The Last Major ZNT piece: Intermittent Fasting

The last major chunk of the ZNT (Zero Net Time) system puts it all together.  This is how you SAVE time every week, rather than spending it.  It involves nutrition, and is so powerful it is damned near cheating.

 

It is called Intermittent Fasting, and there is a vast amount of research on it, more than I have time or inclination to go through.    It is a broad term for caloric “waving”, the most basic form to be fasting on alternate days.   To varying degrees, I’ve used it for almost a decade, and here are some overall thoughts:

  1. Start your research here, but don’t let this be the final stop: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_fasting
  2. You don’t have to eat NOTHING on alternate days.   Alternating with fresh fruits and veggies only works well too.
  3. The last time I checked the research, I.F. and “caloric restriction” are the only known forms of intervention that extend life span in all warm-blooded animals it has been tried on.
  4. It is easier to eat NOTHING  in a day than it is to cut calories. The first bite of food triggers a flood of “limbic hunger.”   Before then, you might find it just a low-level “growl.”
  5. I.F. can seriously sharpen your mind, throw you into a “patience my ass, I’m gonna kill something” hunting mode.   Be careful…aggression can increase if you aren’t careful. Properly channeled, this energy is phenomenal in the “Stay Hungry” sense.
  6. It is a fabulous spiritual practice, sometimes called “The Fast of David.”   One reason is that while your muscle tissue doesn’t get attacked for about 35 hours, your brain will start TELLING you you are starving after about 15. The voices can be fierce, but in a healthy person, THEY ARE LYING.  Beginning to realize that the voices in your head lie to you is a core path to power and wisdom.
  7. Consult your doctor.    I.F. has the reputation of actually increasing insulin sensitivity, and therefore a preventative for hypoglycemia and diabetes…if caught in time, and under medical supervision.  Be careful. Do your research.
  8. The results can also work if you “wave” calories, reducing them every other day rather than eliminating.
  9. You can also use the following variations: the “Warrior” diet where you eat only within a window of 6-8 pm at night. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Warrior_Diet.html?id=J_s3yTwPhDoC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false
  10. Or: following the “Smart Phone” diet every other day: photographing everything you eat before you eat it.
  11. Or: being VERY strict about sugars and fats…every other day.
  12. I use I.F. on “yoga” days, not tough exercise days, as there is a 60-minute “window” after weight training where your muscles seem to love sucking up protein.
  13. You can also fast two days a week, or even one.   Still better than nothing!
  14. The average person spends about an hour a day minimum eating, with additional time in preparation.   I.F. can therefore save you at least THREE HOURS A WEEK–and the ZNT program, at max, requires TWO hours a week for the basic exercise pattern (higher levels of fitness and skill can be gained with additional investment).  Therefore, you can easily make the program equal ZERO NET TIME.

 

 

I tend to be lazy about it most of the time, as long as I feel high energy and like the way I look naked.  But all it takes is a week of being more strict, and POW….got the edge back.   One interesting thing about I.F. is that if you fast all day (and I most regularly use the “Warrior Diet” variation, so T and I eat together in the evenings. The social connection can trump the  slight advantage) the next day, when you break fast, you will NEVER eat junk.   Your sense of taste is sharpened. You don’t eat for your emotions: your body screams NUTRIENTS!!! GIVE ME NUTRIENTS!

 

A big slab of greasy meat will make you want to vomit.   A sugary donut will disgust you. You will want clean carbs, fruits, proteins.   Your natural selective process is greatly sharpened.  You have encountered REAL hunger, not emotional hunger, not “sugar crash” hunger.

 

A bit of speculation, widely debated: we just don’t know, as there hasn’t been enough human experimentation yet. It will take 100 years to really test the notion.

 

  1. It MAY be the best approach to increased lifespan we currently have.  Fasting is believed to have multiple benefits.  Even if your WEEKLY caloric intake doesn’t change, the “waving” effect MIGHT have a similar effect.
  2. In rats, they broke ’em into three groups.  One they gave all the food they wanted.  The second, they used strict caloric restriction. Third, they used I.F.  The results? As you expect, group #1 got fat and died young.  #2 were a bunch of undergrown, very tough and pissed-off rats…who lived about 50% longer.   #3 were the most interesting: they were normal sized, relatively happy…and lived as long as group #2.  Whether this maps over to human beings remains to be seen.  Opinions vary.
  3. It goes on and on, but I’ve emptied out the top of my head on the subject. You have here a practice which is the simplest “diet” imaginable, which has mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual effects, saves you time and money, and MIGHT extend life span.    Not a bad package. And when you combine them with the exercise program we’ve laid out, you have a physical engine to drive your entire life that requires…ZERO NET TIME.

 

That’s it, in basic form.   Have fun!

 

Namaste,

Steve

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