Thoughtful Thursday… did intermittent fasting for 5 days...here's what happened...
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
5 days. No consumption of food or caloric beverage for 16 hours everyday.
There are many ways to fast. An 16 hour intermittent fasting is good for body composition.
Did my body composition improve? Weight loss? Fat loss? What did my workouts look like?
You are about to find out...
As you read about in My 5-day intermittent fast, last week I completed this form of fasting with a concentration on consuming only nutrient-dense foods and beverages when I did break the fast. See previous newsletter for exact items. What I did not anticipate was to get sick at the start of said fast. Not that illness is ever fun nor convenient, it did play nicely into my week of fasting. Here’s what I mean.
Being sick generally requires one to hydrate more and get some nice chicken noodle soup or bone broth and avoid processed foods, lots of carbs, replace coffee with tea, get more rest, etc. That’s exactly what I did! My first meal of the day was comprised of bone broth or eggs with a spinach and kale salad and lots of vegetables and an avocado. It was quite tasty.
I love my Kion Coffee but was removing it from my diet for a week anyway so no issues there. I also love my Kion Energy Bars but here again, although one of the purist and healthiest bars on the planet, I cut them completely as it is a good idea to cycle on foods and beverages even if they are great. Also, I was consuming more than one per day which wasn’t needed. Even for an active person, one bar per day is sufficient. I was consuming too much.
How I felt
As mentioned, was sick and eventually lost my voice so my body was hard at work to recover and repair. I aided the recovery process by focusing on the nutrient-dense foods and hydration. Illness aside, my gut felt awesome! Digestion and everything was working in harmony. A healthy gut is extremely important as microbiome imbalances in the gut can wreak havoc on the whole body. For example, microbiome imbalances can lead to gut disorders (IBS, Celiac, Chron’s etc.); mental health and neurological issues; autoimmune disease; obesity; asthma; eczema; allergies; and more. It’s pretty darn important to take care of it.
What did my training look like during the week? Because I was sick, at most I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes just to improve circulation. I made use of that time doing some yoga poses, stretching and foam rolling. It felt very good to do these gentle movements. Otherwise I would have incorporated some light weights in a fed state but not too much.
Interestingly, everything kind of aligned for this week of fasting. Having to go to a health clinic, I got my official weight the day I started my fast (we don’t have a scale at home). Also coincidently at the end of my fast, there was an opportunity to get a full-body composition scan via InBodyTest. Last year I did the InBody Test and wrote about here. More information on the comparison between the two tests will be coming in a future newsletter so stay tuned!
Now back to the results of doing a continuous 5-day intermittent fast. Drum roll please. Weight was down three and a half pounds and body fat percentage was down a percentage point. So what was going on here? Between 12 and 16 hours into a fast begins increased secretion of HGH (human growth hormone) and elevated fat metabolism. This combination contributes to improved body composition via fat loss and muscle preservation. Studies can be found here and here.
I’m very glad I did the 5-day intermittent fast. Overall, felt great in relation to fasting. As I continue to increase my knowledge about fasting, I see a good approach is complete for example, what I did every quarter or every season. So in the Spring I will be doing another 5-day fast, perhaps focusing on liver detoxification, we’ll see. Then I will do a 5-day fast in the Summer and then again in the Winter. Very important to cycle these; wouldn’t want to do this every week as I want to maintain hormone balance as well a strike a balance between feast and famine; an ancestral living approach.
It might be fun for the GreenNote Fitness community to do a fast at the same time.
What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts. Please share.
Enjoy your journey,
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Did you miss last week’s newsletter on My 5-day intermittent fast ……?