Martin Berkhan destroys body fat for a living.
About a year ago I became interested in the benefits of intermittent fasting after reading a number of articles on Martin Berkhan’s Leangains site. Martin is a Swedish nutritional consultant/personal trainer/writer. His recommendations run contrary to conventional wisdom among personal trainers, but his ideas are well-researched and accompanied by numerous examples (pictures) of his own physique and the physiques of his clients, who are all very muscular and impressively lean. Martin’s writing style is bombastic, confrontational, and entertaining, but also thorough, persuasive, and rich in citations.
Martin’s main idea is that intermittent fasting can assist with fat loss and muscle growth simultaneously. Most weight-lifters would tell you that both “growth phases” (where muscle and fat are added simultaneously) and “cutting phases” (where calories are restricted and fat is lost) are required. Martin calls B.S. on that idea, and provides ample evidence that restricting eating to an 8-hour daily “window” (only eating between 2pm and 10pm, for example), combined with simple, consistent workouts can allow a person to get leaner and stronger at the same time.
My Own Experience
At this point in my life I’m not looking for a radical change in my physique, but Martin’s posts piqued my curiosity enough to give intermittent fasting a try. I decided I would “dip a toe in” and try not eating until 2pm, one day a week.
I found it to be easier than expected. On my partial fast days, I only drink water and black coffee until 2pm. I rarely experience any hunger pangs (though I do look forward to my first meal more than I would otherwise). Here are a few other subjective observations:
Posted in Health/Body-hacking
Tagged Alzheimer's, autophagy, chronic infections, CMV, H. Pylori, HSV, intermittent fasting, Jaminet, leangains, lysosomes, Martin Berkhan, rs2291725, The Perfect Health Diet, toxoplasmosis
Actor/power-lifter/wrestler Nathan Jones (from Troy)
Most of us would like to be leaner and stronger. The hormones that have the biggest effect on body composition are growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). After the age of 25, most people will experience some negative effects from declining levels of both these hormones, including:
- weaker bones
- poorer sleep quality
- increased body fat, especially in the abdominal area
- older looking skin
- less physical strength and slower recovery time
Anything we can do to keep GH and IGF-1 levels up will help us look and feel younger. So what can we do?
Two great posts I’ve enjoyed recently:
1) How To Walk The Talk and Unlock Your True Potential
from leangains.com, by Martin Berkhan
Mr. Ripped, aka Martin Berkhan.
Martin Berkhan is an insanely fit Swede who writes about muscle-gain, fat-loss, and metabolic science. He’s an entertaining, insightful writer who I admire for his critical thinking, skepticism, and intellectual independence.
In the post linked above, Martin discusses psychological issues specific to those of us who are obsessed with health and nutrition information. We don’t always practice the principles we preach to others. Our addiction to health and fitness information can be counter-productive; we’re constantly “optimizing our systems” instead of just sticking with a simple plan that works.
I won’t give away Martin’s solution to this conundrum — read the post!
2) The Unconquerable Dave
from marksdailyapple.com by Mark Sisson and Dave Parsons
Readers of Mark Sisson’s “primal living” site (which features Sisson’s version of the paleolithic diet) often write in and share testimonials and before/after pictures. I love these posts — it’s great to see the results from people who have given up on the low-fat, low-cholesterol standard diet advice and are taking the paleo path.
From the tone and content of Dave’s emails, it seemed like he jumped on the primal/paleo bandwagon and never looked back. He just stuck with the plan, lost 100 pounds, and reverse-aged. One can’t help but think “Go Dave!” while reading this post.