Backloading, Fasting, and Paleo–Oh My!
This is all about the perfect diet…that does not exist.
I hate to admit it, but while I like to think that the way I eat should suit every human being perfectly, I know that no matter how I feel about nutrition, my eating habits just don’t work for everyone.
It’s been a while since I posted an update on my latest nutrition thoughts…but if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, then you might see some occasional food-pics along the way. The truth is…
I Still Skip Breakfast.
I’m a solid believer that skipping breakfast leads to fat loss…period. And if you want to know why, read HERE. I have officially been breakfast-free for one year now. I’ve never felt healthier and my weight doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much as it used to!
I Fast. Intermittently.
Since I’m not eating breakfast, I’m in prime fat-burning mode when I wake up. And the longer I can go without spiking my insulin, the longer I’ll stay in this fab-burning state. Some people think Intermittent Fasting is crazy, some practice for religious reasons, and some very serious athletes practice it regularly. Ronda Rousey, probably the most badass chick in the UFC–if not anywhere–eats one meal a day when training. For me, on a good day, I can fast until 4 or 5pm and eat my meals in a 4-5 hour window. I end up eating less calories, feeling fuller, and can lean out when I feel an extra pudge or two.
Fasting is great for fat loss–especially quick fat loss. Normally, I’d never tell anyone to try and lose fat fast, but if it had to be done, fasting would be the way to go. In fact, when I was in Ross trying on some cute workout clothes a couple weeks ago, the lady manning the dressing room told me I looked fit and asked me how to lose weight in her belly. She was a pretty slender woman and I could tell she cared a lot about looking nice. She also told me that she just finished her 30-day Ramadan fasting period. With Ramadan, individuals cannot eat OR drink ANYTHING from sun-up to sun-down. They can eat at night if they choose to do so. She said she lost 10 pounds in 30 days and wanted to tone up her tummy. I told her to lower her carbs and up her protein and fats. I also told her to come to my bootcamp class at the Rec Center! But did you catch the 10 pounds in 30 days part?! Me too. I love it.
Fasting also helps me stay hydrated because I’m drinking so much water during the day. And since the majority of my workouts are in the morning, fueling myself at night gets my body ready for my early morning body beat-down…which I love. Disclaimer: I don’t recommend fasting to many people. Only if you’re serious about leaning out, dedicated to making sure you get enough “good” calories when you do eat, and only if you’ve never had or tottered around eating disorders.
Speaking of fueling my body for its typical 1-2 hour workout, after trying every “diet” imaginable, there is only one plan that actually works for me and that’s the Paleo one. I know, “Paleo” is so cliche these days, but for me, it’s really about eating whole, natural foods, and very little starch and sugar. My body craves fat–not carbs–and I run really well off meats, nuts, seeds, and veggies. I have the occasional berry smoothie or sweet potato, but unless I’m splurging with a major carb-nite, my food choices are the simplest I can find.
Did You Say Carb-Nite?!
Yeah, I still love carbs. No matter how much my body hates them. Pizza, ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, icing especially are all major weaknesses of mine. NONE of which are actually any good for me. I’m so flippin’ sensitive to sugar and wheat! I always feel so crappy and bloated after splurging so I employ a Carb Back-Loading theory to my diet and I work really, REALLY hard for my carbs. In fact, next weekend I’m participating in my first ever CrossFit competition and I’ve already planned out my splurge foods. (I planned them before I even planned my outfits!)
When I work crazy hard for sweets, my body won’t suffer too many damaging consequences. The whole theory of carb back-loading works around the fact that YOU work hard for your carbs. If you don’t, you get fat. Simple as that. Look at America! Those who don’t work hard and yet sit around eating donuts every day are, well, fat. Sorry, but there’s no other way to put it. Some people can actually get away with splurging more often than I can–Erik, for example, enjoys a carb night every night that he lifts. My friend, coach, and ambassador, Dana, has a carb-rich treat almost every night and she rocks a HOT six pack. #iwishiwasher.
Unfortunately, I’m more of a once a month splurger. And with fall coming up? Ohmygosh, PUMPKIN everything! I will work my ass off in October and November so that I can splurge with pumpkin flavored muffins and bagels. I’m signed up to compete in the Bryce Resort Civilian Military Combine with a group of super badass chicks, and I’m thinking about either a few more races or CrossFit comps over the course of the next three…or more…months. Anything for the splurge!
The Perfect Diet
To wrap up my food spiel, I guess what I have discovered the perfect diet to be is a combination of a lot of experiments that I’ve found to work best for me. I eat Paleo foods while Intermittent Fasting, on a Carb-Nite plan. Or simply, I just eat low carb, higher fat, and as much protein and water as I can in a shortened amount of time. I have at least one–if not two–protein shakes each day and I make sure to take my vitamins and supplements. I limit my carb splurges to berries and sweet potatoes, unless I’m competing in something bigger than the typical workout.
Believe it or not, it took years for me to figure all this out, but I guess that’s why I’m so obsessed with food and nutrition! I even have a site in the works right now solely based on healthy food choices. I can’t WAIT to launch it, but it might be a few more months…I’m still trying to get the last touches on the kettlebell eBook I’m working on too! Thanks for being patient.
Tell me, what’s your secret to staying lean? Or are you more like me and struggle to keep weight off no matter how hard you workout or how healthy you eat?? Life’s a bitch sometimes…tell me about it below!
For more information on Fasting, Carb Back-Loading, or The Carb-Nite Solution, check out some of the links below!
Feature image by Benicio Murray.