- PART 1
- My Setup thus far.
- PART 2
- Notable highlights & experiences
- PART 3
- The Carbohydrate Refeeds
- “You don’t need refeed!”
- About me / my average stats
- Training Samples / how hard do I train?
- Supplementation – Training
- Supplementation – during IF days
- The Carbohydrate Refeeds
- PART 4
- Costings & Meals Prepping – is Keto/LCHF more resourcefully affordable?
- Sample Plans
- Longevity Analysis
- My (broader thoughts) on Intermittent Fasting.
You are reading someone else’s in-depth account/s of nutritional & life intervention/s spanning across ONE YEAR. Covering everything from nutrition, psychology, supplementation and fitness training. All intertwined into both socio-economical and self-scientific (explorative) perspective. This is NOT a light reading. Don’t like it? Then go somewhere else. Pedestrian Normalcy welcomes you back with open arms.
A humbling and resilient episode. Which in my opinion still remains unchanged – as instinctual necessity. I’d willingly conclude that no other nutritional intervention, other than the Cyclical Ketogenic +IF, are as daringly honest at truly questioning your capacity for living life to the fullest.
It is what I consider a “complete exhaustion”. Teaching the mind and body at surviving against many diverse contexts of “stress”. From one psychological / physiological sensing of scarcities (metabolic “damage” as readaptations / stress). All the way to determining readiness at surviving fitness (resistance training), and nutrient partitioning. All within episodic caloric abundance vs scarcities (severe deficits vs. surplus / refeeds).
Every struggles faced this year have been far more genuinely challenging, than anything I’ve witnessed. Including that of all my former years of CKD alone in 2017and 2016. In spite of all these – I am glad to have survived much of 2018 without the need for excessive support of No-tropics. My anxieties and depressive outlooks inspite of daily frequency have convinced me not to rely on them.
What about HC+IF days/weeks?
I no doubt would plainly admit – that HC+IF (that is “normal” low fat, high carb) days are helpful to maintain lean muscle mass. I however remain skeptical at times in questioning my own digestive & metabolic readiness. Questioning my own readiness at nutritional partitioning copious amount of food. Without risks of that pending / “looming” hunger pangs and anxieties I often noted/discussed earlier.
Another concern is the blind pursuit for “accessory” foods. White bread alone, and/or “refined” low fat products – neither is never satiating. Period. You’d need syrups,sauces, condiments, and other trivial accessory-foods to make it all worth while.
Is such an HC+IF eating window a blessing? Indeed. But this hedonic impulses at acquiring more such “accessories” as “flavour” – is abusive to one’s existing financial means.
Carbohydrates nonetheless are still necessary.
In spite of all my praise of Cyclical Keto+IF, I may appear as though I glamourise masochistic starvation. I still however asserts that within my book – never to promote such a case for any indefenite lengths of time.
It is neither wise nor productive, in my opinion from all that I’ve explored to stay in a prolonged starvation. Carbohydrate refeeding periods after all awakens the much needed insulin response to enable their destined job. That is at rapidly utilising glycogen recompensations as they should be.
The word “Intermittent” in front of Fasting here, is excruciatingly important. It reminds us all not to deeply entrench ourselves in linear stoicism. Whether keto or out of keto, within fasting or feasting. I have embraced all realms unbiasedly, each in their own microcosmic experience/s to the fullest.
I will be discussing more on refeeds on Part 3 of this Annual Food For Thoughts.
My Setup Thus Far
My most often used setup (higher protein, but still LC/KETO) + intermittent fasting setup more or less remains unchanged from my previous write up. Fasting begins from 12:30AM onwards. At times when I am still hungry – by 1 AM before sleep.
Mondays through Fridays remain as my 18+ hour fasting days, less than six or (even five) hours of eating window. On Wednesday (my resting day) – I fast willingly up to no more than twenty (20) hours.
Once again of course, warm liquids only intake during all fasts. Not even Creatine with coffees. As I believe arginine, methionine and glycine are all gluconeogenic. Simple black coffees, always – remained as staple. Alongside with few occasions – warmed apple cider vinegar + water, and (sometimes) quarter squeeze of lemon. Pinches of baking soda, himalayan salt and/or cream of tartar in both coffees and warmed ACV drinks helped maintain the needed mineral intakes. Especially throughout these 19 hours+ fasting windows.
On training days – my “breakfast” technically begins as soon as I sip my preworkout solution consisting of a preworkout formula (branded). Or my default 10g worth of BCAAs with creatine. In my opinion it remains debatable whether the small caloric footprint from this temporarily “fed” state is enough to pose concern. Considering the sheer volume of training that likely exerts far more both glucose & fatty acids oxidations anyway.
On a non fasting day (Wednesday) – breaking the fast simply involves a whey protein shake at around 8PM or as late as 8:45PM. Followed by first solid meal of the day at 9:40PM. Many would ask why for the whey protein. Speaking only from my experience – I am convinced that higher protein intake help offsetting lean muscle mass losses. Deliberately delaying such intakes in my opinion makes reaching daily calorie intakes very difficult. If not at times impossible.
Lowest / highest calorie intakes
General IF Days (HC+IF/LC+IF)
The highest recorded for Keto/LC IF days are 1800 calories. The lowest? 1220. Per day. Yes. On training days.
“Hunger” responses in the context of resistance training remains confusing. Some reported decrease, some – increases. I somewhat belong to the paradoxical group whereby rest days is an inclination to eat more. If I am not hungry even after exercise then by logical instinct – why should I be eating more than what is pragmatically necessary? Often though not a rule – many occasions puts me unconvinced for big caloric surpluses post training. Even after a squeamish 35g worth of post workout WPC with up to 150ml or even less worth of full cream milk+water (to save supply for entire 7 day longevity use).
Nevertheless whenever hunger is felt genuine – higher calorie intakes during KETO/IF ranges possibly between 1650 to 1800 calories. But subjectively vary in terms of practicality. From very difficult – to just downright impossible. I have warned not to advocate this in the book repeatedly. As surplus attempts on any Ketogenic regiment is unnecessarily taxing to the digestive system.
Refeed Days (2.5 days or 48 hours minimum)
So when do I truly eat like a hungry person? That’s when refeed day/s come in. Either as 2.5 days Body OPUS Style (beginning from Friday’s late afternoon as preworkout meal or starting from a high carb dinner / 1st solid meal). Or my tried, and long practised – 48 hours feeding window from rise of Saturday to Sunday bedtime.
Highest calorie intakes on high carb days are so easily doable. Up to 4500 calories were recorded in first day (Saturday) before the mildly decreasing to 4000 or even 3500. More on refeeding protocols in Part 3 of this Annual Food For Thoughts.
What about HC+IF days?
Quite a different picture. The highest intake is 2500+; that is if I opt for a preworkout meal as the first legitimate breakfast-prior to evening training. I find high intakes to be a lot easier amongst non-training days whereby rest and anabolism are expected. The lowest? Less than 1600 calories.
In spite my seemingly patriotic insistence to Cylical Keto/IF; as I mildly suggested beforehand – should a Ketogenic intervention is not conducive to someone else’s physiology – a conventional low fat paradigm such as HC+IF or even ISO+IF (33/33/33) I’d wager would serve plausible alternatives for reducing overall resource footprint.
Are there “Problems”?
Of course there are “Problems”. There is no such thing as fitness or nutritional utopia. “Survival” and/or “Anxiety” is an inflammatory event, “low”, “high” grade, I don’t care. Accumulate enough, Nature shall rightfully respond with all sorts of derangements and repercussions.
I’d wager – speaking out of my (nearing) four years persisting within this way of life can attest – “surviving” nutritionally on a limited <$30 per week is just as legitimate as “surviving” on your next 300+ pound deadlift PR attempts. On top of lingering L5/S1 disc degenerations, knee patella mistracks and/or over-reliance to painkillers.
Risk of metabolic damage?
Some reassures this an evolutionary trait as just simply that – a state of self preservation. Any word pertaining “damage”; especially out of today’s black-dog buzzword “Metabolic Damage”; in my opinion nevertheless should imply less of a binary negativity. If anything, it’s a perfect response of Nature at keeping us alive amidst dire resources.
However such is also a period of inrefutable catabolism. It nevertheless puts my other primal needs – at a compromise.
Eg. a subconscious deactivation of certain “impulses” – libido & reproductive systems. Or hesitation against more exercise / caloric expenditure due to increased risk of delayed injury healing. Or the helplessly excess lactic acid production during cortisol overload. Whatever physiological and/or psycho-social case may be – what feeds in determines the fate – of what gets out.
“Fat loss” per se is not necessarily my goal of life. Despite vanity remain as my own primal admission of need – it has been interesting nevertheless that I’ve stalled at a certain weight point. Despite five-daily basis of <1400 calorie starvation. Combine that with desire at maintaining fitness meritocracies & withstanding daily stressors. Both easily accumulates enough for a perfect storm towards catabolic stresses. Alas, necessary for survival within sociological stratification.
More than 20 hours fasting? I’d say no.
That long of a fasting window to me – is borderline impractical and imposes far more metabolic stresses than it already is. Once again, I am me. You are you. I am not obese. As a disclaimer – this is not a blanket gospel for all physiologies.
Daily pragmatic caloric needs – still remains a physiological necessity. A multivitamin may help a prolonged extended fast for any micronutrients gap. But eating whole foods themselves, I’d wager – are more fulfilling from a primal instinct perspective. However this necessitates a well-coordinated scheduling. And you guessed it – more-cost-per consumption event.
People do not also factor in – the sleeping window. Which that not only counts towards the number of calculated hours next to the (awakened) fasting window. But also plays a role in both digestive readiness and comfort. I plainly admit I’d love eating foods close to sleeping window. But too close? Caloric deficits once again are inevitable. Both my digestive capacity and readiness would blunt. Hence a risk to ineffective partitioning of calories.
Sadly, I hereby conclude – fasting beyond 20 hours threshold – is likely too detrimental for my overall sustenance.
OMAD / One Meal A Day seemingly appeals to many people, especially if they hold long and actively demanding occupations. But I’d wager that simultaneously compressing so much characteristics (acidity to sweet) could prove troublesome. Food Combining theory hence appears somewhat warranted.
People immediately assume I resort to all this by “choice”.
A major problem this way of life imposes, five years strong since 2014 – is withstanding every outside frowns and assumptions. I am constantly at risk of being seen as a resentful, non-significant footnote to society. Under pedestrian’s lexicon – they assume I still have “choices”. Worse, they resort to politics of “-isms” / gender inequalit”-isms” to weaponise their arguments. I beg them to reconsider; over the unreconciled death & suicide statistics on men alone.
Nevertheless “man” or “woman” – you must understand what true “scarcity” is. It is beyond “finances”. But deeply rooted at biological level. Depleting enough of your mineral reserves & glycogen amidst silent pains of metabolic adaptations. For meeting both that of your abilities (fitness) and liabilities (sociological).
There is no room for “politics” in the realm of nutritional “fasting”. I’ve said this before, I will stress it again. In the context for life’s preservation – Fasting is not a “choice”.
Why? Because it is NOT a hedonic or metabolically a beneficiary “privilege”. Hence, it is NOT a “choice”. It is easy to fall prey to subscribe that Autophagy is a readily state of rejuvenation from catabolism. But such a state is not without its concerns. “Choices” assumes there is always a longing for a politicised, sentimentalised – “lesser-evil” option. Except sadly there is little, if at all – “lesser-evil” ways at sentimentalising “choices” in Nature. Period.
Whomever you were. Names undisclosed – condescending me down to the depths of all directions. I implore one day waves of change shall overthrow all your prior Survivorship Bias and unsolicited advices down my throat. It’s not a matter of how. It is a matter of when.
Until such time arrives, I shall leave you quietly at absorbing your own pitiful remorse.
Intermittent Fasting; nevertheless is here to stay.
No matter how much bickering one may frown against the Institutions or the powers that be; we all, nevertheless are left with only one (1) eventual instinct at surviving against insecurities.
I am convinced such an eventual instinct – has to be Intermittent Fasting. It allows us to reignite – our inert, INDIVIDUAL and biological definition – of what “enough” means. A reconciling of our own existing securities, from deep beneath us. Not from “Scientific” perversion of pursuit for statistical”correctness”. But simply acquaint ourselves on our own biology for determining our authentic resilience. Based off from no other “bodies” – be it government “bodies” or Institutionalised Guidelines – than our very own.
End part 1 of 4.
Meanwhile, what could be more better than celebrating end of year without an improved whey cheesecake recipe? With up to 40% less resource cost? Be sure to check it out and leave a comment.
I implore all readers throughout reading this frugal “Nutritional Annual Report” – what you make out of reading this account is however up to you. You may mirror my “opinion” but not exactly a 1:1 match and ratio – of my unknown deficiencies or metabolic incapacities.
Next part I’ll discuss notable highlights and interventions thus far .