fasting challenge

I’ve learned a lot from my month of fasting, mostly that this entire year of challenges is crazy.

Me and my good friend Matias clearly have this in common.

Crazy in a good way, I would argue but that is defintely debatable. January was easy as I am used to doing a month of no-drinking every year.

This month was dedicated to something different and harder , Fasting.

The basic idea was that we would practice “intermittent Fasting” or “IF” for the full month and as a bonus, do a 24-hour fast once and a 48-hour fast once.

Simply put, that means the following:

IF: Fast for 16 hours of the day, eat for 8

Example: I would start eating at 1pm and finish at 9pm, technically just skipping breakfast

24 hour fast: no solid foods for 24 hours, only water/coffee/tea (coffee/ broth is acceptable depedending who you ask but I chose not to)

48 hour fast: same as the 24 hour, just double as long.

I decided to bundle the questions of what I learned and got out of it in the 5 most important ones right here.

  1. Does fasting “work”?

    First, you’ll have to define what you mean by “work” but I’m going to assume here that we are talking about weight loss since most of my clients are interested in that. The simple answer is yes, it works great for weight loss. For myself, I lost 1.4% of SC fat (the visible fat under the skin) and 1% of VC fat (the fat hidden inside the body). My visceral fat has been steady around 9.5 for a long time now and quality of diet did not seem to have major effects on it. This approach immedeately started to break that plateau.
    I’ve seen much more impressive numbers with clients though.
    One person stands out with a loss of 20kg while retaining most of his muscle mass (this is very rare when losing lots of weight) and an 8 point reduction of his VC (also very difficult to obtain) he will be answering 5 questions of his journey soon, by the way.
    Aside from his results, there have been some other great results where fasting has been the only variable we changed and there have been serious changes in weight.
    Personally, I’m more interested in insulin resistance, autophagy and mitigating inflammatory factors but we will get into that fun stuff another time.
  2. How hard is it?

    To put this in perspective, let me tell you this: I used to be an absolute MONSTER when I wasn’t “fed” on time. So much actually, that my behaviour caused friction between me and my long-term girlfriend at the time (no that is not the reason we broke up, but close!)
    I was “team breakfast” all the way, and could not imagine why anyone would voluntarily stay away from food for extended periods of time. I had so many questions and beliefs that were simply contradictory to doing this.
    “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”
    “we need to eat frequently to keep the metabolism going”
    “not eating limits brainfunction”
    “I will lose all my muscle if I do this”

    Truth is, during my actual experience this didn’t seem to be the case at all. What I noticed, was very comparable to the feedback I was getting from clients.

    – It is not neccesarily easy but it is very simple. no need to count calories, weigh carbs, track intake, nothing of that. during a certain time frame you just do not eat. It takes a lot of planning, organising, shopping and decision making energy out of your day. Most high performers/ CEO’s I work with especially love this aspect.
    – Doing this has changed my relationship to food and hunger. Whereas before hunger would compeltely affect my mood and behaviour, now I see it for what it really is, a feeling that will pass. Usually very quickly, in about 10-15 minutes. It is not so much that our body needs food, it’s more that our biological clock tells us it must be time since we always eat at this time. Breaking the fast also makes the first meal a bit “extra” special. I valued my food a lot more compared to other days where I allowed myself to eat whenever.
    – IF is budget friendly. In my case, I would often sit down and grab a bite to eat between clients just because I wanted to. I did some calculations and that small change easily saved me 150$ in the month if not more.
  3. Did it affect my sports performance / recovery / sleep?

    During IF:
    Workouts not affected, I can do conditioning workouts , BJJ, weights without any noticable difference in performance.
    Sleep: not affected
    Recovery: possibly slightly better (could be linked to the increase in human growth hormone HGH linked to fasting)

    During 24 hour fast:
    Workouts slightly affected, during BJJ quite sharp and energetic, weights & cardio slightly tired and sluggish during.
    Sleep: Not affected (note, broke fast in evening)
    Recovery: no noticable effects

    During 48 hour fast:
    Did not workout (felt super sluggish)
    Sleep: did not notice any effects
    Recovery : nothing notible but autophagy would be taking serious effect during this fast.

    Conclusion: no noticable effects

  4. Would you do this again or long-term? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide

    For IF (intermittent fasting) , the answer is YES. The main reasons are the convenience and the mental sharpness I get out of it.
    It seems to have beneficial effects on my body composition as well, since I have not been very strict with my eating and still been able to drop fat and keep my muscle mass steady.

    For 24, the answer is yes, probably. I have done a couple before and it has been WAY more easy than I expected. I get hungry maybe once or not at all, and I feel very clean and centered during this fasted state. There seem to be serious regenerative benefits from autophagy so it’s something I will look into a bit more.

    48 though, is a different case because it’s a different animal. Compared to the 24 hours, I was feeling off, sluggish, slow. My last part of the fast was like moving through water, is the best way to say it. I realise there is serious health benefits in terms of stem cell activation but I’m simply not sure I can do it and still fuction during a working day.
  5. Would you reccommend this to others?

    Yes. I think it’s clear that it’s an effective strategy to lose weight, help reverse chronic disease like diabetes type 2, optimize hormone levels (like HGH and regulate ghrelin) and change your relationship to food and eating in a positive way.

    Starting Guide to fasting
    What happens which hours of fasting?
    Explainer video about fasting

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Looking for Physiotherapy services in Phnom Penh? Here’s what to expect at Movement: Fitness and Health

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Click here to ask me advice about your situation

A friend of mine, a very good golfer, has a lot of lower back pain (facet joints) as a result of playing and training a lot.

Manual therapy increases the symptoms. Is treatment on a traction table a possible solution?

Mark Chen, Physiotherapist:

Thank you for your question.
I personally do not consider a traction table as a ‘solution’. It can, however, provide a good relief of the discomfort and can therefore help as a way to start the recovery.
Traction works by relieving pressure on the facet joints. It ‘pulls’ the vertebrae ‘apart’ and gives space, so to say.
This can certainly provide some relief, once it has been determined that pressure, or ‘compression’, plays a significant role in causing the symptoms.

So it’s mainly a matter of trying. If there is no clear change in symptoms after 3-4 times, I would consider another method. It’s also worth noting, that it is fairly easy to create traction on the lower back yourself. For example, you can hang on a horizontal bar or use a Gym ball and lie down on it face down.

With both methods it is important that you fully relax the muscles.

Finally, I would advise him to have a good look at the mobility of the spine. Golf is, after all, a fairly one-sided sport that therefore loads the body (and especially the hips and spine) in an unbalanced way. With a view to the long duration, it is certainly advisable to follow an exercise program that keeps and maintains a muscular balance on the spinal system through flexibility and stability training.

I can help with that via online guidance, but there are of course plenty of Physiotherapists / Personal trainers who can help with that!

Hopefully this will help your friend!

Physio-Fitness is a way for you to work on your physical discomfort or injury under supervision of a professional .

After a personal consultation and assessment , the therapist will design and instruct a corrective exercise program for you.
During the Physio-Fitness classes, you will be able to exercise and get instant feed-back and answers to your questions.

This class is perfect for:

  • Posture correction (anybody with an office job)
  • (chronic) Low back/ hip / shoulder pain
  • When you have tried any sort of therapy except training
  • When you find it difficult to create the time to do your exercises at home
  • If you want to get started with fitness, but have some weak points to work on


    Currently, the class is on Monday 12- 1 PM.
  • Please note the maximum attendance is 4 pax per class (currently 3 attendees)
  • if you don’t require the full hour, coming in late or leaving early is fine
  • Class is only available when you have a program designed for you
  • Monthly Fee (1x pw basis) 60$
  • Drop- in 20$

You can go here to make an appointment for a (free) Assessment

Question:

“Hey,

My name is Priscilla and I am 26 years old.
I recently discovered that I have hypermobility syndrome.
And my question was what are the best exercises to keep up with my body?
Because you are told and that’s it.
I don’t know how ,what ,where from now.

How can I best keep track of my body, what is best to do, how to prevent things, what resources are helpful to me in daily life?

I really hope you can answer me

Sincerely,

Priscilla”

Answer:

Mark Chen,

Physiotherapist / Personal Trainer / Nutritionist

 

“Hi Priscilla

A very good question and coincidentally one that I recently encountered.
This lady had been complaining about hypermobility for more than 10 years, even while she had followed the advice she had received.
“Do not train too heavily, but focus on low-stressing exercises such as swimming and yoga”.

She particularly enjoyed Yoga, but it had no positive effects on her symptoms.

For me, that is a lot less surprising than for her for a very simple reason. Hypermobility means increased mobility of the muscles and joints. In those cases, flexibility is the problem!
Then why would you focus on Yoga, which is specifically designed to increase mobility?

I advised her to (completely) stop Yoga for the time being and fully focus on stability. As soon as she can support her own body in the right way, it is time to carefully start Yoga again.
She followed a strength/stability schedule for 12 weeks with a strong focus on gymnastics and is now completely free of pain for the first time in 10 years. So this is very possible with the right approach.

Of course, that is where the challenge lies, and you will have to find someone who can guide you through this. If there is nobody around you who can do that, then the new video guidance I offer might be something for you!”

Good luck,

I just had a procedure done ( a herniated disc between the sixth and seventh vertebrae.) The bulge has been removed at the back of the neck. I had nerve failure in my left arm because the nerve was blocked by the herniation. Now I have one problem: I walked an hour two or three times a week, but according to the GP that is not so good for my neck, because I have osteoarthritis between my sixth and sixth cervical vertebrae (strongly narrowed intervertebral space with slight disc herniation and the other neck vertebrae have a small disc protrusion).

My question now is, whether it is wise to buy a cross trainer and keep my fitness level, or are other sports suitable? I mainly did fat burning and endurance. I am 50 years old and still want to be active.

-Christine

Mark Chen, Physiotherapist

I think it is certainly a good idea to keep the condition maintained with a cross trainer. I would also put the advice of the GP to the test. The idea that osteoarthritis should be a reason to be careful is very old-fashioned.

Recent scientific research has tested the causal relationship between abnormal findings and pain by allowing people without symptoms to take an MRI scan. These studies show that there is a huge percentage of deviations that in these cases are totally unpaired with pain or discomfort. For example, for a disc protrusion or a “bulging” as you describe, 87 percent. For degenerative changes of the discus, such as dehydration / narrowing, as many as 96 percent of the older population. This group, please note, does not experience any complaints.

This should be a reassurance. The findings in your neck are normal, and not necessarily responsible for any complaints. Of course, from my position, I can not determine whether there is actually a connection!

My advice would be to find a passionate sports physiotherapist who can help with this process. The neck must be tested calmly to see what is and is not possible!

That way you will probably be surprised at what is possible. The idea to reduce a basic activity such as walking at such a young age (provided there is a good reason for this) does not seem sensible to me.

I hope this helps!

What’s up #KetoCorporal.

Here’s a new assignment: Breakfast options.

Goal:

Prepare a Ketobreakfast and come up with 3 other options for the week

What to make:

This is an all-time favorite when it comes to Keto breakfasts. And what’s not to love?

We’ve got eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and maybe a bit of cheese thrown in?

Delicious.

The site I’ve directed you to is awesome because it’s like a google specifically for Keto Meals. Just note what the main ingredients to a dish should be, click “keto only” and BOOM. Plenty of options.

What to do : Use the link provided to come up with 3 meals to make over the week.

 

Show me your commitment and inspire me by posting your favorite recipe on the page here

 

 

 

https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/classic-bacon-and-eggs

Goal:

Make yourself a batch of Bulletproof Keto Coffee and start the day right

Why:

This delicious coffee packs a meal-worthy  300 calories and combines the power of caffeine with healthy brain-assisting fats and vitamins from the grass-fed butter

How:

  • brew a strong black coffee
  • Put 2 tablespoons of Grassfed butter in a blender
  • add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil (I use coconut oil)
  • Pour coffee in
  • Blend until thick and cream
  • Enjoy!

Additional Assignment:

Start burning some fat on a cardio machine of choice and watch this video

 

Show me your commitment by posting 1 thing you’ve learned from the video on the Facebook Page with the tag #KetoCoffee

 

Ready for the next Challenge? Click here