Why I’m Trying a New Diet Routine
I’m always looking to switch up my diet and workout routines. It’s not about trying something new just to try it. It’s about improving on what works and testing as many different conditions as possible to better understand how my body responds to a wide range of stimuli. It’s having more data available at the end of the day to know what worked best and what didn’t for achieving results.
When it comes to dieting, there’s a ridiculous amount of factors to consider such as:
- When is the best time to eat?
- Which foods will serve my goals best and which ones should I avoid?
- Should I pay equal attention to macro-nutrient ratios and calories or just focus on one?
- Should I do cardio and how much?
- Should cardio be high or low intensity and for how long?
- What weight training regimen is optimum for my goals?
I could go on and on..
I am certain that there is not one particular diet that is best for everyone but rather, every person needs to find the best diet for him/her. I’ve held too many conversations with people that swear by “Diet X” only to talk to the very next person who tried “Diet X” and didn’t see any of the same results.
If you’ve followed this blog over the course of the last year, you know that I’ve tried a lot of different things in both dieting and working out. I’m had a lot of success with several methods and I’ve failed at a couple methods that I was certain would work.
A New Twist on Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate day intermittent fasting is what I’ll be employing the rest of the year and it’s one more piece of information that I’ll have to work with rather it’s a success or fail.
What’s it about?
I’m going to go back to one of the more popular intermittent fasting protocols around and eat in an eight hour window every day. I enjoy eating this way (I don’t like trying to eat six meals a day) and it works well for two reasons:
- I hate eating breakfast. Skipping breakfast isn’t only optional with intermittent fasting, it’s recommended for the best results.
- I like to eat at night too much and this guarantees I won’t. I’ll be eating meals starting at 1pm every day so no more food will be consumed past 9pm. I usually hit the sack at about 1am, so I’ll still have to fight off the late night munchies every evening.
For calories, I’ll be enjoying 3000 every other day. On these days, I’ll be consuming high protein and high carbs (mostly post workout) and low fat. I’ll also be weight training only on these days. You can read my intermittent fasting review to understand how I typically need 2750 calories on workout days. I’m adding 250 calories to really boost supply of nutrients on weight training days and create more glycogen depletion every other day.
Every other day, I will eat 1000-1200 calories and ingest mostly high protein, high fat and very low carb, staying under 30g a day. I’m shooting for major glcyogen depletion on these days and the carbs I do eat will only come from green veggies.
Since my daily BMR requires right at 2500 calories a day (17,500 every week) for maintenance, that’s a respectable deficit every week while really supplying a lot of calories on my workout days.
I’ll also be consuming 10g of BCAAs every two hours that I’m awake, outside the eight-hour eating window.
Alternate day fasting, on it’s own, has been proven to lower glycogen and insulin levels which of course leads to fat loss. I’m not doing the traditional alternate day fasting though, as I’ll be eating far more calories on those days and letting the intermittent fasting window of 16 hours every day take care of glycogen depletion.
By cutting carbs every other, I am in fact creating a diet that is a combination of intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, and carb cycling.
Oh wait.. let’s make it four diet combinations. For my high-fat days, I’ll be eating a lot of bacon, eggs and butter. I’ve pretty much stayed away from these fats all year long but the Primal Diet encourages it and again, it’s the perfect time to test something new as I’ve been eating the same way every day.
The evidence seems to indicate that I can eat a lot more eggs, butter and bacon and still decrease body fat but I’ve never tried it. The results look to be interesting. I plan to ride it out to the end of the year and see what happens.
Past Success and Past Failure
I’m trying this diet in combination with past results I’ve shared this year. Intermittent fasting, as I’ve stated before, is not particularly effective at dropping my body fat into single digits, on it’s own.
When combined with carb cycling, as illustrated in my 30 day fitness challenge, I found success. When I finally start the road to get down to 6% body fat this next Spring, I’ll likely return to this method but.. I want to see if alternate day intermittent fasting is something that yields even better results for me?
It’s the perfect time to test, as I had planned on staying at 10% body fat until the first of next year, when I really start attempting to cut up and get ripped. If I get a head start into that by finding this nutrition plan as being highly effective… well, you won’t hear me complaining.
My biggest failure of the year was when I engaged in HIIT twice a day.. 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. I thought I would see the fat just fall off me but surprisingly, I saw very little difference in the scale or when measuring with the calipers. That was eye-opening for me in realizing that diet is far more important for weight management that cardio. Although I’ve heard this to be factual about a thousand times in the past, it was something I needed to prove to myself.
My 1 Week Alternate Day Fasting Trial
Another reason I’ve decided to move forward with this particular diet program is because in trying it out for the last week, I lost 2.5 lbs. I didn’t do any cardio other than a rather non-competitive game of volleyball just last night. My strength was maintained and though it’s only been a week, I think I look leaner.. all signs of fat loss.
I did the first week just to kind of feel it out and see how easy it would be to maintain. I found I have no problem only getting 1,000 calories in a day when I just had 3,000 the day before and can look forward to getting 3,000 the next day. The psychological aspect of it aside though, I felt full and didn’t even crave food on my 1,000 calorie days.
With some pretty exciting preliminary data on eating and working out with alternate day, primal intermittent fasting, I’m looking forward to maintaining this lifestyle for the next 10 weeks and seeing what kind of results I get.
I’ll be posting to let you know how it goes!