Updated: Mar 16, 2019
I decided to invest in myself a little bit and dipped into my reserves to be able join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Program this past Monday. It isn't really about weight loss for me but more so to get my eating habits back on track after marathon training. Training for that race "almost" gives you full reign on eating carbs all day every day.
I wanted something with structure (what can I say I am a planner) that still left me room to tailor to my own needs. I have followed Amanda Tress on Facebook for a long time, since before this program was created, and have watched as people have found success during its six week session. After having another week of falling asleep early (or not being able to sleep at all) I decided it was time I invested in myself a little.
What is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss? I can tell you first what it is not. It is not a crash diet or a simple cut out carbs plan. In fact, during the first live video I watched we are explicitly told to not weigh in daily. It isn't about the scale for me anyway. It is about understanding my own relationship to food, and how nutrition helps my body and mind to function properly. Using intermittent fasting and carb cycling I am being taught the when, why and how of proper nutrition.
Here is some detailed information on both carb cycling and intermittent fasting.
What is Carb Cycling? "A carb cycling program is an intentional variation of carbohydrate intake each week. Most carb cycling plans consist of high carb days and low carb days." - Amanda Tress
What is Intermittent Fasting? "Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet, but an eating schedule. Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. In the fed state (anytime your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat a challenge. However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores. People rarely go into a fasted state throughout the day. In fact, the traditional theory of several small meals per day keeps us from ever reaching the fasted state. In addition, that type of eating schedule regularly spikes our insulin levels which also hinders fat loss. So, while eating several small meals per day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficits always do), you will likely be losing both muscle and fat. When you lose calorie burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat. You also might become frustrated because you never feel toned and fit, even though you are working out and eating clean." - Amanda Tress
This week was prep week for me. It is a time to learn as much as I can to get ready for the program itself. I am already following the carb cycling plan and have done the workout each day. The hardest part for me is the motivation aspect, especially after my work day followed by a long commute which is about an hour depending on Atlanta traffic.
What will the next six weeks be like? Here's a general overview of what's included. Let me quote the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Program one more time here:
Eat the right macros and nutrients, at the right time, for the right reasons
LIFT heavy to develop lean calorie-burning muscle
Engage in fasted cardio and HIIT/metabolic training
Maintain the proper mindset
The intermittent fasting portion has not been as challenging as I might have thought it would be. In reality it is making sure I am on track with my macros that has me on a bit of a learning curve. I have enjoyed trying out some new lunch and dinner recipes. My fridge is stocked with fruits & veggies and other than missing my chocolate milk fix every night I am not feeling like I am crazy hungry.
In full disclosure here are my starting points *Unflexed:
1) Waist at belly button - 34"
2) Waist, 2 inches above Belly Button - 33"
3) Waist, 2 inches below Belly Button - 37"
4) Upper Arm, midpoint of elbow and shoulder - 11"
5) Upper Leg, midpoint of knee and hip - 19.5"
My personal goal is to trim inches from my waist so I can fit into my clothes better (I actually hate shopping for new ones anymore). Bonus goals are to sleep better and to develop lean muscle. All of these things will be a great way to enter my 45th year (birthday is coming up).
You can follow my progress on Instagram and through my blog.