Running is a delight to most of my kids. I love to sprint but my five oldest love cross country running and they are amazing at it. l would like to be able to run a 5 K but I’m just not up to the challenge … yet. I’m getting there. Along with my Intermittent Fasting I do interval training or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). In only 2 months of doing high intensity twenty minute workouts three times a week I have made great strides toward becoming a stronger, fitter me. You can read more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting and HIIT in my other posts or on my Pages in the right side bar.

Happy New Year!!!!

2011 is here. What’s my new year’s resolution? First off, I resolve to go back on my eating plan(Intermittent Fasting), where I stop eating at 7PM and start again at 2PM the next day eating pretty much what I want. The Christmas holidays were filled with myriad yummy treats shoved(I mean kindly offered)in front of me and it became too exhausting pushing them away — okay, I didn’t put up much of a fight. There are some amazing bakers among my family and friends; I think I put on five pounds. You can follow my progress (fasting, eating, losing) under Intermittent Fasting in ‘Pages’.

If you can run …

     … cycle, swim or perform any exercise for an hour then you have to ask yourself: Am I really giving myself a workout? Are you challenging your heart enough, your lungs, your body — are you challenging yourself — enough?

Do you ever sweat or feel wiped out at the end of your ‘workout’? I put the last in quotes because, really, if you are being honest with yourself, can you call breezing along for an hour on a treadmill or elliptical machine without breaking much of a sweat or feeling your lungs taxed for air, a workout?

Studies show that exercising at a high intensity for ten or twenty minutes will give you more health benefits than an hour of moderate intensity. You burn more fat too.

How is this possible? After your body has exercised for twenty minutes it has depleted all the energy that is quickly available and turns to burning fat but what that does, when you continue exercising for another forty minutes, is it teaches your brain that fat needs to be in ready supply for your next workout session so your body will store fat over the interim. When you stop at twenty minutes your brain thinks that a quick energy supply should be on hand for the next workout so it tells the body to burn fat in the interim so that energy is quickly available in the muscles.

Long periods of moderate exercise will make you lean but lean and fat(it sounds like an oxymoron but the expression ‘skinny fat’ was coined for a reason). Long periods of moderate intensity like those who routinely train to run marathons may employ will lose muscle over time. Interval training with short bursts of high intensity will let you become lean but strong with no muscle loss. In fact, every good interval training program includes strength training so your muscles become more defined.

The picture below is an extreme example but you get the idea.

High Intensity Interval Training

I should mention that along side my Intermittent Fasting or Fast-5eat stop eat‘ regimen I work out according to the P.A.C.E. training philosophy. This is a system of exercise that teaches that twenty minutes of training with short bursts of high intensity will garner as much or more results as one hour of moderate intensity cardio. Some may also know the correlating acronym H.I.I.T which stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

The P.A.C.E or Progressive Accelerated Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise concept sets forth the idea that the heart and lungs will adapt to whatever challenge you give them. If you work out moderately for extended periods of time they will adapt to the intensity and literally shrink their capacities. Conversely, if you challenge the heart and lungs with a short burst of much higher intensity then rest and repeat to a maximum of twenty minutes over mere weeks the heart and lungs will increase their capacities to adapt to the more severe demand. But not only that, fat is burned in the twenty-four to forty-eight hour interim between work-outs. Study after study has borne this theory out.

I thought it was worth a try and so far I’ve been surprised and impressed by the results. After only six weeks I feel stronger and fitter and I get a buzz from the work-outs. It’s awesome. You should consult a physician before embarking on any new fitness program, of course.

Laughter brings release

… even if it’s just for a minute. Scientists and doctors will tell you that laughter creates endorphines which are released by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus and act like a drug that gives a feeling of euphoria. Proverbs 17:22 in the Old Testament said it first: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Activities that produce this effect include: exercise, excitement from laughter and amusement park rides, even pain. Laughter is free so read some jokes, hang around with funny people, or watch some videos.

On that note, check out this hilarious video.

Not Juicing Anymore

I gave up on juicing to lose weight. It’s not that Juicing isn’t a valid method for losing weight — I just know myself and constantly craving meat was not something I could maintain for the long journey towards losing 100 pounds. If you want to watch my success on the IF program or read more information on the CRON diet click on the Dietary Detour and Intermittent Fasting pages. On those pages you will see how the CRON diet dovetails seamlessly with the Intermittent Fasting method.

Triumphal Return

I am overstating my exuberance at ending my hiatus from blogging but I am upbeat. I have been away because of personal problems and disillusionment and I don’t want to be maudlin with a memoir of my mire of melancholy — please forgive my messy alliteration — so I will forgo the details.

I am happy to report that I have reembarked on my weight loss journey with a form of Intermittent Fasting that involves eating all my calories in a short window of five hours a day. Some of you may remember that I had tried eating only when my blood sugar dropped below 6 or 108(depending on your diabetic glucometer reading). The problem with that system was that I tended to overcompensate for the fasting period and ate too late into the evening. This only gained an uneven success with weight loss but it did keep my blood sugars in check.

What I am doing now is taking advantage of the well-researched benefits of IF or Intermittent Fasting. Studies have shown that calorie restriction brings many health benefits such as increased cell repair because of redirected energy when resting the digestive system, greater levels of human growth hormone(a known aging inhibitor), improved skin, weight loss, mental acuity and the list goes on.

But what makes IF really appealing for people wanting to lose weight (like me) is that you can eat almost anything you want to during your eating windows. Some use an 8 hour eating window(2Pm to 10PM for example) but I’ve opted for a window of 2PM to 7PM. It seems to be working. So far, I have lost twelve pounds of fat in two weeks.
I feel hungry around ten in the morning for some reason but then it subsides. Even better, my blood sugars are even more stable.

When I do finally eat at 2PM the food tastes glorious. I enjoy every morsel I consume and I actually find it very difficult to eat as many calories as I am used to in that five hours. Some even struggle with cramming the same calories into eight hours.

The other form of IF has people eating normally five days a week and fasting two 24 hour days though not consecutively. I tried both and I prefer the daily eating window version and it is safer for my diabetes.

I will post my progress and weight loss or lack thereof under Intermittent Fasting in the sidebar. I hope it inspires even one person to try it, but … here’s the disclaimer … Please consult your doctor before embarking on any dieting or eating program(especially if you are a diabetic) because I am not a nutritionist or health care professional. I am taking a low dose of metformin while doing IF and I assure any concerned that my BGs are not crashing; I have yet to drop below 5.3 or 95.4

Intermittent Fasting

I am back after a long hiatus. I became busy with life and, to be painfully frank, I’ve been mired in depression. Various health problems (that are sometimes debilitating and cause a great deal of anxiety) conspired with relationship issues to detour my online surfing anywhere but to my blog.

But two weeks ago I decided to try my eating plan that demands that I not eat until my blood sugar has dropped to the normal range. The reason I did this is because while studying the I.F. program(intermittent fasting) to reacquaint myself with all its benefits I realized that the timing of meals in the ‘eating window’ form of IF that involves eating all your calories within a four to eight hour window is roughly similar to my diabetic eating plan.

It correlates because I know my blood sugar doesn’t drop to 6 or lower until around 1PM or 2PM. If I stop eating at 7PM this allows 18 or 19 hours of fasting which keeps my blood sugars on an even keel. This plan meshes very well with Intermittent Fasting because the window I eat in falls within the requirement of four to eight hours in the IF eating window.

Now, why is IF good even for non-diabetics. Much scientific study has shown that a number of amazing benefits are gained by either fasting daily for 16-20 hours or fasting two 24 hour days a week. These benefits include increased levels of human growth hormone(an aging inhibitor), resting the digestive system that can lead to increased cell repair, improved skin, mental acuity, weight loss and the list goes on. Studies show that fasting or calorie restriction restricts calorie intake which brings some of these benefits but during your eating windows you can calorie load and eat your favorite foods while reaping the rewards

A Life-Changing Dietary Detour

Any of those closely following my journey to lose over 100 pounds will notice that I have not posted anything on my juice fast progress page in a number of weeks. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is that I came to the realization that I was always going to be defeated while juicing as long as I couldn’t eat protein (I am quite muscular with large muscles). Some people crave sweets on diets; I never do — it’s always steak, burgers or chicken I drool after. Dessert for me at a restaurant would be another course of meat. Maybe I’m just spineless and I need to soldier through it. Instead, I decided to do some research.

This leads me to the second reason for my hiatus from cramming vegetables and fruit into my juicing machine. I stumbled upon a website about a man, Lee Shurie, who defeated his own type 2 diabetes with a very novel approach to eating.

He theorized that if his blood sugar was up in the morning, that he should wait until it drops into the normal range before he has a meal. This makes sense when you think about it. Our bodies digest food and convert it to blood sugar for a ready energy supply to be stored by insulin in our cells. If you have a supply there already in the form of high blood sugar, it seems redundant to then eat again.

So, he didn’t. Sometimes his blood sugar didn’t drop to normal till 6 PM at night. He wasn’t taking medication or insulin and if you do you should consult a doctor before adopting his method. As he continued to do this, some amazing health benefits began to accrue to him. If you are interested in reading more jump to my Dietary Detour page.

Follow My Juicing and Follow Me

I would love to know if people are following my progress out there. If I have something tangible like additional followers in my follower list, it will give me some encouragement and steel in my backbone to soldier through this juicing journey to lose a ridiculous amount of weight. Even if you elect not to do that, you could leave a comment stating that you are watching my progress. That would really help me during the dark ‘steak and eggs’ cravings.