Vital Signs Volume 13, Issue 2 | Page 3

Can you explain the basics of what fasting does to the body ?
“ The three macro-nutrients the body needs are fat , protein and carbohydrates . Protein isn ’ t really a fuel for energy . Protein is for building your immune system , muscle and bones . Fat and carbohydrates are what you use for energy .
You burn through your muscle glycogen and your liver glycogen ( glycogen is stored carbohydrates ) in a few hours , then your body is starving . Most people say , ‘ I just need to eat .’ But , I ’ m of the belief you can use that time to be a fat burner instead .
Even lean people have 40,000 calories of fat in their body . While you only store 200 calories of glucose , the average person can go at least 14 days without eating any food at all . You can burn those fat calories all day long , versus glucose which you ’ re having to always eat to replenish .
Many people try to wait an hour or two after exercise to eat , because you know that if you hadn ’ t used all of your stored sugar before the exercise , you certainly have after . Your body continues to burn fat and initiates autophagy .”
What is autophagy ?
“ Basically , autophagy is a kind of recycling in your body . Your body tears down cells to get rid of old proteins . Broken down cells in one part of the body will be used for energy in another . This helps keep you youthful as you ’ re turning over the calories in your body . You won ’ t break down and recycle nutrients if your body is constantly in a state of fullness .”
During your eating window , how many calories do you consume ?
“ I have no idea . The only thing I count are grams of carbs . Throughout the day , I drink coffee with cream or fatty oil ( coconut or MCT oil ). That may give me 100 calories . But otherwise , I don ’ t count in any way . “
When did you begin practicing fasting ?
“ Just a few years ago . I read a couple of books about evidence based exercise . I had been lifting weights with no real science backing for a while . I don ’ t know what really initiated my fasting . I dabbled in multiple different practices . The ones I ’ ve stuck with have been a low carbohydrate ( carb ) diet and fasting , which I really believe in for everybody .
Fasting is a kind of natural human practice . In prehistoric times , even up to a few hundred years ago , humans would have been pretty active and working all day , then killed an animal and ate a feast at night . So , looking at their habits , it kind of makes sense to wait longer periods without eating .”
When you began fasting , did you have a learning curve ?
“ People say there ’ s a transitionary period where you feel unwell when you go low carb . I didn ’ t experience that . I must have done it in a stair stepping way , because I don ’ t remember any negative feelings . If I go on vacation or have a lot of carbs for a week or two , the next couple days I ’ ll feel a little food hungover . But , it never happens to the degree that it would stop me from returning to the practice .”
Intermittent fasting usually consists of at least 16 hours off between meals , followed by an eating window between four and eight hours long . How long is your eating window ?
“ Usually my eating window begins at 3 pm . I average a four or five hour eating window , and I prefer to exercise on an empty stomach . So , on days I work out , I start eating much later in the day .
If you want to be anabolic and build muscle , many studies say to eat some protein before bed . I don ’ t normally do so , but on workout days , I do think it ’ s more acceptable to have a later meal because of the calories you ’ re burning .”
VITAL SIGNS Volume 13 • Issue 2 3