Friday, February 10, 2017

Prescription for today

Eat and exercise as little as possible to be as fit, functional and strong as you need to be living the life you've chosen.  Anything beyond this "as little as possible" prescription provides recreational and social benefits more than extended life expectancy benefits.

The research on calorie restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF) protocols of eating for good health are convincing.  I've practiced IF several times over the past 7 years, and am currently doing it again, this time with a 5-hour eating window in a 24-hour day.  It takes about one to two weeks to reprogram the brain and clock-driven habit eating most of us practice.

"Oh, it's 12:00 noon, time to eat lunch."  Maybe you're not hungry.

Based on my own experiences over more than 25 years of playing this fitness, health and wellness game, I honestly believe it doesn't matter what you eat so long as you just eat less.

If you practice IF to eat less, it's all about picking a smart feeding window that considers your work and other activities.  Sometimes it's hard to do this unless you're a one-man band because you've got to be mindful of what's the best time to eat as a family.

And if you're eating less, you must be mindful of exercise volume because of the appetite it creates.  The calories you burn from running hard on the treadmill for 30 minutes can be eaten in about two minutes.  I have a saying: "The cardio pony will make a stallion appetite."

I've exercised "beastly" in the past with unbelievable training volume and some relatively-speaking great performance progressions in my chosen fitness activities.  While it felt great to be super-fit, run faster, lift more and be more skillfully-agile, honestly these accomplishments probably didn't do much adding to my potential life expectancy from what I'm now doing, exercising three times a week for 20-minute workouts.

But that beastly training did fuel a gigantic appetite but I could “finance” the calories consumed because of all the calories burned from my beastly exercising.

Eventually, we fitness beasts decide that we've had enough and decide to taper our exercise intensity and volume.  We make a "business decision" to take a different approach that may have minimalist leanings.

When this day of reckoning arrives, unfortunately, our appetites don’t automatically taper to align with our new minimalist fitness lifestyle, because our minds and pleasure systems have grown comfortable with eating big.

There starts the problem for many middle-aged men.

So, for all “been there and done it” fitness beasts who are now embarking on doing something different with a minimalist leaning, read my lips: "Eat and exercise as little as possible to be as fit, functional and strong as you need to be living the life you've chosen."

This is my middle-aged man fit, health and wellness prescription for today.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Machinehead said...

"Minimum Effective Dose" is another explanation I've seen for this from Tim Ferris, author of "The Four Hour Body" who promotes the notion that 80% of the results comes from 20% of the effort; the challenge is identifying, for the individual, that 20% as it applies to diet and exercise. The analogy used is if water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, raising the heat to 110 degrees doesn't make the water boil any better.

Pierini Fitness said...

HI John,

Not familiar with MED but I like the term and would like to read more about how Ferris presents it. I'll add this to my long list of readings to accomplish.

Thanks for your visit; enjoy your day.