that lies underneath.
But with this reduction in water weight, there is also a worry…
My muscle mass went from 63.7kg to 61kg, oh no! Something I didn’t want to happen. After a quick look through the Tanita manual, muscle mass includes water retained inside the muscles. Potentially related? I hope so.
Over the next few weeks I will move towards fasting 8pm in the evening – 11am in the morning so that I can allow for a longer window to fit my calories in which means one extra meal a day.
I will focus on my macros, using myfitnesspal to track my diet and hopefully work on a slightly new approach.
After all, no programme, diet or routine is a one fit for all approach. You need to find what works for you and when you do, even if it takes a while, stick with it!