12 Months Of LCHF
Intermittent fasting is topical at present, indeed I just listened to a short podcast on the subject by Geoff Woo at nootropics company HVMN. As mentioned in my About profile, I’m very open to experimenting on a N=1 basis. I tried a low carb high fat diet a couple of years ago and the result was profound, I dropped 11 kilos, or 10% of my weight at the time.
LCHF was interesting, I was resolute with it for close to a year, but all the weight fell away in the first 2-3 months and then plateaued. I then went into quite an intensive year or so of endurance cycling and had to reintroduce carb into my diet for energy on the 2-6 hour rides I did. I dropped another couple of kilos give the 6-10 hours a week spent on the bike.
This winter has seen my business life move up more than one gear and I have spent several months on a major project which killed off the regular cycling. No prizes for guessing 6 kilos have gone back on. For the time being I’m adopting a cross training approach, with 1-2 gym sessions a week and 2-3 on the bike. I’m just not feeling enthusiasm for cycling at present.
On a physiological level, I found that a good year on the bike resulted in a lot of muscle mass being dropped from my upper body and a lot of attendant mobility issues. Muscle mass depletion is an issue for me, given my age, so for at least some weeks I’m mixing it up. The fact it is cold and wet outside has nothing to do with my training regime.
Intermittent Fasting Considerations
But the weight has to go. I’ve read enough about and listened to some very good practitioners on the intermittent fasting approach, so I’m going to give it a go for a few weeks. I tried three days last week without much trouble, but I was at a relatively low workload and only three training sessions, therefore not enough data.
It’s reasonable to believe intermittent fasting is just another way of restricting calories. I hear all the technical arguments. I heard them all with LCHF too, but when I look back at my nutrition diary, I consumed less calories. Plus I dropped some pounds initially in the carb depletion phase, as a gram of glycogen has 2-3 grams of water associated with it.
It can be tough to sort the facts from the bullshit too. Most dietary regimes have advocates and sometimes fanatical believers and it’s possible to be sucked in. I read eight books on LCHF and after a time my brain started to be thoroughly washed and critical thinking can drift off. Then I remembered one of the main advocates was a seriously overweight man with obvious eating disorders and another was a world class athlete who would probably look good whatever his diet was.
Enough Talking, Let’s Fast
I will report back. I am starting tomorrow, Monday 11 February and my initial approach to to conclude eating at 9 in the evening and start again 1pm the next day. Not going wild between 1-9pm. On days off, I’m not going with the ‘cheat days’ advocated by some. It’s still calories in and calories out, so having a 5,000 calorie day doesn’t feel like a healthy or viable approach.
Weigh in tomorrow to give a base, then using MyFitnessPal to record my nutrients. My travel schedule is medium this week, so likely 4 training sessions of one sort or another. I will try and get at least 150 grams of protein down, plus try and keep carbs at maybe 100 grams daily. Full array of supplements (I will come back to that later). Heart rate variability and sleep is also getting measured. I have enough metrics to provide some base data.
Let’s see how it goes over the next month, in the real world and all its business travel stress, temptations and motivation challenges.
Also published on Medium.