Fasting & Intermittent Fasting are currently hot trending topics and rightly so. When done properly, the benefits of fasting are real and lasting, however, with the rise in popularity of fasting and keto there is also a rise in well-intended but out of context information which can actually make fasting work against you. Because OFM focuses on the fat burning physiology rather than aspects of it (like diet, exercise or fasting) we not only understand how to guide you to gain the benefits while eliminating the risks but how fasting fits into your individualized OFM Matrix.
At first glance, Intermittent Fasting (IF), may seem to fall more into the diet/nutrition end of OFM, because it does not fall into “training” in the conventional sense, however, once the athlete “gets” IF is actually a key component of training the body to fully achieve the potential as a fat burner and how it is an integral part of the OFM Lifestyle that he/she understands IF’s role and place in the OFM protocol. Fasting simply becomes a way of Life and occurs without all the structure and rules of other fasting protocols and apps.
IF is one aspect of OFM training & Lifestyle which conveys significant benefits for an OFM athlete. It is well studied but not well known that fasting conveys many health benefits including longevity. For the OFM athlete IF conveys performance benefits as well.
In today’s modern world, where carbohydrates tend to make up the majority of calories consumed by an athlete, fasting of any sort is looked upon as a sacrifice and an ordeal of hunger which impedes performance. For the OFM athlete regular IF is simply part of their lifestyle. For the OFM athlete IF should not only be easy and regular but seem natural because, evolutionarily speaking, it is.
IF is one of the many reasons why OFM yields a lot more metabolic stability. The athlete can not only perform but perform better without the constant dependence upon exogenous caloric intake.
The duration of an OFM IF varies and is dependent upon a variety of factors. When an athlete is in a period of high volume training IF is shorter due to the tremendous energy expenditure. Under these conditions, an IF can be as short as 6-8 hours and as long as 14-16 hours.
During recovery periods, particularly on days when sedentary an IF can be as short as 10 hours and last up to 24 hours or more without an overriding food craving.
Once you have achieved the “Fat Adapted” Metabolic State of the Metabolic Reset (MR) it is time to get your IF Mojo going.
At this point you should notice:
- You can go from your last meal of the day to morning, a period of 8-12 hours with ease and without swings in energy levels or blood sugar nor wake up famished.
- You require minimal exogenous calories before a morning workout (especially if using VESPA) and can complete a low to medium intensity training session comfortably.
- You are not starving/hangry after. Its OK to be hungry or, as they say in Australia; “A little peckish” but not the raging hunger of your former carb burning self.
- You can go between meals easily without snacking. The exception being endurance training where some calorie intake may be dictated due to duration, intensity or environmental conditions.
- You can do low intensity & active recovery level workouts in the morning in a fasted state with Vespa with ease and not be starving after.
During Transition we are going to develop your IF in two key ways:
- Over the Transition stretch the IF out to the appropriate durations that work for you
- Incorporate them into your lifestyle so they are simply a seamless part of living
- Begin by extending nighttime fasts out to late morning or even early afternoon on days where physical training load is lower as in recovery periods, including low intensity, active recovery days. Do out a weekly chart to illustrate this
- Do this 2-3 times per week synchronized with training to IF when training load is low.outline this on weekly chart
- OFM IF does allow use of Vespa to help with controlling hunger & extending fasts.Outline this on weekly chart
- OFM also encourages the use of broth, stock, V8/Tomato Juice or mineral salts, particularly if athlete is active and/or extending their IF beyond 18 hours to maintain optimal electrolyte status.Include bonebroth recipe or link. Also include mineral salt type or brand.
- OFM IF also includes adding gelatin/collagen to broth to help minimize protein catabolism during extended IF beyond 22 hours if not doing so already.Include gelatin/collegan type and dosages.
- As you adapt in the Transition Phase of OFM start to perform mid-level and even high-intensity training in a fasted state using Vespa. Outline in chart
- For most OFM Athletes the training and life loads do not allow for multi-day fasting nor do we feel this is necessary.
- Do eat/consume sufficient food/calories to prevent metabolism from turning down to a conservation status. This is a common issue in IF. Outline meal examples, calorie examples.
GENDER: For IF gender does make a difference. In general men will have a much easier time segwaying into IF and tend to IF longer periods. Women’s hunger triggers are biologically hard-wired to be much more sensitive than men even when fat-adapted. So women tend to have to be more resourceful in their strategies for IF periods so they avoid the temptation of readily available foods.
Intermittent Fasting as it applies to the Fat-Adapted Metabolic State:
IF & Fat-Adaptation go hand in hand: The Fat-Adapted Metabolic State makes IF an easy and seamless part of the OFM lifestyle because the body readily releases free fatty acids into circulation for energy. On the other hand, IF maintains the Fat-Adapted State.
Intermittent Fasting as it applies to Nutrition NOT Calories:
When nutritional needs are met caloric needs for an OFM athlete during an IF tend not to be an issue as the athlete is drawing from the vast reserves of onboard fat calories which are readily released in the OFM athlete. By meeting nutritional needs the catabolism of muscle tissue is not an issue during IF. In fact, IF augments the overall tendency of OFM athletes to gain lean body mass!
Intermittent Fasting as it applies to Stomach & Gut Health:
IF is a subtle yet very important part of maintaining a healthy stomach and gut. The mucous membrane, epithelium and microbiome, like an athlete in training need some rest and recovery from each bout of food and drink.
Intermittent Fasting as it applies to Hydration:
IF teaches the athlete to “race hungry” and on an empty stomach and minimal exogenous caloric intake thus allowing the athlete to maintain optimal hydration, for cooling and maintaining blood volume.
Intermittent Fasting as it applies to VESPA:
IF works synergistically with VESPA to yield the high level fat metabolism seen in OFM athletes
Intermittent Fasting as it applies to “Strategic Carbohydrates”:
Because IF maintains the Fat-Adapted Metabolic state, this by default will maintain low insulin levels and high insulin sensitivity. Based upon athlete feedback this has tremendous positive impact on the “strategic” use of concentrated carbohydrates during competition. It is our speculation by maintaining high insulin sensitivity, when carbohydrates are brought back during competition the slight insulin response actually speeds delivery of glucose to cells and conversion of glucose to ATP without seriously impacting high level fat metabolism. Regular IF maintains this level of high insulin sensitivity for sustainable, high impact “strategic” use of carbohydrates.
Additionally, because IF helps build and maintain robust stomach and gut health the potential for stomach and gut issues is dramatically reduced when carbohydrates are used during competition and/or training.
EXAMPLE TRAINING WEEK – LIGHT LOAD, LOW INTENSITY, 1x MEDIUM INTENSITY SESSION
Mon – Rest
Easy run pm
easy run pm
Fri – rest
Sat – tempo am
Sun – long run
Normal feeding pattern
IF – 16-18hrs
Normal feeding pattern
IF – 16 – 18hrs
(2nd weekday IF is optional)
Normal feeding pattern
Train Fasted (optional)
1st meal – lunch
1st meal – Lunch
Eat post session
Eat post session
2nd meal – Dinner
2nd Meal – Dinner