The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Route 101 Day 2

On the second day of the 101 program, we talk about Intermittent Fasting. This is a dietary pattern I've followed for two years, and it is the simplest and most powerful "diet" imaginable. Basically, there are two basic approaches:

1) Pure Intermittent Fasting. Eating every other day. I use this about 50% of the time. Other variations include eating from 6pm to 6pm, and then fasting the same--so that you are eating every day, with long fasts built in. There is also the Warrior Diet, which means to eat all food win a short window between, say, five and eight in the evening.

2) The "101 Diet." This is my own innovation, and it rocks. Every other day, you eat nothing but fresh fruits and vegetables. Wow. This one means no hunger at all, and you are improving your diet immensely.

##

Look: the basic science behind I.F. is solid, and I suggest that you Google the term. If you like what you read, talk about it with your doctor and/or health provider. We have diabetics using the pattern with success. I.F. comes as close to a "Magic Bullet" for health as exists, having a positive effect on cancer, impotence, obesity, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses. It is the most powerful anti-aging regimen I know of, and has even been shown to re-grow nerve tissue, I kid you not. Why does it work? Well, the basic pattern is a "wave"--alternate days of high and low calorie intake. The positive health effects result even if your overall caloric intake remains the same! The hunger actually isn't as bad as an ordinary "diet" because if you eat NOTHING, your hunger drive remains at a relative burr or low roar. The first bite you take, however, and wow! It wakes up like a tiger. This is called "Limbic Hunger" and is the reason you "can't eat just one" potato chip.

But I digress. There are so many things going on in your body with I.F. that I think it might be useful to look at it in a metaphoric, non-scientific way: you are tricking your body into believing there is a famine. From this perspective, your body believes that if you are not the most efficient hunter-gatherer possible, your children and village will starve. And how does it react? By giving you access to more of your strength, speed, intelligence, healing factors and sensory acuity. I do have to warn you that you may feel a bit more aggressive on fasting days. A little more of that "patience my ass! I'm gonna kill something" attitude, and frankly, I think that's a good thing unless you already have too much of it.

Another thing, and in my own sneaky way, perhaps the most important: if you can control hunger, you can control anything else. This fast was called "the fast of David" and thought to be one of the very highest spiritual practices. Easy to understand why.

26 comments:

Dark Eden said...

Your diet idea is interesting. I'm honestly hesitant about the idea of intermittent fasting but you're pretty much living proof it works well.

I've been ingrained with the idea of five small meals a day and eating a tiny amount whenever you're hungry. What do you think about this sort of snacking based style of eating? Does it run counter to IF or work with it on the days you are eating? (or eating fruits and veggies according to your spin on IF)

Mike Ralls said...

I too have had a lot of success with IF and have highly recomended it to my friends and family. So far no one has followed my example though. The plain fact is that the idea of not eating anything for 24 hours (let alone 36) just scares most people too much for them to really give it a try.

Dark Eden said...

"The plain fact is that the idea of not eating anything for 24 hours (let alone 36) just scares most people too much for them to really give it a try."

You're absolutely right. It just sounds mad to me, tbh.

Steven Barnes said...

Dark Eden--
5X a day eating is pretty much the opposite of I.F. Isn't it wonderful that there are so many eating patterns we can thrive on? 5X is pretty much designed for body-builders, and my understanding is that it works quite well.

Dark Eden said...

I'm kind of curious to try IF... I'm definitely not a bodybuilder by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm willing to try just about anything at least once. The fruits and veggies every other day sounds interesting to me.

If I'm understanding correctly its a relatively 'normal' diet on day 1, then fruits and veggies on day 2? Is that right?

Steve Perry said...

IF has myriad variants. My choice is to fast once a week for 36 hours or so, usually allowing myself a couple cups of black coffee in the morning, then water the rest of the day. Lots of water, of which most people simply don't drink enough.

Want a cheap and easy way to lose weight? Double or triple your water intake. Not cola, nor tea, nor fruit juice, just plain H20. You'll eat less and feel better. I think the formula is about 1/2 ounce per pound of bodyweight per day. Weigh two hundred pounds? That's just over eight twelve ounce glasses of water per diem. You'll pee to beat the band, but it is good for you.

I don't fast for weight, though I think it helps with that, but for discipline.

I've been doing it for about twenty-five years, and if it has caused any problems, I haven't noticed them.

Steve Perry said...

Oh, an article on health and fitness in America:

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20091231/US.MED.Healthy.People/

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