I didn’t get my weekly “What’s on the Menu” post done for its normal Thursday post date, but I still wanted to share it with you. Read about my experience with intermittent fasting then enjoy another effective weekend workout.
I was first introduced to the idea of fasting during my formative years in Catholic elementary school. Every Friday during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter), all Catholics were encouraged to fast during the day and then finish the day with a “meatless” dinner. Thankfully the Bible didn’t consider seafood meat, which meant I enjoyed a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches and pizza for dinner during Lent.
I’ll admit that my dedication to daylight fasting during Lent was spotty at best and, as devoted to Catholicism as my parents were and still are, they didn’t send my brother and I to school without lunches. I was extremely grateful to them at the time, but with what I know now, periodic fasting could have been extremely beneficial.
The origins of fasting date back to ancient Greece and it’s inclusion in numerous religious doctrine make it one of the oldest weight loss/control methods. Even though its been used for several millennia, the extent of fasting’s metabolic benefits are just starting to be discovered (source).
One of my go-to sources for the latest health research, Dr. Rhoda Patrick, has been promoting the benefits of intermittent fasting, which she refers to as time restricted eating, for some time now. The basic concept is that you have an eating window everyday that syncs up to your natural circadian rhythm. The research suggests that the most metabolic benefits occur with a eating window of no more than 12 hours and, unlike my Lenten fasts, occurs during the day (source).
Studies have shown that adherence to this way of eating may save you from a number of the leading causes of death. Several recent discoveries about the death-defying benefits of intermittent fasting include:
- Every other day fasting found to reduce obesity and insulin resistance by changing gut bacteria (source)
- An 11-hour eating window associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk & reduction in recurrence (source)
- Frequent fasting has been shown to reduce the insulin-like grown factor 1 (IGF1) which has been show to proliferate the growth of cancer cells (source)
I’ve been partaking in time restricted eating for the past 3 weeks and I’ll admit it’s pretty tough for someone like me. I have a very active job and some days I leave the house before 7am and don’t return till 8pm. Thankfully I’ve been very good at packing a lunch full of nutritious and satiating foods that help me get enough fuel in during my eating window.
Even though I started my current intermittent fasting plan with no desire to lose weight, I’ve lost nearly 5 lbs in 3 weeks. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but when you’re 5’11” and 160, losing 5 lbs without really trying is pretty significant. As great as the weight loss is, I’m more excited by the possibility that this way of eating can help me prolong my life.
Another way to prolong your life is with regular exercise, which is why you should try the weekend workout featured below. This workout includes several variations of one of the most beneficial exercise there is, the squat.
Squats are considered a compound exercise, which means they are multi-joint movements that require the use of various muscle groups. Try to knockout these various forms of the squat and make sure you let us know in the comment section below or on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) how you feel the next day. Don’t forget to warmup and modify the workout to match your fitness level. ENJOY!