Sunday, November 28, 2010
Fasting and athletes
So I have to admit something here. I'm guilty of yet again doing what I warned about in my bodyfat article.
Doing the whole Intermittent fasting thing can be a wonderful tool but it can be really easy to take too far. If you want to be able to perform at your best you still need to get in enough whole food. It may be an amazing feeling to look in the mirror every week and see positive change. Just don't get carried away with what you see in the mirror.
My case may be a little bit different than what most people are after. If all you want is to be fit and healthy you can do a 16 hour fast every day and not notice and problems you will keep a healthy weight and have wonderful energy levels. Lots of people fast 16 - 18 hours and enjoy wonderful health improvements and energy levels. Those of us who strive to be elite athletes may have different energy requirements.
If you train like an elite athlete you already know your energy expenditure requires a considerable amount of calories to fuel For this I recommend backing off your fasts to one or two 16 - 18 hour fasts once or twice a week. I don't mean for the average person who spends 45 - 60 minutes in the gym three times a week. I mean for the serious athlete who trains at full intensity two hours a day five days a week.
For everybody though, I can't stress enough that you need to be able to listen to your body. Living the Caveman lifestlye is all about being in tough with what is happening in your body as well as your environment. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If your abs are getting rock hard but your energy levels and mood are dropping, then back off on the fasting for a couple of days and allow youself to eat more.
Remember fasting is only a tool to be used for you benefit. It can be easy to get carried away. Use it to achieve and maintain your desired bodyweight but pace yourself and don't loose weight too quickly. The body needs to adjust to the composition changes.
Remember that it's almost impossible to have abs like you see on the cover of muscle and fitness. An impossibly low bodyfat level will only hinder athletic performance. If you look at the bodies of real atheletes you'll notice that they carry a little bit more bodyfat. It is needed to perform at the level of professional athletes.