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  • Writer's pictureCoach Moe

Intermittent Fasting is Childish and Infantry

Remember the good old days? I used to get home from football or track practice with an empty stomach that was ready to be filled. I would immediately wash my hands on go right to the microwave where I would always find my plate of food that my grandmother had prepared for me. Once I heated my food I attacked it like a lion that just took down his prey. No bad etiquette was withheld. I used my fingers, inhaled my food and burped without any concern for how I looked. I was hungry and after walking 2 miles home after practice I was on the borderline of teenage athlete starvation. By the time I finished my carnage of nanny’s fine cuisine it would be approximately 6:30pm. I would then do the dishes and clean the murder scene. Then it was off to homework, studying, bath and sleep. I would wake up the next morning at 6am, walk and feed my dog and sit down for breakfast before heading out to school.

Whenever I bring up the idea of intermittent fasting many people look at me as if it’s some impossible feat. They give me the side eye as I talk about not eating for 12 hours or longer. I even here some fitness gurus down talk the idea. As soon as I mention it I can see people’s souls drop into the perilous pit of starvation. They imagine themselves dragging through their day with a sunken in stomach and their ribs bones poking out through their skin with their tongue hanging out as they watch each painful minute slowly pass on the wall clock. Sounds scary right?!

We lined up tight, barely an inch between the back of one Soldier and the chest of the Soldier behind him or her. You can literally feel the hot breath from the Soldier to your rear on your neck as they stand at the military position of parade rest. No movement, no talking. Finally, the Drill Sergeant brings us to the position of attention and methodically marches us through the chow line. We move like robots through the line to get chow. I stop at each server and hold my plate out as they pile on the food. I can remember how heavy my plate felt as I moved swiftly to my seat to refuel after a long day of training. It was 6pm when the leaders started moving us through the line. By 6:20pm we were back outside in formation ready to march back to our barracks to shower, clean, study and bed down by 2100h; also known as 9pm.

0430h and I am already standing in formation ready to march off to do some of Uncle Sam’s world-famous physical fitness. I loved PT. Exercise has always been a positive release for me. It was horrible to some people, but it was the highlight of my day. Pushups, flutter kicks, Iron Mikes, Mountain Climbers and more. After every muscle on our bodies hit failure the cadre lined us up to run. Its dark when we start, but when we are complete it is bright out. Once the sweat parade is over we march to the chow hall for breakfast. There’s that hot breath on my neck again. I learned that not everyone brushes their teeth first thing in the morning. A small price to pay for breakfast. After all, we hadn’t eaten for at least 12 hours!

When I was a young student athlete and a basic trainee Soldier I was in great shape. I was super trim and had mountains of energy. But wait……. I just noticed something in common. In both situations I exercised a lot of course, but like any good infomercial there’s more. I did not eat for at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast in both situations. What were my grandparents who raised me and my Army leadership thinking?! Were they crazy?! Or were they secret nutrition Ninjas who knew the value of……INTERMITTENT FASTING?!

I currently fast for 12-14 hours daily and I love the way that it makes me feel. I have more energy and I like the fact that I don’t feel like I’m carrying extra weight in my stomach. Between August and the end of October I have lost 10 pounds without changing what I eat. I just don’t eat after 7pm and not before 7am the next day. I am most pleased that the weight I lost appears to be fat as I have maintained my same measurements on my biceps and chest while losing 2 inches on my waist. I also look more toned and fit. During my recent doctor visit my blood pressure was 108/74. I am very proud of that because I had high blood pressure at one time. I’m no nutritionist or scientist, but my experience with intermittent fasting has been GREAT!

As a child intermittent fast worked and during Infantry training it worked as well. I think I'm going to stick with it.

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