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Sick of Being Flabby? Try Intermittent Fasting


April 6, 2020

intermittent fasting

See Rule #4 of the 10 Rules of Health and Fitness After Age 50

You Can't Get There From Here

You're using the wrong fuel tank . It will never work. You cannot burn fat using your backup fuel tank. Just won't happen. Reminds me of a story.

Way back in the summer of 1976 I went to a bluegrass festival (called Stomping 76) in Galax, VA with some college buddies.

Anyway, it's really rural when you get out there in the western tip of Virginia (definitely saw some of those guys from Deliverance) and we had to ask directions several times because they don't do signs out there either.

Every guy we asked for directions started out with (in a country twang) "Well, you can't get there from here" before launching into their long-winded directions (down the road a piece, up through the hollow, take a right at the eagles nest in the pine tree, stuff like that). How far is "a piece" anyway?

Back to losing fat. The same is true for fat loss when you keep using your backup fuel tank - You can't get there from here.

What's the problem?


You have two fuel tanks,
  1.  your fat cells storing fat
  2. and your liver and muscles storing glycogen (storage form of glucose).
By design, your fat cells are the primary fuel storage and glycogen is supposed to be your backup tank. That's why you have essentially unlimited ability to store fat yet only room for about 100 grams of glycogen in your liver and maybe 400 or so in your muscles.

Keep in mind, these two tanks are completely separate. They get filled in different ways. And the availability of glucose in your blood is the key.

Your body keeps really tight control over glucose in your system - too much and you've toxicity, too little and some cells and organs are starving. There is only about 4 grams of glucose floating around in your bloodstream at any one time. That's less than a single teaspoon!

So when you eat carbs (especially modern, high glycemic index carbs), they break down quickly into glucose and enter your bloodstream. Then, they either are
  • burned for energy (if you have a demand for energy);
  • stored in your backup tank (glycogen) which unfortunately is likely to be full already;
  • or lastly, converted to fat and stored in your primary tank (which always has room for more).
Glucose is the key to using your primary fuel tank. Understand that when glucose is present, the only access to your fat tank is for storage, not for burning.

Excess glucose flips a one-way switch for fat storage.

There are a few options you can use to manipulate fuel storage:

  • minimize glucose production by food selection
  • minimize glucose production by carb cycling
  • dump your glycogen tanks with exercise
  • dump your glycogen tanks with fasting
A savvy person employs all of these options randomly.

If you follow Rule #1 - Lift Heavy Things, you've got a pretty good handle on dumping your muscle glycogen fuel tank.

And Rule #5 - Fast Intermittently Often (and extended fast occasionally) addresses dumping your liver glycogen and maybe some muscle glycogen too.

A corollary to Rule # 5 is - Embrace Hunger (switch to your primary fuel tank and burn stored fat easily).

#1 - Lift Heavy Things
#2 - Increase Nutrient Density
#3 - Sprint Occasionally
#4 - If It's Good for You, Do It Every Day
#5 - Fast Intermittently Often

Starting Intermittent Fasting

Rule #5 is really easy if you get Rule #2 working first. 

Rule #5 is a handy tool to have in your toolbox. It makes getting lean just a little bit easier while still enjoying good food and other indulgences.


If you're living on modern foods, spiking glucose every couple of hours, fasting is going to be hard to do. So work on Rule #2 first.

Easy Intermittent Fasting

Here is an easy way to start intermittent fasting. It's a free pdf on the most basic intermittent fasting protocol. Check it out.

Remember your rules:

#1 - Lift Heavy Things

#2 - Increase Nutrient Density
#3 - Sprint Occasionally
#4 - If It's Good for You, Do It Every Day
#5 - Fast Intermittently Often

Rule #6 is next and it's critical to understand this one.

Mark Fickler

Mark aka The Old Spartan and Over-50 Fitness Savior is a 64 year old coffee guzzling father of five wandering the outdoors around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mark helps Active Boomers get lean, healthy and strong so they live rewarding, fun lives using his signature 2 Rule Easy Fat Loss training program.

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