Since I became aware I have not had breakfast; however, since I began in the world of sports, I have found two opposing positions about training on an empty stomach. One position discusses the benefits of fasting before sport and others … practically talk about death if you do fasting sports.
So I decided to start breakfast before training, what did I find? Desire to return constant, weight gain, stop fat loss, discomfort after sports, etc. I found myself then in the position to decide what I was doing: I went back to fasting.
What is breakfast? Breakfast is considered the first meal of the day that breaks the fast (hence its name) night usually between 6-8h (which lasts our sleep). From the media – and our mothers – we have been pressured to have breakfast given “what is the most important meal of the day,” however, is that true? I could talk about my experience, I have never had breakfast, and I got up early, I have gone to school, to university, I have played sports, and I am still alive in good health since I have become aware. But I did have lunch (that is, I ate lunch at 11 am). Is that my breakfast?
There is some scientific support that supports breakfast, but also references that place it as another meal, and omitting it can result in physical and metabolic improvements.
What is commonly proposed is to make a great meal to start the day, and from there go eating every 3 hours so that the metabolism does not decline. Distribute the volume and caloric density of the dishes from more significant to lesser throughout the day and gradually reduce the portions until dinner; as well as carbohydrates that also decrease in quantity and complexity. This seems the most logical and healthy.
If we look at the human being as what he is (an animal) and not as something that at some point in history has become detached from nature, we will see that people similar to us (mammals and carnivores) act not differently, but completely inverse. I do not like the evolutionary support to theorize (since I do not approve according to what things), since we are also highly adaptive. Unlike most animals, we have food at our disposal always, so eating is not a matter of cunning or opportunity. Still, it is in the power of a decision, as well as the composition of the menu (so I will not use it in this case, although I invite reflection).
Hunger is a natural catalyst for movement, as is thirst or need for mating. This is like the chicken and the egg, what goes first? Wear or food? Do we eat first and then move or vice versa?
But … is this a diet?
No, it is a way of organizing, what does our body need, in what quantity, when? It should be understood that intermittent fasting is not a diet in itself, but a form of food. “Now you can eat, now you can’t eat.” Therefore you can follow a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat, or vice versa, or very high in protein, it can be paleo or not be paleo, it can be PSMF or not PSMF so that any diet you know can be added the norm of intermittent fasting.
The CICO concept (calorie in calorie out) is absurd and obsolete. Counting calories is useless. It is not objective to get into Research concepts at this point, but keep in mind that just as the number of people drowned in the pools increases when the consumption of ice cream increases, our% fat decreases when we consume fewer calories. We are leaving critical factors along the way. Sometimes unwittingly omitted, others, issued wanting (in the end everything is a short business).
I am not going to talk about melatonin, cortisol, exogenous sport, ghrelin or other words that refute this theory. Still, it is essential to understand how our body works before believing everything we see on TV.
It is essential to understand that it is true that the intake of certain foods helps to have more energy, but … when does our body choose to use those “intakes” to burn energy? Do we take all the food we should? Do we abuse those foods? Do we control the amounts?
We usually start the day with a full breakfast, cereals, jams, fruit juices, cookies for convenience or oatmeal and, perhaps, some piece of fruit (those who care a little more about their diet in this regard). Very appealing, indeed, in fact, the food acts as a reward, and the body physiologically responds. Cholecystokinin (CCK) is released, the pancreas secretes insulin, the body relaxes, and digestion begins. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated, tryptophan levels increase in the blood, reaching the brain and promoting the release of serotonin that acts as an anxiolytic and increasing levels of melatonin, giving rise to a feeling of lethargy and apathy, and even the famous post-sleepiness prandial, although in the morning it is less common since we come from a long sleep.
I know, I have met. Unfortunately,, I will continue to meet people who force themselves to have breakfast at the recommendation of professionals under the shocking and exaggerated premise that if they eat breakfast, it will be almost impossible to reduce weight and improve their quality of life. It is like having to go through a kind of sieve: “or have breakfast, or you will not have results.”
What are the advantages of avoiding breakfast?
- Loss of fat
- Avoid catabolism
- Create an anabolic environment naturally.
- Most of the benefits of fasting derive from the increase in growth hormone (which will be transformed into IGF-1 in your liver), the decrease in insulin to constant baseline levels, and the change in your metabolism. You will stop taking energy from the sugar (carbohydrates) you eat, and you will take it from the kg of fat you store. That is called ketosis. Check out the benefits of ketones in your body, but especially in your brain. Did you know that much research indicates that Alzheimer’s is practically a type III diabetes?
- You can continue training when you fast, but in short workouts with strength ranges (from the training part, I will open another topic, which goes a long way) — for example, 3 sets of 5 reps, an exercise by multiarticular movement.
- Walking is tremendously useful in maximizing fasting fat loss. Caffeine (or coffee) further improves the entire process by acting synergistically together with the hormonal environment that occurs when fasting.
- Once you are in deep ketosis (+ 36h fast) you can eat protein and fat without getting out of her. If you need something to eat, you can eat
Like diets, there comes a time that you will stagnate:
- When you have been fasting for 7-10 days, you are going to deteriorate. This is because the fat cells have emptied and are filling with water to maintain homeostasis (your body resists change and wants you to keep the volume). Then they will be left suddenly (one night you will get up and pee transparent for two minutes, this is called the Whoosh effect)
- When fat loss is less than 200g a day, it is best to reset the process and leave a week or two off, eating in an orderly and healthy way. You can keep a fast 16/8 or omad in this phase.
Ketosis is a metabolic situation in the body caused by a deficit in carbohydrate intake, which induces the catabolism of fats in order to obtain energy, generating compounds called ketone bodies, which break down fats into shorter chains, generating Acetoacetate that is used as energy by the brain (in fasting states it provides 75% of the power) and the rest of the organs of the human body. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cetosis
OK, but how does it work?
Your body has two ways of functioning. Taking the energy from the sugar that you give it every day (sugar I mean carbohydrates, whether they are potatoes, brown rice or lollipops, regardless of the rate of rising of the insulin peak, we’ll talk about this) or taking out the energy of fat You have accumulated. It cannot do both at once since your cells function in one way with one metabolism than another.
The glucose/sugar metabolism will give way to ketosis/fat/ ketones when you stop providing sugar to your body. Until then you will not be able to consume the accumulated fat (broadly speaking, they are not Boolean values, but are indicated by percentages, always unusually opted towards one or another source of energy). In short, ketosis is the process by consuming your fat, and it cannot be carried out while you have hydrates in the body/insulin.
In my experience, fasting will work as long as it is above 10% fat since otherwise, we could incur health problems. The results are spectacular, and the only minimum hits are some effects that I found along the way, and I did not know:
- Fasting you sleep differently. Either you sleep luxury, or you can’t sleep for the amount of energy you have.
- All you need when you spend long periods of fasting (+48 hours) are salts — magnesium, sodium and potassium. We do not need anything else. But we need them a lot.
- Until you get into ketosis, you can be tired, and murderous hunger attacks enter. We have to endure since it is our brain and not our body that speaks to us. On the third day yes or yes, the real hunger is gone, and only the habit remains.
- If the fatigue is prolonged, you have to hydrate and drink more salts.
- You do not eat hydrates when you leave the fast if you have spent many days in it. When you eat for the first time when you go the quick, eat and sleep and extreme wellbeing come in (finally the body has managed to hunt something, and your biology rewards it with sack endorphins), it is best to eat meat and vegetables, and gradually add carb.
Types of fasting:
- Leangains, or 16/8 (this handling many more parameters, such as the cycling of hydrates): This is the most common and recommended, given that with having dinner early and having breakfast late we would be able to endure 16 hours without eating.
- Warrior diet
- Omad (one meal a day, similar to before)
- Alternate Day Fasting
- 5: 2, based on the popular Michael Mosley documentary, eat, fast and live longer
- Eat stop diet
If you have never fasted or intermittently fasted, the easiest and most comfortable way for you to feel safe would be to fast in microcycles for 24-36 hours for the first time, that is, make small fasts the first three days you start this process.
If it seems very hard to go to bed without eating, you can eat some protein at bedtime, but it is a more psychological than a physical issue.
The body is going to ask you for sugar, and your mind will play with you to supply it. Resist yourself (now I’m not going to raise the issue of sugar addiction or how exorphins generated by gluten activate opiate receptors unleashing their function).
You can get benefits from fasting (not only fat loss, improvement of clinical markers, check thread sources), making two fasts 24-36 hours a week. In the BBC documentary «Eat, fast and live longer,» they analyze fasting from a critical perspective with several cases and how it affects health. It is highly recommended to look at it to draw your conclusions.
- PHASE 0 – Eat whatever you want. Tomorrow is fasting. Keep in mind that the higher the insulin is carried, the more it will cost then fast because it will give more hunger (that is, do not eat a whole chocolate cake). Calculate the success factor by motivation and the number of hydrates you have eaten.
- PHASE 1 – fast until it stagnates. You can optionally eat every 5-7 days a meal based on lean meat/fish. During this phase, Fullbody should be trained every 2-3 days. Series of 5reps, one exercise per muscle group. Training of maximum 20-30 minutes. You can also walk the day you do not do weights, not to overload your legs.
- PHASE 2 – When for two days, you have not lost weight or even gained weight, it is time to cut the fast. The first day a meal of protein and fat is made. They will be introducing carbohydrates little by little, making several meals a day. From the third day, you can return to some intermittent fasting protocol, such as omad or 16/8. Lengthen this phase a maximum of two weeks. You can put a cheat meal every two days. You can train regularly, although I recommend a push-pull-leg routine, one day of legs replacing it with sprints on the running track or HIIT.
- PHASE 3 – Perhaps 1-2kg have been recovered by replenishing glycogen in the liver and muscles and rehydration. If at this point I like my physique, I maintain a protocol of light fasting (for me the most effective is made), and I give hard training. If I want to lose more fat, I restart the cycle in PHASE 1.
Studies indicate that fasting is not recommended for people with kidney diseases. In cases of other metabolic/hormonal disorders such as hyperthyroidism or type I diabetes, follow-up by a specialist is recommended.
Some studies indicate that fasting may be beneficial for disorders such as hypothyroidism or type II diabetes among others under medical supervision.